Separated At Birth?
Over 5,000 bills were introduced in 2013 - 1,777 in the Senate and 3,624 in the House. Less then 1% passed both chambers and were made law.
The President cannot introduce bills; only representatives from the two chambers can propose new legislation.
The House and Senate have to both pass a bill before the President can sign it into law.
Many bills are introduced into the House and the Senate and considered simultaneously.
When the House and Senate have differences in a common bill, they hold a Conference Committee to work out a compromise - or not.
The Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader get to decide which bills come up for a vote.
Before the whole chamber votes on a bill, it has to get through a committee.
Most bills die in committee.
All members of Congress serve on committees. There are 45 standing committees and scores of sub-committees.
Hundreds of bills every session have to do with the "relief" of a private individual.
It takes an act of Congress to change the name of a Post Office.
The founding fathers designed the Constitution so that it could evolve with the people.
To change the Constitution, 2/3rds of the members of Congress must vote for it then 3/4ths of the States must ratify it by also voting for it.
The first 10 Amendments were made just two years after the Constitution was ratified and are known as The Bill of Rights.
There was no permanent income tax until 1913 when the 16th Amendment was ratified.
In 1869, the 15th Amendment guaranteed that the right to vote would "not be denied on account of race," 51 years before the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.
The most recent amendment to the Constitution was in 1992 when we decreed that Congressional pay changes would take place when a new session is sworn in, a concept that was first introduced by James Madison 203 years earlier.
Each session of Congress is two years long, to match with the election cycle for the House of Representatives. So the 112th Congress actually represents 224 years of governance
Did You Know?
"Liberty without learning is always in peril and learning without liberty is always in vain."
John F. Kennedy
Congressional Reps serve 2 year terms; Senators serve 6 year terms. That way there's always the opportunity for new blood at the same time there's steady leadership.
Can You Tell Who's Who?
If a bill is passed in one Chambler of Congress and not the other, it is not sent to the President and does not become law.
Elijah Cummins or John Lewis?
© Voters Voice, Inc. 2013