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How Does a Bill Become a Law?

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MzNov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 08:58 AM
Original message
How Does a Bill Become a Law?
or in this case, what happens before Bush vetoes all of Nancy Pelosi's work?

Here's a little bit of info on the procedures.

http://www.vote-smart.org/resource_govt101_02.php

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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. First, the lobbyist writes a check.
Then the lobbyist writes a bill, and the payee of the check submits it to congress. I think there's a hopper.

After that, it all gets a bit fuzzy.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Hopper and gettin' fuzzy, eh?
That explains why bills have little irrelevant things attached that would otherwise not pass on their own... :( I thought that was cheating, shoving in those little irrelevant bits everybody knows wouldn't pass on their own...
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. The democracy Jefferson imagined, no?
Remember that Simpsons where the bill to save Springfield from the comet was rejected because someone attached a rider for funding "the perverted arts"?

So true.
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ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Watch School House Rock
I'm Just A Bill
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. This?
:rofl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dVo3nbLYC0

The Simpsons did a great parody of that video as well... couldn't find it on youtube though. :(
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Ya beat me to it! Perfect! :) nt.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. here it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y37MpPOthU

and If Ted Kennedy fights back, I'll say that he's gay :rofl:
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Strathos Donating Member (713 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I was thinking the same thing and trying to remember the words
Edited on Sun Jan-21-07 09:14 AM by Strathos
LOL I found them!

Boy: Whew! You sure gotta climb
a lot of steps to get to this
Capitol Building here in
Washington. But I wonder who
that sad little scrap of paper is?

I'm just a bill.
Yes, I'm only a bill.
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.
Bill: Well, I got this far. When I started I wasn't even a bill, I was just an idea.
Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called
their local Congressman, and said, "You're right, there oughta be a law."
Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I
became a bill, and I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.

I'm just a bill
Yes I'm only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well, now I'm stuck in committee
And I'll sit here and wait
While a few key Congressmen discuss
and debate
Whether they should let me be a law.
How I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Listen to those Congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?
Bill: Yeah, I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they
decide
to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.
Boy: Die?
Bill: Yeah, die in committee. Ooh, but it looks like I'm gonna live!
Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.
Boy: If they vote yes, what happens?
Bill: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.
Boy: Oh no!
Bill: Oh yes!

I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I'll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: You mean even if the Whole Congress says you
should be a law, the president can still say no?
Bill: Yes, that's called a veto. If the president vetoes
me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote
on me again, and by that time you're so old...
Boy: By that time it's very unlikely that you'll become
a law. It's not easy to become a law, is it?
Bill: No!

But how I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Congressman: He signed you, Bill!
Now you're a law!
Bill: Oh yes!!!
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ChazII Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Good job!
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CAG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. Mr. President, I would hope you would know that by now.... :-)
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. He would have had to start a major conflagration in the ME,
then shred the constitution. That is how a bush became law.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. I want to see a description of
'How A Bill Becomes A Law With A Signing Statement Attached'

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/bigtree
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. a bill becomes a law when corporations contrubute sufficient funds . . .
to a sufficient number of Senators and Members of Congress to get them to vote for it . . .

in many cases, the bill is written by the corporations themselves, or their representatives on Capitol Hill (otherwise known as lobbyists) . . . this is especially true when the bill concerns regulation of a corporation's particular industry (or lack thereof) . . .
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Or sometimes agents for the whole fucking industry ...
Edited on Sun Jan-21-07 09:14 AM by cool user name
... as in the energy industry, will have secret meetings with the Vice President and come to a consensus about a policy that benefits said industry, thus bypassing the whole stupid bill thing anyway!

Bills? We don't need no steeenking bills!

:wtf:
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
12. Here is an in-depth discussion:
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. K & R
Can we get some more Rs and move this to the Greatest Page? Seems too many in America don't get this basic stuff in school anymore. We need to help more people understand the way the system is set up.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I think people really do need that refresher course in Schoolhouse Rock.
What can I say? I had that damn song running through my head in 12th grade American Government class and it helped me get A's!

Of course, back then there was no part that went:

I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill
And I'm sittin' here on Capitol Hill
Well now I'm off to the White House--being signed sure feels fine!
But what's this other statement for the President to sign?
If he signs it, he can ignore me!
How I hope and pray that he won't
He won't say, "They want you--but I don't!" :shrug:

Boy: You mean, even if the President doesn't VETO you,
it doesn't mean he has to OBEY you once you become a law?

Bill: No!
If he signs me only because he thinks it's politically expedient,
or because he thinks his veto will be overriden if he vetoes me,
he can sign a signing statement that says he doesn't agree with me.
Then he doesn't HAVE to follow me at all!
At least he THINKS he doesn't have to!

Boy: But why?

Bill: Because, well, he's the President!
And he's the Decider!
Doesn't that suck??

Boy: Yeah!

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MzNov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Thanks, my original plan was just to give people a refresher
in how things are supposed to work. Now that they might actually work the way they are supposed to!

:dem:
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. The info not included in the schoolhouse rock is leadership and conference committees
In the House, if the majority leadership wants to kill a bill they will often schedule a vote when they know people who will vote for it will be out of town. Either that or they simply won't let certain bills be scheduled for debate.

Conference committees are also a huge tool for the majority party in legislation. Theoretically conference committees exist so that differences between the House and Senate can be resolved. In reality, the leadership in the House doesn't let minority members sit on these committees (perhaps Pelosi has changed this) so that the majority party is stacked. What this does is allow the majority to cut out amendments (usually introduced by minority party members in the Senate) that they don't like. Usually these are big appropriations bills and so Senators can't filibuster their passage just because their amendment got cut out because they would get attacked for slowing down the business of the federal government.
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