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The Hurdles in the Lawmaking Process Essay

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Updated: Mar 12th, 2020

Out of these thousands of bills proposed each year, only a few become law. The Constitution gives three conditions for passing bills. These are a majority Senate vote, a majority vote by House of Representatives and Presidential assent. Despite this seemingly short and simple process described in the Constitution, passing bills involves much more hurdles. This paper is an analysis of the hurdles involved in the law making the process.

The first hurdle is the committee stage of passing a bill. A proposed bill is given to a committee to go through it and recommend any desirable changes. The committees cannot go ththe rough all bills, and therefore they divide themselves into subcommittees. Getting a subcommittee to agree to the proposals of a bill and pass it to the committee for approval is usually a major hurdle.

Proposers of bills have to come up with strategies of convincing these subcommittees to accept their proposed bills. Getting committee approval is also a challenge.

It is, however, important to note that the committee hurdle is not as challenging as the subcommittee hurdle because the committee mostly accepts the recommendations of the subcommittee. The next hurdle is the Rules Committee through which most of the proposed laws pass. Some bills may by-pass the Rules Committee by exception. This is usually the case for popular bills.

The second hurdle is that a bill has to get majority votes in the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is a major hurdle because it has been the tradition for both houses to be divided according to the parties of the members. This means that a bill proposed by a Democrat may face problems in Senate and the House of Representatives if the majority of the members in both houses are Republicans.

Bill sponsors have to convince members to vote for the bill for it to pass both houses. After this approval, the houses may decide to have special committees for discussing contentious issues to come up with a compromise bill that everyone agrees to. After that, the corrected bill must get the approval of both houses by a majority vote.

This is usually not a major hurdle because members of the houses have reached a compromise for the bill. The main hurdle is in the special subcommittee because it is not easy to reach an agreement where everyone agrees to compromise.

The last hurdle is Presidential Assent. The President is sent the bill to assent to it after the Senate and the House of Representatives approved it.

If the President is not happy with the bill, he/she can return the proposed law to Congress and explain to Congress why he/she does not agree with the proposals in the bill. When the President does that, he/she is said to have vetoed the bill. This is normally followed by a Congress vote. The bill only becomes law if two-thirds of the members of Congress vote for it.

As evidenced in the discussion above, the law making process has many hurdles. The main ones are passing the committee stage, getting a majority vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives and getting the President’s signature. This process is important because if faulty bills were passed, they would have serious repercussions on the citizenry.

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