May six. How a bill becomes a law--more or less!

I'll repeat for the -- so there are three elements in

this House and Senate. Usually done through committee but

already three roles in a sense that they play. One is the

individual legislatures introducing legislation. Two, they

hold hearings to see if they need legislation. So a second

is to see if legislation is needed and then introduce it.

So one is the introduction of legislation, whether needed or

not. And two is to see whether or not legislation is

needed. Hearings are held. And three is what we call the

oversight function. Overseeing the executive branch to make

sure that the legislation is actually being carried out.

Overseeing the executive branch. To see that legislation is

being carried out. So those are the three functions. Three

functions basically of Congress. And it's done through

committees. Most work is down through committees in

Congress. Each members of House and Senate serves on two

committees, sometimes three. There are sixteen permanent

committees in the Senate. They're called standing

committees. It doesn't mean that they stand. It means that

they go from session to session. So every Congress that

same committee will be there. The people on that committee

usually have first choice to be on it in the next Congress.

Each is two years, I think I mentioned that, because all

members of House of Reps are re elected every two years and

this is the 106th Congress. If the committee has a vacancy

because somebody left Congress than a new person can apply

for that committee and I pointed out to you that the

committees they want to apply for are the ones that are

going to help them bring home the pork and help them get

reelected and in their district. However, the party leaders

determine whose going to be on which committee so they may

not get the appointment. If they don't like you -- so you

better be nice to your party leaders if you want to get

reelected because you want to bring home the bacon to your


There are 19 committees in the House that are standing

committees. Now these carry from time to time in small

numbers but not greatly. The Senate and the House also have

what we call special committees. Special committees are

committees that deal with narrow issues and sometimes go

from session to session. Generally they're terminated

within a short period of time. Like there's a committee on

aging. It's a special committee. Committee on crime.

Special committee. So in both House and Senate the total

comes to about 22 committees with the special committees and

every now and then they also create other kind of ad hoc

committees. Is it on your word list? Did I leave it

there? Yeah. And ad hoc committee is set up for a specific

purpose and time. It's got a time limit on it and it has a

direct purpose. Ad hoc committees. It's a temporary

committee in contrast to a standings committee or in

contrast to some special committees that sometimes are close

to standings.

As I indicated before and I'll say it again, 99 percent

of the legislation goes to committees and most of the work

is done in committee from the hearings to the oversight

functions therefore most of the time if you were to go to

Congress to look you go to the House of Reps you go to the

Senate you look down see what's going on there maybe one

person speaking maybe two or three people are mulling around

they're not there. They're not on the floor. They're in

committee meetings. That's where the action takes place.

That's where discussions are held that's where interviews

are held that's where speakers are brought in that's where

people are questioned.

I said the leadership of the House and Senate determine

things and that's very much apart of it. Um, we'll talk

about that leadership in a minute, but let's talk about it

from a different perspective. The person who presides over

the Senate that is to determine basically what's going to

happen, he runs the meeting, he calls the place to order, he

recognizes people is the vice president of the United

States. He is president of the Senate. I think most of us

in this class know that the vice president of the United

States is Al Gore. Most of the time he's not there,

although he can be. Should be. But they're often doing

other things. He's doing state functions going to funerals

whatever. So when he is not there he is supposed to be

replaced by the president pro tem of the Senate. Temporary

president and sometimes tempore. Did I mention who the

president of the pro tem of the Senate was in this class

before? It's Strom Thurman. Remember we talked about that

95 year old man? Well obviously, he's not extremely strong

either verbally or any other way to run a meeting. It's an

honor rarely most although the person running the meeting

when the president's not there what actually happens is

since most of the time nobody's there any way he's supposed

to be there. He doesn't want to be there so they turn over

the function of sitting and running the meet to some junior

senator who really is new and sort of like pledging, you

know, they're getting even with them in some way.

The person who presides over the House is the speaker of

the house. He is a member of the House. The president of

the Senate is not a member of Senate except he does have in

cases of a tie vote. Because there will always be or should

always be an even number of senators since there are two

from each state. So that there is the good possibility that

ties could occur. The framers recognize that and they gave

the president of the Senate the tie breaking ability.

