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 author.

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.

If 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.

Many 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?