At the time the Constitution was written, the framers were fearful of tyranny after experiencing the imperial rule of the British. Consequently, they gave the most power to Congress in order for them to be able to check the power of the Executive. Congress was to be directly representative of the American people. It would be a bicameral legislature with a Senate and a House of Representatives. The House of Representatives would be made up of officials voted in every 2 years, and whose numbers are determined proportionate to the population of the state- for example, Alaska being a small state, only has 1 representative, whereas California, being the most populous state, currently has 53 representatives.
A third disparity is that senators are elected to 6-year terms, while representatives are elected to serve 2-year terms. Every two years, the nation holds an election for members of Congress. At that time, all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for re-election. By comparing the Senate and the House of Representatives we conclude that there are two major similarities between them. For e.g.
Lorimer had a reputation for involvement in shady deals, but always seemed to stay clear of any consequences. He was seated by the U.S. Senate in June of 1909, after many months of deadlock in the Illinois state legislature. Just a year later, the Chicago Tribune reported that one of the legislatures claimed he was paid $1,000 to cast a vote for Lorimer. The investigation uncovered more bribes of up to $100,000 to buy his election. Finally, in 1912, Lorimer was banished from the senate.
Bills can be introduced to both the House and the Senate at the same time or individually. The difficulty with introducing a bill to both sides of congress at the same time is the bill would need to pass both sides with identical language. With this being so unlikely a bill usually goes through one side then the other and still will usually need a conference committee to make it identical. More bills start in the House than the senate because the house has 538 members compared to just 100 in the senate. After a bill is written it needs to be introduced into the House or the Senate.
Many bills are never reported out of the committee, in a typical congressional session 95 percent of the roughly 8,000 bills introduced die in committee. (Ginsberg, Lowi, Weir, Champagne & Harpham p. 457) If the committee approves the bill it has a higher chance of being picked up by Congress. There are many hurdles a bill must overcome. After going through the committees it
before all bills are sent to the president for signature; they must pass through all stages in both Senate and House of Representatives for approval. This is significantly important in assessing how equal they because not only does the bill pass through all stages but neither House can override the wishes of the other. Secondly, both Houses must vote by two-thirds majorities to override the President’s veto of a bill. For example, in 2007, the congress overrode President Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Bill. In addition, in order to initiate constitutional amendments – a constitution amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both houses before it can be sent to their states for their ratification.
Each Congress is elected for a two-year term and holds two annual sessions. During that time, several bills are introduced. Of all bills, only 5 percent to10 percent of them are actually signed into law. While some may pass through Congress rather quickly, others lead to lengthy hearings in the subcommittees or committees and protracted debates on the floor of the House and Senate. (Cliff Notes) Few legislative proposals emerge from the process exactly as they were first written.
The setting was very professional and colorful, looking much more advanced than that of 1960. The two candidates stood at their own podium during the entire debate and neither one sat down as Kennedy and Nixon had. Mitt Romney has never been in presidential office while Barack Obama is a candidate while still holding this office. Both candidates wore dark blue suits but Romney wore a red tire whereas Obama wore a blue tie, both standing out well from the set’s background. The time limit between each speaker was two minutes, instead of the three for the 1960 debates.
RETIRED TRIBUNAL At the spinal cord of democracy, Juries are a globally acknowledged tradition that has withstood the test of time, but is it all over now? JESSICA CRANE asks, has a retired jury really retired the palladium of free government after 800 strong years of prosperity? Increased demands for no jury orders that have streamed through the courts in recent years pose a great threat to fair trials and judicial stability. A jury represents the arbiter of fact who maintains a balance of power within the courtroom by acting as an independent and impartial fact-finding body1. Without a jury in place, a judge alone is more likely to exercise his or her power through autocratic decision making.
The House of Representatives originates and spends bills. The Senate impeaches officials and approves treaties. The soul duty of the Legislative Branch is to make Laws. “Under the Constitution, Congress has legislative authority, but that power is partly shared with other branches and thus checked by them” (Patterson 51). This describes that the legislative branch does not have power over any other branch of government; there is checks and balances always occurring throughtout the government.”Within Cogress, there is a further check on legislative power: for legislation to passed, a majority in each chamber of Congress is required” (Patterson 51).