Forum: Congress and the economy
Evaluate from the last two months’ congressional actions on the economy. Find a recent news article explaining a bill, vote, action, or inaction by Congress, and explain how it’s allowable under the powers granted to them in the Constitution.
“Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution requires that “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” (Bill of Rights Institute, Inc, 2016). In a recent news article the topic covers Congress reviewing the budget crisis for the Federal Legislative. The most recent concerns has been congress passing the fiscal amount for the Veteran Affairs on time. (Reuters, 2016). Year after year the Congress has not agreed with the Senate in the amount set forth and has caused Government shutdowns, in which the active military members have not received pay for an allotted time. Another issue for the budget has been the pass of the approved amount for such health research relating to Cancer and drug research. (Reuters, 2016). In the Constitution it is said that the revenue shall be allotted by the House of Representative. (Bill of Rights Institute, Inc, 2016). The constant issue that has been arising is that Congress is following through with the laws laid out in the Constitution, but are not doing it in a timely matter. The Constitution does not state the time in which they need to pass such fiscal measures, but that it is in their power to receive the requests and approve or disapprove them. The Congress needs to continue to follow the Constitution guideline, like covered in our readings this week, by regulating the taxes pulled by the states to afford such fiscal measures. In the article by Reuters, they discuss that this coming Holiday week will be a “lame duck” week for congress, explaining that Congress will need to put together a report on how they plan to resolve the fiscal imbalances and actions needed for health regulations and the funding for the military. (Reuters, 2016). The regulations of the money spent and where the money comes from is followed by Congress through the Constitution regulations in Article I. (Bill of Rights Institute, Inc, 2016).
Bill of Rights Institute, Inc. (2016). Retrieved from Bill of Rights Institute: https://billofrightsinstitute.org/educate/educator-resources/lessons-plans/current-events/federal-budget-and-constitution/
Great discussion of the difficulty that Congress has in passing a budget. The president has taken the role of submitting a federal budget because all of the agencies and departments are in the executive branch. But Congress still has the responsibility to review the budget and make any changes that they want. But Congress is a minefield for budget bills. Only under extreme pressure does Congress finally pass a budget.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
Creating laws is the U.S. House of Representatives’ most important job. All laws in the United States begin as bills. Before a bill can become a law, it must be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the President. Let’s follow a bill’s journey to become law.
The Bill Begins
Laws begin as ideas. These ideas may come from a Representative—or from a citizen like you. Citizens who have ideas for laws can contact their Representatives to discuss their ideas. If the Representatives agree, they research the ideas and write them into bills.
The Bill Is Proposed
When a Representative has written a bill, the bill needs a sponsor. The Representative talks with other Representatives about the bill in hopes of getting their support for it. Once a bill has a sponsor and the support of some of the Representatives, it is ready to be introduced.
The Bill Is Introduced
In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill is introduced when it is placed in the hopper—a special box on the side of the clerk’s desk. Only Representatives can introduce bills in the U.S. House of Representatives.
When a bill is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill clerk assigns it a number that begins with H.R. A reading clerk then reads the bill to all the Representatives, and the Speaker of the House sends the bill to one of the House standing committees.
The Bill Goes to Committee
When the bill reaches committee, the committee members—groups of Representatives who are experts on topics such as agriculture, education, or international relations—review, research, and revise the bill before voting on whether or not to send the bill back to the House floor.
If the committee members would like more information before deciding if the bill should be sent to the House floor, the bill is sent to a subcommittee. While in subcommittee, the bill is closely examined and expert opinions are gathered before it is sent back to the committee for approval.
The Bill Is Reported
When the committee has approved a bill, it is sent—or reported—to the House floor. Once reported, a bill is ready to be debated by the U.S. House of Representatives
The Bill Is Debated
When a bill is debated, Representatives discuss the bill and explain why they agree or disagree with it. Then, a reading clerk reads the bill section by section and the Representatives recommend changes. When all changes have been made, the bill is ready to be voted on.
The Bill Is Voted On
Electronic Voting Machine
There are three methods for voting on a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives:
Viva Voce (voice vote): The Speaker of the House asks the Representatives who support the bill to say “aye” and those that oppose it say “no.”