Obviously being a democrat, the republicans don't want to

see too many ties because they want to see -- they don't

want to see it broken. Now that I think about it, oh, that

was in the House that's why it was a tie. 213 to 213, yeah

it wasn't in the Senate. If something is close, the

vice-president's going to be there to get to vote. Let me

tell you, he knows. If it's important issue specifically.

How often does it happen? It happens a couple of times each

session. The vice president does get a vote; ties do


The speaker of the house is elected by the house to

preside and since one party traditionally has a majority of

the house the speaker of the house is generally the person

from that party and the most powerful person in that party.

How they run the meeting, how they make appointments, all of

that's determined based on the power of the speaker of the

house. We kept hearing the name Newt Gingrich, but of

course he was pushed aside as speaker and he resigned his

post in the house, and so he is know longer there and a man

name Hasket (I am not sure on the spelling) has become the

speaker of the house who seems to be quiet nonchalant not a

lot about him. He certainly isn't the colorful personality

that we often identify with the speakers of house. Many of

the speakers of the house have become world renowned because

they have been fairly colorful personalities. Certainly

Newt was.

In both the house and Senate right now, the democratic

party is a minority party. The republicans are the majority

party. They hold a small majority in the house of reps. I

forget the number, it's about two 25 to 2 something. 218.

Yeah it's pretty close. In the Senate however, the majority

is much wired; it's 55 to 45. So there is a very strong

power to the republicans have in the Senate over the house.

Obviously the president who can't himself introduce bills

are more likely introduce any bills he wants through a

member of the house more than the Senate. Why? Because

it's a better chance he'll get through the house or the

Senate since the democrats are closer in number in the house

then in the Senate. If they were closer in the Senate he

will have a senator introduce the bill. It's only logical.

In the house and the Senate both parties have minority

leaders. The majority party is called majority leader, the

minority leader is called the minority leader. The majority

leader in the Senate is the most powerful person because he

has actually in many ways more powers than the

vice-president who is just a figure head. The individual

who heads the majority party and makes much of the decisions

in the Senate power almost equivalent to the speaker of the

house is Trent Lott. Many people talked about him as a

presidential candidates because he had presidential hair.

And I don't know if any of you have ever seen him, he does

have this -- what do you call it when you have this big

hair? Pompadour. Which is there's never a hair out of

place. It looks lake a wig. It's very very stiff looking.

No, I'm not jealous of his hair at all. Clinton's got real

white, have you noticed how white he's gotten lately? Yeah

he's getting -- maybe he's doing that purposely to make him

more distinguished. They say that when Jerry Brown ran for

president he was 36 years old. When he was trying to so he

died the side burns on his hair to make his side burns look

older. But in any case, Trent Lott is the majority leader

in the Senate. The minority leader is a man named Tom

Daschle. And he is the most powerful Democrat. In the

house of reps, the minority leader -- I'm sorry the majority

leader the republican leader is a man that many people

thought was going to go bye boy was able to maintain his

power when Newt left, his name is Richard Army. Dick Army.

The minority reader in the house is a man who many people

thought would run for president too and he chose not to

leaving the door open for Gore, it will be very interesting

to see Gore's got one person who may give him the run for

the money and that's a man named Bill Bradely who is a

former senator from New Jersey who played for the New York

Nicks and is a very human dynamic person but not the most

exciting personality I've -- in any case the man who

everybody thought was going to run against Gore because he

doesn't like Gore and he is the most powerful person for the

democrats in the House is Richard Dick Gephardt. Dick. The

minority majority leaders determine the organization of the

party. They determine who serves on committees. And along

with other party leaders they determine who's going to chair

the committees although as I indicated the other day most

people who chair committees in fact the vast majority they

chair the committee because seniority. Meaning there have

been there the longest. However they have to be of the

majority party because the most members of each committee

are from the majority party because there is more members of

that party in Congress in the House and in the Senate.

Both parties in both the House and Senate have assistant

party leaders. The names of the assistant parties leaders

we won't worry about but they are called whips. They whip

their people in line. Although in actuality I guess maybe

it's the same. The term whip that's used for the assistant

party leaders comes from the English dog the whippits. They

are sort of the like gray hounds and used in the fox hunts

by rounding up the fox and so the main job of the whips in

Congress is to round up the members of the party. To make

sure they get out to vote. They've got a secondary

important job too and that's fundraising. So they are major

fundraisers for the party in the House or in the Senate.

