What Does Congress Do? | Scholastic
The writers of the U.S. Constitution thought Congress was so important, they listed it first! The House and Senate meet separately in the same building, The Capitol in Washington, D.C. Each Only about of those bills ever become law. Any such changes are made by amending the rules to meet new needs of the . for the President's signature, because they do not become law. Learn how laws, regulations, and executive orders are made and how to look them If the president chooses to veto a bill, in most cases Congress can vote to .
When the bill comes up for consideration, the House has a very structured debate process. Each member who wishes to speak only has a few minutes, and the number and kind of amendments are usually limited. In the Senate, debate on most bills is unlimited — Senators may speak to issues other than the bill under consideration during their speeches, and any amendment can be introduced.
Senators can use this to filibuster bills under consideration, a procedure by which a Senator delays a vote on a bill — and by extension its passage — by refusing to stand down.
What Does Congress Do?
A supermajority of 60 Senators can break a filibuster by invoking cloture, or the cession of debate on the bill, and forcing a vote. Once debate is over, the votes of a simple majority passes the bill.
A bill must pass both houses of Congress before it goes to the President for consideration. Though the Constitution requires that the two bills have the exact same wording, this rarely happens in practice.
United States Congress - Wikipedia
To bring the bills into alignment, a Conference Committee is convened, consisting of members from both chambers. The members of the committee produce a conference report, intended as the final version of the bill. Each chamber then votes again to approve the conference report.
Depending on where the bill originated, the final text is then enrolled by either the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, and presented to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate for their signatures. The bill is then sent to the President. When receiving a bill from Congress, the President has several options. If the President agrees substantially with the bill, he or she may sign it into law, and the bill is then printed in the Statutes at Large.
If the President believes the law to be bad policy, he may veto it and send it back to Congress.
Congress may override the veto with a two-thirds vote of each chamber, at which point the bill becomes law and is printed. There are two other options that the President may exercise.
If Congress is in session and the President takes no action within 10 days, the bill becomes law. If Congress adjourns before 10 days are up and the President takes no action, then the bill dies and Congress may not vote to override.
This is called a pocket veto, and if Congress still wants to pass the legislation, they must begin the entire process anew. Powers of Congress Congress, as one of the three coequal branches of government, is ascribed significant powers by the Constitution.
All legislative power in the government is vested in Congress, meaning that it is the only part of the government that can make new laws or change existing laws. Executive Branch agencies issue regulations with the full force of law, but these are only under the authority of laws enacted by Congress.
The President may veto bills Congress passes, but Congress may also override a veto by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Article I of the Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and the specific areas in which it may legislate. Congress is also empowered to enact laws deemed "necessary and proper" for the execution of the powers given to any part of the government under the Constitution.
United States Congress
Part of Congress's exercise of legislative authority is the establishment of an annual budget for the government. To this end, Congress levies taxes and tariffs to provide funding for essential government services.Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6
If enough money cannot be raised to fund the government, then Congress may also authorize borrowing to make up the difference. Congress can also mandate spending on specific items: Both chambers of Congress have extensive investigative powers, and may compel the production of evidence or testimony toward whatever end they deem necessary.
Members of Congress spend much of their time holding hearings and investigations in committee. Refusal to cooperate with a Congressional subpoena can result in charges of contempt of Congress, which could result in a prison term. The Senate maintains several powers to itself: It ratifies treaties by a two-thirds supermajority vote and confirms the appointments of the President by a majority vote. The consent of the House of Representatives is also necessary for the ratification of trade agreements and the confirmation of the Vice President.
Congress also holds the sole power to declare war. Senate As the framers designed it, the Senate is more insulated from contact with the electorate than the House, and its members are expected to make decisions based more on experience and wisdom rather than ever-changing public opinion. In contrast to the House—where representation is proportional to population—each state has two senators, regardless of size.
This system of equal representation in the Senate benefits smaller states, as they have a disproportionate influence relative to their size.
Senators serve six-year terms, and there is no limit to how many terms they can serve. Only one-third of the Senate is up for election every two years.
According to the Constitution, a prospective senator must be at least 30 years old and have been a U. Like representatives, they must also live in the state they represent. The vice president is not only second in command of the executive branch, but also president of the Senate. If there is a tie in the Senate when voting on a piece of legislation, the vice president casts the deciding vote. Legislative Agencies and Political Parties In addition to the two houses of Congress, the legislative branch includes a number of legislative agencies that support Congress in carrying out its duties.
Though the Constitution did not mention political parties, they have grown into one of the key institutions of the U.
Legislative Branch - HISTORY
Since the midth century, the two dominant parties in the United States have been the Republicans and the Democrats. In both chambers of Congress, there is a majority party and a minority party based on which party holds the most seats. In addition to the speaker of the House, who is the leader of the majority party, there is also a majority leader and a minority leader. Both majority and minority parties choose representatives to serve as whips, who count votes and mediate between party leadership and regular members of Congress.