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Powers Of The Legislative Branch Essay

Legislative Branch Rules Everything Around Essay

The Branches of Government
It all goes back to the framers of the Constitution, who are the Founding Fathers. They wanted to form a government that did not allow one person or group to have too much control and authority. The Articles of Confederation was created and taught them that there was no need to have a centralized government. The Framers wrote the Constitution to provide Separation of Powers. It each has its own responsibilities of its own yet at the same time, they work together to make the country better and run smoothly. In lots of different ways they all need each other. It assures the rights of citizens so they are not ignored or disallowed. Overtime, times have changed and they aren’t a fair and equal government. This is completed through checks and balances. This system was built so that no one branch of our government could become too powerful. ‘Checks and balances’ prevent tyrannous attention of power in any branch and to protect the rights and liberties of citizens. Each branch uses its powers to check the powers of the other branches in order to uphold an equal balance of power among the three branches of government. The three branches are the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
In spite of this, the Legislative Branch has the most power of all the other two branches of government.
In the Constitution, Article I establishes the legislative making branch of government in the formation of a bicameral Congress. This system provides checks and balances. After much debate with this, The Founding Fathers agreed on the creation of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The main task of these two bodies is to create the laws. Its powers include passing laws, originating spent bills (House), impeaching officials (Senate), and approving treaties (Senate). The legislative branch basically provides assistance and supports services for the Congress. There are agencies such as Liberty of Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Government Printing Office, and are examples of support services for the Congress. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention from larger and more populated states wanted congressional depiction to be based upon population. Afraid of power, delegates from minor states wanted equal representation. The Great Compromise resulted in creation of the two houses, with representation based on population in one and with equal representation in the other. Now members of Congress are elected by a straight vote of the people of the state they represent. The Senate was sighted as representative of state governments, not of the people. It was the responsibility of Senators to make certain that their state was treated equally in laws. The president also needs their approval on bills to raise money and all laws must pass before going to the president. Some of the powers they have are: to declare war, raise and support armies, regulate commerce, and more. One’s they did not have are: cannot suspend Habeas Corpus, cannot...

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Legislate - to make law

Legislature - A body of lawmakers (Congress, Assembly, etc.)

Legislator - An individual lawmaker

When our system of government was created the fears that our founding fathers had about tyranny still existed. To prevent the abuse of power several systems were created. Federalism was created to ensure that state governments could exercise local control and Separation of Powers was created to further divide the power of the national government. Separation of Powers has within it a system of checks and balances. These checks and balances set one branch of government against the other to ensure a healthy competition. This competition safeguards against one branch gaining too much power.

Internally, the legislative branch has its own way of balancing power. The legislative branch, as you know is broken up into two parts or houses. This is known as a bicameral legislature. Each of the houses of Congress has its differences and there are something they must do together as well. See the charts below as a guide:

Must both pass a bill in order for it to become a law.

Must both vote to override a presidential veto with a 2/3 vote in order to override.

Must both vote to propose and amendment by a 2/3 vote.

STEP ONE - An idea is developed

Ideas can be generated by a variety of sources.

  • Individual citizens and citizens groups may pressure members of government to take an action.
  • Members of local government may request that members of a higher level of government take action.
  • Interest Groups (organized groups of citizens that share a common political goal) may pressure Congress.
  • PAC's (Political Action Committees) may apply pressure. A PAC is like an interest group.
  • All of these groups may hire "lobbyists" to plead their case. A lobbyist is a professional who goes and speaks to congressmen to get something done.

STEP TWO - The legislation gets "sponsored" and introduced.

  • A congressmen, or several, must be interested enough in the idea to write it up and officially send it to the House or Senate with their name on it. This is called "sponsoring" the bill.
  • When the send the bill to the floor of the house or Senate this is known as being "introduced."

STEP THREE - The bill is assigned to a committee

  • The Speaker of the House or Majority Leader of the Senate assign the bill to an appropriate committee.
  • The committee debate the bill and holds "hearings."
  • The committee votes on the bill and either give it a favorable recommendation or an unfavorable recommendation.

STEP FOUR - The bill must get voted on and pass the House or Senate (wherever it started) with a majority vote.

STEP FIVE - The bill goes to the other chamber and repeats the process. THE BILL MUST PASS BOTH HOUSES!

  • If the bill started in the House it then must pass the same system in the Senate.
  • If the bill started in the Senate it then must pass the same system in the House.
  • Sometimes a bill does go through both at the same time.

STEP SIX - Differences in the bills passed in both houses must be worked out at "Conference Committee."

  • Conference Committee are the leading members of the House and Senate from both Political Parties.

STEP SEVEN - The bill goes before the President.

  • The President may sign the bill. It then become a law.
  • The President may veto the bill. It then may be overridden with 2/3 vote of the House and Senate.
  • If the President lets the bill sit on his desk for ten days without taking any action and Congress is still in session the bill automatically passes (pocket pass).
  • If the President lets the bill sit on his desk for ten days without taking any action and Congress ends their session before ten days are up the bill automatically fails (pocket veto).


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