And they are in charge of making sure that people vote.

Getting back to Washington if need be. That's pretty much

the structure of the leadership. The democrats sit on one

side republicans sit together on the other. Their leaders

pretty well dominate what goes on.

There are some hired positions. There are civil service

positions in the House and Senate that are important

positions. One of those civil service positions is the

parlimentarian. What do they do? Does anybody know? The

job is to advise the presiding officer on parliamentary

procedure. Meaning, how things are supposed to be run.

When you could take a vote, when you can yell out of order,

when you can ask for special privileges, when you can ask

for a point of information. Most meetings run according to

parliamentary procedure. Sometimes it is spelled out in

bylaws. Most of the time along with the bylaws we follow in

parliamentary procedure a little book called Robbers Rules

of Order Revised. If you belong to any basic organizations

they always have in there that if it's not spell out there

you will follow the procedure from Roberts Rules of Order

Revised. It is the Bible of how to run a meeting.

I learned years ago that by knowing Roberts Rules of

Order it gave me a hell of a lot of power when I went to

meetings. Sometimes people got annoyed at me because

definitely put you in a position because people are afraid

to violate Roberts Rules of Order because afraid of the

legal suits and things of that nature. The legislature,

Congress, House, and Senate have a lot of rules as Roberts

Rules of Orders a laws they can make up rules that are in

violation of Roberts Rules and Orders that's fine as long as

it's in the bylaws but if not you have to follow the Roberts

Rule of Orders Revised. So it is the Bible of parliamentary

procedure. These are hired positions. They're not members

of the Senate or House. They advise the preceding officer.

The presiding does not have to follow that advice. However

if they don't, you can vote to order them to. That's part

of the Roberts Rules of Order Revised.

There is also in the House and Senate a Sergent of

arms. What is a Sergent of arms do? Keeps orders order.

They are the individuals like the bailiff in the courtroom.

They have people working with them but their job is to call

things to order to make sure things don't get out of order

to watch the doors, if you will. And the House and Senate

also has a historian. I'm not exactly sure what historians

do in the House and Senate since everything is in the

minutes anyway, but I'm sure part of their role is to keep

scrap books and records of information and newspaper

articles and thing of that nature for future district. So

those are the hired positions in the House and in the

Senate. And that pretty well spells out the structure of

the House and the Senate.

So that takes us into the issue a bill becoming a law.

Many of you are familiar with how a bill becomes a law. We

talked about this probably because every Saturday morning

you sit in front of the TV and study how a bill becomes a

law. Don't you? Junction? School house rock? You

remember that? I understand it's back on. How many of you

saw the school house rock when you were kids? Wow, it was

back there? Oh, yeah, but they put it back on. It was gone

for twenty years literally and then they did a show in San

Francisco they made a musical out of school house rock. And

about a year ago they put it back on. I guess they got

tired of commercials they were running. Whole new

generation of kids they couldn't -- all they could see was

their brain on drugs. And in any case, I should have

brought the cartoon. I picked up a video from Toys R Us a

couple of years ago. It would have been fun. I forget we

have an open TV in this room, so we can use it anytime. I'm

a bill -- on capital hill. The interesting part about the

video is it's not bad. It's actually pretty good and as you

watch it you begin to realize one element and that is that

most bills don't become laws, and it is a complex process.

In fact it is amazing that any bill does become law, but as

I indicated the other day, most of the bills that do become

laws are personal bills, private bills. They're minor

compared to the major bills. And I talked about that in my

book and I gave the example about the friend of mine who

brought his wife into the country through legislation since

have wasn't allowed to other wise.

Legislatures are the only ones that can introduce

legislation. You can't. I can't. You have to remember the

House or a member of the Senate. The president can't. He

has to go through somebody in his party who is a member of

the House or member of the Senate. Senators introduces

legislation in the Senate, members of House introduce

legislation in the House of Reps. They can introduce --

(by interpreter) They can or can't?

