A Bill Becomes a Law
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Unit 9
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The Legislative Junkie

Scheduling Floor Consideration

Unit 9


1. The differing sizes and traditions of the House and Senate show up clearly in scheduling legislation. The smaller Senate works much more informally, with the Majority Leader consulting with the Minority Leader and proposing a schedule to be approved by unanimous consent.

[Video: Majority Leader announcing schedule]

2. In the House, an additional step is required. The House Rules Committee serves as a "traffic cop," proposing the timing and nature of floor consideration. The Rules Committee proposes a "rule" which outlines how much time will be allotted for debate, and whether the legislation is subject to amendment on the floor. "Open" rules allow germane amendments, "closed" rules deny the right of amendment, and "modified" rules specify the kinds of amendments allowed.

Video: Rules Committee Proposal [Requires most recent version of the RealPlayer. To find which version you have installed, open the RealPlayer and click on Help >> About RealPlayer.]

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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