Division: The Speaker of the House asks those Representatives who support the bill to stand up and be counted, and then those who oppose the bill to stand up and be counted.
Recorded: Representatives record their vote using the electronic voting system. Representatives can vote yes, no, or present (if they don’t want to vote on the bill).
If a majority of the Representatives say or select yes, the bill passes in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is then certified by the Clerk of the House and delivered to the U.S. Senate.
The Bill Is Referred to the Senate
When a bill reaches the U.S. Senate, it goes through many of the same steps it went through in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is discussed in a Senate committee and then reported to the Senate floor to be voted on.
Senators vote by voice. Those who support the bill say “yea,” and those who oppose it say “nay.” If a majority of the Senators say “yea,” the bill passes in the U.S. Senate and is ready to go to the President.
The Bill Is Sent to the President
When a bill reaches the President, he has three choices. He can:
Sign and pass the bill—the bill becomes a law.
Refuse to sign, or veto, the bill—the bill is sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the President’s reasons for the veto. If the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate still believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote on the bill. If two-thirds of the Representatives and Senators support the bill, the President’s veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law.
Do nothing (pocket veto)—if Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes law after 10 days. If Congress is not in session, the bill does not become a law.
The Bill Is a Law
If a bill has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been approved by the President, or if a presidential veto has been overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government
2. FORUM: BILL PASSAGE
The process of a bill becoming a low in the federal government takes several steps. The general chain of command it must go through is House of Representatives, to the Senate and finally to the President. The ideas come from everywhere, it could be from a Representative, or even be presented to them by a regular person like one of us. Once the research is done, reps gather support from one another so they can present it. Once it is introduced to the House it is assigned the HR number and goes to a committee of experts on the subject. At this level, you get more research and revisions before it can finally be reported and debated by the House of Reps. The House of Representatives discuss the bill what they like and dislike about it, recommend changes they think should be made and afterwards it is voted on. If the majority votes yes, the bill can pass to the US Senate where it goes to a very similar process. If majority of the Senate votes yes it can be sent to the President. The President can sign the bill and it becomes a law, or he can veto it. If it is vetoed it goes back to the House and Senate needing two-thirds yes votes to veto the president. Finally, if all things hold and the bill becomes a law and the government enforces it.
“There are 11,781 bills and resolutions currently before the United States Congress, but of those only about 4% will become law.” (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/) A recent bill I looked up is the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 was proposed to “require the Secretary of Commerce to conduct an assessment and analysis of the outdoor recreation economy of the United States, and for other purposes. This bill directs the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce to assess and analyze the outdoor recreation economy of the United States and the effects attributable to it on the overall U.S. economy.” (S.2219 – Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2015) The bill was introduced on March 2nd and was passed by the House of Representatives on November 14. So as stated before it just must make it through the Senate with a yes vote and if not vetoed by the President it will become a law.
“H.R. 4665 — 114th Congress: Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016.” www.GovTrack.us. 2016. November 22, 2016 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr4665WASHINGTON—Stressing that current efforts to safeguard the boundary do not go far enough, Congress approved a landmark bill Wednesday that will deploy armed patrols along the U.S. poverty line. “At present, the border between the impoverished and the relatively well-off is not fully secure, but this legislation will ensure that we have the security forces and equipment we need to deter anyone living below this boundary from crossing into the middle class,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), noting that the measure will position heavily armed personnel along the full length of the poverty line, which extends through numerous inner cities, across Appalachia, and over the entire breadth of the country. “The fact is that the people who live below this boundary are desperate, often lawless individuals who want the freedoms and opportunities that we have on our side of the border, and they will do anything to get here. This measure will finally provide agents with the resources they need to stem these unwanted intrusions into our territory by using intimidation, threats of incarceration, or force if necessary.” Ryan added that he would be open to further fortifying the poverty line, citing the success of the impenetrable wall that the U.S. has built along its upper boundary between the middle class and the rich.Congress Passes Bill To Add Armed Patrol To U.S. Poverty Line
NEWS IN BRIEF November 12, 2014
ddCongress Passes Bill To Add Armed Patrol To U.S. Poverty Line
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