(by teacher) The president does not make law. Can't

introduce laws. He's a part of the law making process

through the veto process. He's a part of the law making

process in that he can recommend legislation which in the

general way such as the State of the Union speech, or he can

recommend legislation by going to a member of the House or

Senate. The office of the budget and management that he has

often works with Congress closely with the House of Reps I

should say in this case to introduce and create a budget.

We have to go back and forth on it, but the budget itself is

developed and introduced in the House by members of the

House. In that sense the president is no different from us

except that he's got better connections.

Can bills be introduced at the same time concurrently?

That often happens. Members of the house and Senate

introduce a bill at the same time so that they can work it

out and maybe get it through faster. That way it doesn't

have to go through the house get through the house and go to

the Senate. They can also get together an issue joint

resolutions they have joint committees sometimes big

investigations, be it Water Gate or Iran contra controversy

scandal, they can bring their committees together or appoint

special committees. But generally they work separately. In

conjunction with the other house, but separately. Okay.

We want a bill passed. Our legislature decides to go

ahead with it. Depending on how you introduce the bill if

the legislator wants he'll require that you introduce the

bill to him and even write it out in legal language because

bills have to be basically written legally so that it can be

fought or developed or carried out in the courts. So if it

is not written legally it goes to the group of lawyers who

will put the bill in legal language. The consent there is

that nobody understands it but lawyers, right? In fact that

was a very big issue made by first Jimmy Carter then Ronald

Reagan. Carter actually gave him executive orders on that

that all legislation that at least from his angle on the

executive branch but that all legislation that he have

alleged to make in plain English. It's impossible to make

anything in plain English. Lawyers do not speak, they're

afraid to put it in plain English because they're afraid

people will find loopholes besides them I guess. I don't


So the bill is written up, you will go forth and try and

make the bill, if you can, bipartisan. What is bipartisan

mean? Bipartisan. Members of both parties. So what you

want to do is if you've already introduced a bill you may

want to get support from somebody from the other party. And

the point is that if you get members from both parties

there's a better chance of it going through the power of

obligation. Once you're ready to introduce the bill and I'm

not going to go through all of the details going through the

hopper and the clerk of the court, um, a bill is introduced

and it is given a number based on when it's introduce.

They're consecutive. But also based on the Congress. The

first bill introduced in the 106th Congress will have the

number one. In the Senate or the house. So the first bill

in the house is number one, for the house. The first bill

in the Senate is number one for the Senate in the 106th. To

distinguish where the bill began we put letters in front of

it. In the house the bill has HR in front of it. House of

reps. HR-756 would be the 756th bill introduced in the

house of reps. On the Senate, we have an S. 732 S-732 is

the 732nd bill introduced in the Senate. What would AB-30

be? The 30th bill introduced where? I'm throwing you off

here? In the assembly in the state of California. So you

can distinguish AB.

Now California has an a system whether -- what's the

other houses in California called? There are two houses in

the state legislature; the assembly and what? The Senate.

Yeah. To distinguish between a Senate bill federally and is

a state bill, state bills often have SB. Senate bill thirty

indicates it's a Senate bill in the state. It's a Senate

bill federally. Not too much confusion but just to avoid it

somehow. The bill once it's got it's number and name and

been written up, is sent to committee. 99.9 percent of all

bills go to committees. Does that mean that once in a blue

one a bill doesn't go to committee? Yeah. But very

unlikely and most bills die in committee. They never see

the light of day. They stay in the committee. They never

get out of committee. There are a number of reasons for

this. Oh, by the way -- it goes to the committee pertaining

to the bill. If a bill deals with the budget. It goes to

the budgetary committee. If it deals with military it will

go to an armed services committee. But sometimes there are

more than one committee it can go to. The determination

will be determined by the speaker of the house. That's

another power that they have. If he likes the bill he can

send it to a committee that he knows it will go through. If

he doesn't, he'll send it to a committee that's it will get

defeated in. The rules committee also makes recommendations

in the Senate as to which committee it should go to it

generally the first comes from the person who introduces the

bill. They also can recommend which committee they want to

study it doesn't mean it will get there but they can. The

bills as I say, in large proportion die in committee. Many

of the them die right away. From time to time, the

committee chairman have had what is called a the ability to

pigeon hold. Most pigeon coops have cubby holes where they

stay in. What's that got to do with the bill? A Pigeon

holding a bill is when the chairman of a committee stakes is

it into is a cubby hole and never gets to see if again.

