Legislative History Understanding The Senate And The House

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Did you know that it’s been over 200 years since the Constitution was created? As long as the Constitution has existed, people have been questioning it. For that reason, we have a system in which it can be changed and amended when necessary, without taking away from people’s freedoms. With that being said, lots of Americans remain shockingly unfamiliar with the Constitution, as well as how it works and their country’s legislative history. Legislative history doesn’t just refer to legislature that affects the entire nation, but legislature that affects a single state. A state’s legislative history should be accessible to citizens curious about why their laws are the way they are, and how they can be changed. Of course, state rules regarding legislature vary. Luckily, California’s are fairly open. Thanks to a decision fifteen years ago, in California the public has the right to access government records not just as printed pages, but in any form available, including electronic records. This makes legislative history research easier for people, whether they’re history students looking to research something for a paper, or lawyers getting ready to challenge legislature that they find unfair or illegal. With that being said, we’ll look into some of the most basic rules surrounding our lawmakers, and how they keep them in check.

Congress: Two Halves Make A Whole

When doing legislative research, people often notice quickly that the United States has a unique system. Its Congress is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, two very different bodies that ultimately intersect. They play an important part in the system of checks and balances upon which the United States depends. The legislative branch of the government checks the president’s power, as does the Supreme Court — though of course, who checks who depends on the issue at hand. The main point, however, is that this system prevents one person or one small group from controlling the entire government. Congress often focuses on bills, with the cumulative amount of bills enacted by Congress for December in the first year of session being 33%. Of course, even if a bill is passed by the Congress, the president has 10 days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill. Congress is also responsible for making amendments to the Constitution — though any proposed amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

From Terms To Age Limits: How We Regulate The Senate

Federal regulations are important when it comes to the Senate — because at the end of the day, the Senate is responsible for much of what gets done in government. A Senator has an enormous amount of responsibility, and therefore there are automatically certain restrictions upon who can’t and can become a Senator. For one thing, a Senator has to be at least 30 years of age. This ideally ensures some life experience and a certain degree of maturity — although we all know that this isn’t necessarily guaranteed. A Senator must also have been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years prior to running for office, and must be an inhabitant of the state in which they’re running. There are a finite number of seats for potential Senators to vie for; regardless of population or area, each state provides two Senators, meaning there are 100 members of the Senate. There is also a six year term limit for Senators, and therefore one-third of the total Senate membership is elected every second year. Right now, over 300 bills are awaiting Senate action.

The House Of Representatives: Working In Conjunction With The Senate

The House of Representatives may have more members than the Senate, but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically more powerful. The House is made up of people who represent congressional districts, and thus represent the interests of their districts. While the Senate also focuses on issues like presiding over impeachment trials and dealing with treaties, while the House of Representatives focuses more on bills and the legislative process.