The AP Government students of Van Wert High School will be
submitting a weekly editorial to inform the public on a variety of
issues. They have been encouraged to research, take a position, and
defend their reasoning for having such thoughts. The purpose of these
editorials is to provide awareness and knowledge for the community and
to be thought provoking. The views expressed in these editorials do not
represent Van Wert High School, and are written solely by the student
So many people complain about the laws passed by Congress, but how many
really understand how difficult it is to get a law passed? When a bill
is proposed it is assigned to a committee. At this point, the chairman,
selected by the majority party, has the ability to squash the bill, hold
hearings or pigeonhole it. This last form means that it just sits there
and no action is taken. Assuming the bill is given a favorable
recommendation from the committee, it will now be read two other times
on the floor.
Debate typically occurs during the second reading. Once the House
passes the bill, it goes to the Senate or vice versus. Now that it is in
the Senate, it again gets assigned to a committee, and follows a
similar process of the House. Typically, modifications are made, and a
slightly different version is passed.
Now the bill must go to a
joint conference committee where members of both houses will convene to
hash out the wording, making both previously passed Bills identical. The
newly written bill now must be passed again in both houses. Once it is
passed, it is sent to the President, where he can sign it or veto it.
he signs, it becomes law; and if he vetoes, it is returned to the house
of origin where the veto can be over-ridden by a 2/3 vote. If it
prevails, it then must follow the same procedure in the other house. If
this occurs, the veto is over-ridden and the bill becomes law.
people think this is an unnecessary and lengthy process, but I would
argue it is a much needed system. Transparency is always best! The more
opportunities the people have to read and understand, than the less
likely our government has to be corrupt. The responsibility of a
creditable government lies with the people. How much time do you spend
reading what Congress does?