Once it goes into the hole, or once it gets to the chairman

it can kill the bill by simply never having it discussed.

That's two. Three and we're out. I'm out of here I tell

you. The chairman also have an ability to ask the committee

to table the bill. To table, um, tabling a bill generally

means that it's supposed to be discussed at a later date but

when they do table it, it generally means it will never get

discussed. Tabling a bill generally is a way to kill the

bill. Tabling a bill. Can you see what's going on out

there. It sounds like they're dropping tile on a roof. I

wonder what's going on out there. Just curious. Well we'll

find out. That's weird that's a weird -- usually when you

say table a bill it's put on the table which means it's

being held off till a later date. In this case they seldom

bring it back. Then the chairman will decide which

subcommittee a bill will go to and bills will be examine in

subcommittee before going before the full committee. The

chairman has the capacity that maybe it will kill it or

subcommittee that might want to get it through depending

whether he likes the bill or not.

So most bills go to subcommittees where their chairman

are pretty powerful. The subcommittees will hold hearings

people will be invited to testify, people will be questioned

and generally they will make recommendations most of the

time the recommendations will also include word changes or

changes in parts of the bill. Then that particular those

particular changes then go to the full committee. The full

committee can discuss it. If the full committee decides and

the committees are much larger in the house and Senate the

Senate only has a hundred members the house the how has

435. Each person getting their say each person putting in

their two cents can go on and on and on. The committee can

decide not to send it out. In other words, the committee

can decide to kill it. Write it in committee. Sending it

out mean for full discussion for the full house. The

committee can kill it in committee. They can vote not to

send it out without changes or with changes. Or they can

vote to send it out with a recommendation for certain

changes. Or which is very unlikely, they can vote to send

it out with a recommendation to defeat. If it's a major

bill, that everybody is has been looking forward to they

probably will send it out giving everything an opportunity

to -- it doesn't mean that's what the house will do or the

Senate. Once it comes out of committee.

The functioning of the house and the Senate are a little

different. When a bill goes to the floor of the house

meaning to all the members of the house, it is broken down

into a smaller group. So you don't need as many people to

discuss the bill. There are 435 members of the house and

usually they decide that if there are two hundred members

present they can discuss the bill and take a vote on any

recommended changes with only two hundred people present not

meeting the full two hundred. However, once they take their

vote and that he make any change or decisions they decide to

do then it's got to go to the full house. All 435 members.

In so acting, the full house usually limits debate. If you

were to continue debating all the time you might be getting

nothing done.

The speaker of the house is powerful in this regard. He

sets the time for how long you're going to discuss the

bill. Let's say sixty people want to discuss the time he

says we will discuss it for three hours. That means each

person who is asked to speak on the bill gets three minute a

person. And maybe not realistic considering politicians

can't speak in three minutes but -- okay so they're given

three minute to discuss the bill. At that point, I may not

use my full three minutes. I may use two minutes and then

save a minute to rebut somebody else at the in. Rebuttal

means after everybody else has made their comments I talk

again saying why they were stupid are I made decide not to

talk for the full three minutes and speak for two. Fine

that I spoke fast and giver the other minute my other men to

else. Again the power of obligation I gave them time they

owe me time or something else in the future. Before I

forget is this Tuesday that I'm not going to be here?

Right? This Tuesday the 11th, right? The house then takes

a vote as the committee of the whole -- the house takes a

vote. And it's a majority vote can pass the

bill. Amendments can be added after discussion but the more

interesting he will men in the house is the ability to add

a rider to the bill. Riders are interesting because they

don't have to pertaining to the bill in the parliamentary

procedure in Roberts Rule of Order any amendments to the

bill must pertain to the bill. Sometimes either to kill a

bill or pass the bill are to get legislation pushed through,

that they didn't want to go to committee they add a sub to

the bill that has nothing to do with it at all.

