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Dance of Legislation BY MRJoNES The Dance of Legislation is what an idea has to go through before it becomes a law Legislation may be introduced in the House or the Senate or even in both at the same time The only exception is when dealing with financial issues in which case the legislation has to start in the House An example would be the issue of free tuition Any member of Congress voting or non-voting can introduce any idea into the Congress Once the idea has been introduced it has two years to get through the Congress If it does not succeed within the two years it has to start all over again This is due to the two year cycle of the House On average around 13000 ideas are proposed in Congress each year and of these 13000 only about 400 actually become law less than 5 The House committees are usually made up of around 20 to 50 representatives whilst the Senate committees are made up of 10 to 20 senators The chairman of any committee is typically the majority-party member who has served the longest on the committee The idea that has been submitted is sent to a committee who handles the idea In the case of free tuition the idea would be sent to the Education and Labor Committee From here it is delegated to a sub-committee of the Education and Labor Committee most likely the Higher Education Committee In the sub-committee the idea or bill has to go through three stages the hearing the mark-up and the vote At the hearing stage a speaker is called in to explain the idea or sell the idea to the committee In the mark-up stage the bill is then written down line by line Then it goes to the voting stage Here it needs a majority vote to be successful otherwise the idea is dead Typically a majority
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