Politic questions but not politics.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by maxpower097, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. maxpower097

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Ok I have a questions because just recently I've been getting into local politicin! I have a questions about gov structure I think some people here could answer and explain better then looking it up and then trying to figure it out. I say again this is not a political thread, more of a technical question about government structure. Usually this is allowed but MODs lock it or delete it if it goes bad or blows a finger off.

    Ok we have the Congress and Senate (National/Federal) Then we have the State Congress and State Senate which are (State) I know State laws passed by the State congress and senate can over rule or bypass Federal law. Then the Federal Law can over ride a state law once its accepted nationally. I read all these articles how a bill will pass Congress, then fail in the Senate. Or get tied up in the Senate. Whats the difference between Congress and Senate? Why do both need to sign off to pass a law or bill? Seems like just more people to get a kickback but I dunno honestly. Government always bored me so I didn't retain too much US history.

    Does congress control a certain group or industries and Senate another? I just wanna know why we have both and why not just one?

    I know this is basic stupid high school question but I'm sure someone knows the answer for me. I'll give you an answer in the future. :)
     
  2. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Originally, the Senate was appointed by governors and not elected like they are today. Their job was to watch out for the interests of their states. My guess this is the main reason for the parts of the legislative branch All spending bills must start in the house
     
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  3. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    If you have a house bill,you have a senate bill that is similar.The bills go to

    committees of house and senate, like house bill 100...senate bill 200 would

    be the same. Bill 100 and 200 would have to pass in the house and senate

    and Governor would have to sign it to become law. A bill can pass all committees

    and become law,but if the aportiment committee does not fund the bill there is no

    money to pay for the bill to be enacted. One question at a time make it easier to

    explain.
     
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  4. maxpower097

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    So my main question why a Congress and a Senate on a Federal and State Level. Seems as though they do the same thing its just one extra step for kickbacks. Are state congressmen more responsible for neighborhoods and state Senators for Citiies? And Federal Congressman responsible for Cities and Federal Senate for the state?
     
  5. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    First, not all states have bicameral legislatures (two houses), Nebraska has a unicameral structure.

    As pointed out by spinnaker. the original intent was for the House or Representatives to represent the people and the Senate to represent the interests of the states. This is still largely they way it is explained in schools despite the fact that the mechanism by which the Senate was suppose to represent the interests of the states was done away with in 1913 by the passage of the 17th Amendment.

    The purpose for this dual representation was that the Senate was envisioned as a more deliberative body that would tend to offset the impulses of the House. For instance, when people wanted the Federal government to "provide" something, the Senate would tend to curb that in favor of keeping responsibility and authority at a more local level. Given the explosive expansion of the Federal governemnt since 1913, a strong argument can be made that this mechanism largely functioned as intended before it was dismantled.

    Your statement, "Does congress control a certain group or industries and Senate another?" reveals a lot about your notion of the role of government. You seem to look at government as being a means of control, whereas the government set up by the Constitution was designed to prevent just that outcome. In many other countries, particularly those with command economies, the government establishes ministries (perhaps by other names) that exercise direct control over certain segments of the economy. The U.S. was intended to have a largely free market economy in which the role of government was limited. While that has largely gone by the wayside, we are still closer to a free market than a large portion of other countries.
     
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  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    If you read the constitution very closely you will note the term "kickback" is not even hinted at.

    Having both a House and Senate was an arrangement to keep large states from dominating small states, and is known historically as the Connecticut Compromise.
     
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  7. loosewire

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    Apr 25, 2008
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    A elected house or senate member has to file a bill, like texting and driving.

    It has to have backers to sign on ,then its debated in all kinds of committees.

    Like a pack of dogs chewing on a bone ,justtrying to get the best advantage.

    Texting and driving would be a friendly bill,not much way to find big business

    with extra money to spend.
     
  8. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    Loosie,

    Texting and driving is the same as "inattentive driving". You know, not paying attention, a law that has been on the books since the first person went speeding through town at five miles per hour scaring all the horses.

    The "there ought to be a law" crowd never applies a current law for a new application. They always want to be very specific, so the laws grow expotentially.

    You can't federalize everything. More government isn't always the correct response.
     
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  9. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    "You can't federalize everything. More government isn't always the correct response. "



    Hey, Joe; I would say that more Government, is Never a good idea.;)
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Careful, don't drift into politics. This is a thread about how the US government works, which is safe enough.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Do you mean in theory or practice?
    This seems very unsafe to me. More room to rant than the servers could hold!
     
  12. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    :)

    Like a group of vehicles stuck in a mud puddle. Ever one spinning their wheels and getting nowhere, and lots of mud slinging to get everyone dirty and mad at each other.