For example I remember very years ago I think the bill

dealt with building bombers and they added to the bill a

rider that would allow for prayer in the school. Absolutely

totally different subject here we need to pray when the bomb

comes at us. They new it was defeated so the bombers were

defeated but a long was the -- which they new was blatantly

unconstitutional. Hey I voted for prayer I want school it's

not my fault that the atheist Congress defeated it. Well

they didn't defeat prayer in the schools. They defeated the

bomber bill. It bombed. So riders are a tricky way to you

know, in the house and Senate, you have to be present to

vote. You can if you for example if you need to go fishing,

you can workout a deal with somebody else. This guys going

to a junket to Hawaii and you're going to be there and

you've worked out you're going fishing. So you're voting

yes he's voting know so you can swap votes. If you have

somebody voting yes and you're voting know you can swap the

votes and don't have to be there. That's what's a junket.

Did I define it? Oh, okay. A junket is when legislatures

go on vacation supposedly to do some business and the

government pays for it. We're going to study the case of

shells and fish poisoning in Hawaii so we're going to

Waikiki and spent some days on the beach. Political

organizations often pay for them for the trip themselves to

go too on these trips and journeys supposedly for

investigations, yes. The PACS. Political action

committees. So junkets are government expense paid tours

that people question as to whether or not they have value.

If the bill passes the house and Senate, I'm sorry, the

house. It has to go to the Senate. The Senate has a

different way of after it comes out of committee. The

Senate has unlimited debate. The house has limited the

Senate unlimited debate. The reason well the fact that

there's unlimited debate in the Senate opens the door to

what we know as a filibuster.

A Filibuster is unlimited debate that allows a minority

in the Senate to talk a bill to death. Basically to talk it

to death. Once a filibuster starts, they can keep talking

and no business can occur. And they can talk all the time.

Against the bill whatever they want to talk about.

I mentioned Strom Thurman, he has the record for the

longest one person filibuster. He spoke for 24 hours and

six minutes and I think I mention that while he was doing

the talking most of the time all he actually did was read

from the Washington D-C-phone book. Which probably took at

least a few of those hours. Parliamentary procedure says

you're supposed to talk to the bill but the house and Senate

allow you to talk on other subjects and so he didn't talk to

the bill. Usually you talk and then you pass the ability of

the podium to somebody whose a friend of yourself yours.

Now the reason the filibuster is strong because nothing else

can be done and that means you can can't get paid you can't

get any legislation through and so many times people will

just say oh, to hell with it let the bill die even though

it's a small minority we have got to get this work done.

You can now in the filibuster. This was a period of time

you couldn't end a filibuster then there was a period of

time where it took 75 percent of the senators then two

thirds of the senators. Presently three fifth of the

senators can end filibuster. It's still not easy to do

basically step on somebody's toes. But you can end it.

Okay. Let's say the bill goes through the Senate. It's

gone through the house it could have gone through the Senate

and then the house. The bills that come out of the Senate

and the house the vast majority of the them have different

wordings. Why? Because membership in the house is quite

different from the Senate and they may not agree on the same

kind of issues. A bill cannot become a law unless it's

worded exactly the same in the Senate and the house. So

what happens now? Now a conference committee is

established. Conference committees an ad hoc committee just

for that bill and on that conference committee you sometimes

have from about nine to 27 members. The Congress committee

is made up of usually the leadership who have pushed the

bill and perhaps the leadership of the house and Senate. So

the people that have pushed the bill in the house and the

Senate get together to iron out the differences in the

wording of the bill in this conference committee. Each bill

has a different conference committee. So the bill is said

to go to conference. So that the words can be change. Who

can be changed to what -- what can be change to -- you know

the Senate gave a five percent raid -- so maybe the

conference will recommend a three and a half percent raise.

They try to work it out. If they can't workout the

differences in the conference committee the bill dies in

conference it's dead. If they can workout some compromise

in the conference committee the bill then has to go back to

the house and Senate for another vote. So once the

conference committee works out the differences the house and

Senate get to vote again. And the house says okay, the

Senate says we don't like it end it back to conference. So

it goes back to Congress they workout more deals then it

goes back to the house the house says okay we like it now

the Senate says we still don't like it the bill is dead.

Okay? So they can send it back to Congress or they can vote

know. If by some strange stance they vote yes and both vote

Yes, sir by majority vote the bill then goes to the

president of the United States.

