A Bill Becomes a Law
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Unit 10
Legislative Lingo
Strategies and Power Plays
Exceptions to the Rule
Stats, Quirks, and Examples
House Versus Senate
The Legislative Junkie

Legislative Lingo

Unit 10

Cloture: A Senate procedure for cutting off debate during a filibuster. It requires three-fifths of the senators present and voting to approve the cloture motion.

Committee of the Whole: The shorthand name for the "Committee of the Whole House for the State of the Union," comprised of any 100 or more House members desiring to stay on the floor to debate a measure.

Filibuster: The use of time-consuming speeches and other parliamentary tactics to slow down the legislative process and force compromises. The Senate rule of unlimited debate facilitates filibusters. Filibusters can be thwarted by extraordinary majorities (see "cloture" above).

Germaneness: Relevant to the issue at hand.

Legislative Intent: When applying and reviewing laws passed by Congress, the bureaucracy and the courts consider the goals expressed for the legislation during debate and attempt to make sure the law is carried out consistent with the purposes members of Congress expressed.

Precedents: Widely accepted rulings of the presiding officer based on custom and the spirit of chamber rules.

Recognition: Being called on to speak by the presiding officer in a chamber. In the Senate, the presiding officer must recognize the first senator requesting it. When more than one senator desires recognition, the presiding officer makes the choice.

Unit Introduction





Home Unit 1: Introduction Unit 2: From Problems to Solutions Unit 3: Origin of Bills Unit 4: Bill Drafting and Floor Introduction Unit 5: Referral to Committee Unit 6: Subcommittee Review Unit 7: Mark-up and Subcommittee Voting Unit 8: Committee Action Unit 9: Scheduling Floor Consideration Unit 10: Floor Debate Unit 11: Floor Votes Unit 12: Ironing Out Differences Unit 13: Presidential Action and Congressional Reaction Unit 14: The Legislative Processes