    Politics should be a spectator sport.

    Where is my popcorn? :)
     
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  13. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    Funny, people talk about congress and the senate. But we were taught that there are two houses of "congress", the senate and the house of representatives. Nowadays, people say congress to refer to the house. I don't thing that's correct, but I guess I have to go with the flow.

    Both US senators and representatives are elected by voters in state elections. However, senators are elected in state-wide elections and represent all citizens of the state from which they are elected. Representatives are elected by district and represent the people of those districts. Senators serve 6 year terms and representatives serve 2 year terms. 1/3 of the senate is re-elected every two year election cycle, while the entire house is elected at the same time. There are 435 house members and 100 Senators (two from each state)

    For a bill to become law, it must be passed by both the house and senate. One important difference is that it takes a super majority in the senate to bring a bill to a floor vote, 60 members must vote for cloture. As a result, a minority party can keep bills from becoming law by now allowing a vote on the bill.

    Each house makes their own rules, appoints their own leaders and committee chairs and members. Senators are typically considered more powerful than representatives, although the Speaker of the House is directly in line for succession to the presidency.

    As others have already pointed out, the two houses are a result of the desire to seperate and balance the powers of government. The idea is to strike a balance between rich state and poor state, big state and little state, city and rural, majority and minority, etc.
     
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  14. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    Yeah, I started to point that same thing out in my first response and thought about doing so a couple times since, but chose to go with the flow.

    "Congressman" is generic and applies to either a "Representative" or a "Senator". But anymore you have to just figure out what is meant by context because many Representatives and Senators themselves seem unclear on the distinction -- and I don't mean that they just use a different "evolved" meaning, but I mean that they don't use ANY definition consistently. Then again, I've known a Senator that literally believed that 3/5 was larger than 2/3.
     
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  15. loosewire

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    Can you get over having a gang of six or eight, what they decide...you have to

    deal with.....How did that happen..without crossing the line.....where does it say

    that they can get away with that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  16. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    It happens because in close issues it comes down to a few votes to decide which way the thing will go. There have been times when issues have come down to a single member of Congress who was the one vote needed by either side to swing it their way, so in effect you had a "Gang of One" that had the power to decide an issue for hundreds of millions of people -- and who made sure that they got what they wanted in many other areas in exchange for their vote. At least with these "Gangs of X" of late things are a bit more transparent and it's a bit harder for them to sell their vote at the 11th hour. But not impossible.

    I think the Framers should have required a supermajority to pass any bill and the complement to repeal any law. That would have been consistent with the notion of limited government in which only laws that have broad and lasting support get passed or stay on the books. I'm sure there would have been unintended consequences to that, as with anything, but I suspect I would be much happier living with those and I think it would have made our laws much more stable. In essence, it would have inserted a Schmitt trigger into the legislative process and prevented the kind of oscillation we get now. I don't think it would have taken much hysteresis, either.

    EDIT: Actually, I realized after I posted this and walked away that what I described above isn't a Schmitt trigger, but merely a shifting of the threshold. I do think it would be worth it, though. But to add a Schmitt trigger you would need to do something like require a 2/3 majority vote to pass a bill that institutes a new law but only require a 2/5 minority vote to pass a bill that repeals a law. Bills that do both would require the 2/3 to pass. Thus if a measure had broad enough support to garner the 2/3 majority to pass, the political winds would need to shift noticeably in order to get the 2/5 needed for repeal. I could even get behind a 3/4 to pass and 1/3 to repeal, but I would want to look at the possibilities for those unintended consequences a lot more closely.

    Some things you would need to put on a conservative (not as in "right" versus "left") autopilot. For instance, if Congress can't get enough votes to perform one of their mandatory duties, such as pass a budget, then the prior year's budget is extended automatically at 95% plus adjustment for CPI. Things like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  17. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    They openly admit that they don't read bills or understand them ,I guess there staffs

    have been running congress for years. The one thing stays the same ,attorneys have

    to sign off on the langage of the bills. That where the fine print is inserted and where

    a single word changes the meaning of a bill.
     
  18. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    And this, along with some other statements about the same time, marked a red-letter day in the decline of our government. Used to be that there was a concerted effort by everyone to at least maintain the veneer of integrity. Not anymore. Now it is openly stated that it is unreasonable to expect a member of Congress to read a bill before voting on it and that members of Congress have no right to complain about kickbacks and pork that is associated with legislation provided they had their opportunity to get some too.
     
  19. loosewire

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    We have learned so much...signing orders....exc orders....vacations and the number

    of air craft and support units and cost. Putting diesel fuel in gas suv.
     
  20. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Reality government?
     
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