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LEGISLATION Outline - Legislative Process Players...

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Legislative Process Players Legislators (House = 2 year terms, Senate = 6 year terms) Self-interest – Getting reelected, getting elected to higher office, prestige, fame, importance, money and influence current and future, rent seeking. Strategic voting – compromise, logrolling, omnibus bills Apparently mostly motivated by constituent interests Pork barrel politics Committee appointments to enable rent-seeking Executive (President and agencies) President exerts substantial influence over the political agenda. Bargaining Resources – The veto; agency favors; party and campaigning favors; agenda-related resources; information generation, money, pardons, commission seats. Courts, especially Supreme Court (Interpretation) Interest groups and their lobbyists and members (diffuse or narrowly focused) Grassroots Corporations Coalitions Voters with shared interests, like women, minorities, Christians Manufacture of and Distribution of Information Provide lawmakers with funds and possibility of future jobs Two different theories about why we want the legislation to jump through a bunch of hoops. Republicanism – what we should do is structure the government in ways that enforce deliberation. Liberal theory – we all know that things do not all occur in response to the public interest and therefore we should fear the government and we should make it difficult for legislation to actually be enacted. Note on How a Bill Becomes a Federal Law pg. 25 4 aspects of policy making: setting the agenda specifying alternatives from which a policy choice is to be made choosing among the alternatives; and - 1 -
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implementing the decision colloquies – rehearsed questions posed to the bill’s sponsor in order to build a legislative record on some issues. Inertia principle of bills Bills are inert – they are kept bottled up in committee until an outside force gets them moving: Public demand Lobbying Effective sponsor Meritorious or clearly needed legislation As a bill gets closer to passage, its momentum makes it harder to kill or amend Energy spent early in the process is more efficient that energy expended late in the process. Advantage of early lobbying – fewer legislators involved, so fewer people to persuade Limits on Legislative action Bicameralism requirement – laws must be approved by both chambers Revenue bills must originate in House – Origination Clause Presentment requirement – laws must be signed by president or veto overridden Constitutional limits Due process and Equal Protection Federalism Separation of powers and delegation Time and Manner clause for elections First Amendment freedom of speech Equal protection Chamber rules – determine how bills are treated Election and fundraising needs Interests of constituents Passing Bills Proponents convince legislator to introduce a draft bill Bill is sent to one or more committees by the presiding officer of the legislative chamber.
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