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Lesson 3: Congress Expected Outcomes To understand the structure and process of the legislative branch, and to be familiar with both sides of the...

Congress now has some difficult times ahead - and some difficult decisions to make for the American people. After reading Lesson 3, answer the following questions:

Given what you now know about how Congress works and how a bill is passed, what is different about an omnibus bill? What is the strategy behind omnibus bills? Provide an example from American politics. Other countries, especially Canada, use omnibus bills, but since this is an American government class, please stick with legislation from this country, at the federal or state level.

(Please stay out of the politics and use the PROCESS of implementation as the foundation of your answer, such as reconciliation.)

Assignment responses should be no more than about 500 words. Chicago style format.

Lesson 3:  Congress Expected Outcomes To understand the structure and process of the legislative branch, and to be familiar with  both sides of the debate surrounding electronic voting and other controversies. Overview The US Constitution provides for "separation of powers" and "checks and balances," but  it is still fair to claim that the Founding Fathers anticipated that Congress would be the  most central branch of government – the branch that gave clearest voice to the diverse  opinions and aspirations of voters.  That's partly why its duties and responsibilities are included in Article I of the  Constitution.  The principal architect of the US Constitution, James Madison, made this  clear in  The Federalist Papers #51 : "But it is not possible to give to each department an  equal power of self-defense. In republican  government, the legislative authority necessarily  predominates." James Madison also feared excessive power in the Congress, which is why he and  others settled on the proposal for a "bicameral" legislative branch: a House of  Representatives and a Senate.  For a bill to become a law, it would have to pass both  houses of Congress, which is difficult. As James Madison continued: "The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the  legislature into different branches; and to render  them, by different modes of election and different  principles of action, as little connected with each  other as the nature of their common functions and  their common dependence on the society will admit.  It may even be necessary to guard against  dangerous encroachments by still further  precautions." While Madison and others were acutely aware of the potential tyranny of a single  despot, king or even president, they were also cautious about the concept of "direct  democracy," suspecting that Congress might become a vehicle for "tyranny of the 
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majority."  In such a tyranny, a majority would begin to restrict the rights of individuals  and minorities.   A Joint Session of Congress As James Madison wrote in  The Federalist #10 : “A pure democracy can admit no cure for the  mischief of faction. A common passion or interest  will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to  check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party.  Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found  incompatible with personal security or the rights of  property; and have, in general, been as short in their  lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” He saw direct democracy as a danger to individual rights and advocated a  representative democracy (also called a republic), in order to protect what he viewed as  individual liberty from majority rule, or from the effects of such inequality within society. "The tyranny of the Legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period." -Thomas Jefferson Alexis de Tocqueville, in  Democracy in America , also raised the problem of an overly- strong legislature in the 1840s: "The legislature is, of all political institutions, the one which is most  easily swayed by the wishes of the majority. The Americans  determined that the members of the legislature should be elected  by the people immediately, and for a very brief term, in order to  subject them, not only to the general convictions, but even to the  daily passion, of their constituents. The members of both houses  are taken from the same class in society, and are nominated in the  same manner; so that the modifications of the legislative bodies  are almost as rapid and quite as irresistible as those of a single  assembly. It is to a legislature thus constituted that almost all the  authority of the government has been entrusted.  But whilst the law increased the strength of those authorities  which of themselves were strong, it enfeebled more and more  those which were naturally weak. It deprived the representatives 
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Constitution has given the power of making law to the congress. There a long procedure for a bill
to become a law. Bills can commence in either the House or the Senate. Ones the bill passed in

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