The president of the United States has four options. As

of a few months ago he had five. He now has four what was

the fifth option. The line item veto that was given to him

by Congress was taken away by the courts. So, he know

longer has a line item veto he's got four option according

to the Constitution. Remember the line item veto was where

he could cross out any line or segment of the bill or page.

It could be overridden but it was a line item veto. A bill

comes to the president's desk, he signs it into law. Okay

he signs it into law when does it become a law? Well if

there's know date as to when it -- it becomes effective

immediately upon his signature is that in very important

legislation big legislation the president will sign his name

with a different pen for each the of his name. Anybody have

any idea why? Well it's ceremonial but it's more than that

why a different pen for each because he takes those pens and

gives them to the people present. Especially those that

work for the bill and then they frame it and pass it on to

their great grand children. Symbolic gesture which again

creates obligatory power. It's amazing how those little

things become so important in politics. The thank you

letters that you frame become important because you know

this is coming out of the president of the United States.

You know grand children and great grand children and my

great-grandfather met with president Lincoln. What would

happen if he sign it with one pen? He probably have to give

it to Monica Lewinsky. I mean I could, obviously but he you

know the game playing becomes very important for the power

of persuasion. And the power of obligation. That's all.

Okay. So he signs the bill into law or he refuses to sign.

Okay? He doesn't want to sign the bill. What happens when

he doesn't sign a bill? It sits there. For how long? A

week or two or something like this. No specific time

limit. You're right it's between a week or two. It sits

there for ten days. Then what happens? It dies. It

becomes law automatically. I guess I didn't tell you that

in this class. If the bill sits there for ten days without

him signing it after it is sent to him it becomes a law

without his signature. Note that is not a veto if he

doesn't sign it he simply didn't sign it why would a

president not sign a bill? Rather than veto it? Anybody

think of a reason somebody might not sign a bill and not

veto it? Maybe it's against his principles? Yeah it could

go against his principles but -- the bill is important. I

was just going to say maybe he doesn't want to look like

he's taking sides on the issue. Maybe not wanting to take

sides on an issue and yet you know it's important enough to

let it go through. There are a lot of reason that they

might not. It might embarrass him if he were to sign it.

But he lets it go. So it becomes a law within ten days.

The third option the president has number three, is to veto

the bill. If the president should veto a bill, he has to

say why. He specifically writes by he vetoes it. And then

it goes back to the house it originated it. Where it

started. If it started in the house of reps it goes back

first to the house. If it start in the Senate it goes back

to the Senate. And then the legislature has a right to

override the veto. If it goes to the house and the house

over rides the veto with a two thirds vote two thirds it

originally passed with fifty percent or more but they need

two thirds to override if it went back to the house the

house overrides it then it it's got to go to the Senate and

the Senate also has a override the veto let's see the house

didn't -- I'm sorry the house did override but the Senate

didn't. The veto holds. The bill is dead. If the house

gets the bill and votes not to override, it never has to go

to the Senate. Because the bill is dead anyway. It has to

be overridden in both the house and the Senate for the

override to take effect. I said this before I'll say it

again. The veto is a very powerful force. Only four

percent of presidential vetoes have been overridden. Are

you saying it's also two thirds or just the house? No.

Both the house and the Senate have to over with two thirds

vote. It's a two thirds vote in the house and a two thirds

vote in the Senate to override separately though. If the

bill is overridden, the veto is overridden, if the veto is

overridden the bill becomes a law. At that point or on a

day that it's on itself bill. But only four percent of it

overridden. So who would seen it? Nobody. It doesn't have

to be. Well I mean not nobody it may -- before a bill goes

to the president it's validated and deliver it is sign

officially boy the speaker of the house and the president of

the Senate. All they're certifying that it's passed so it

may well be but it may well be that they have to sign that

the veto was passed with you it's something that they're

just testifying to with they agrees with it or not. It

wouldn't surprise me. The fourth option is the pocket

veto. The pocket veto only occurs in the last ten days

actually nine of the session of Congress. If a bill should

arrive to the president and Congress is going out of session

in ten days, and then the president doesn't sign it, this

bill is dead. It is vetoed. Pocket veto. It the can't be

overridden. It is the most powerful force that the

president has. It's an absolute. Now when I say the last

ten days of the session, let us say for argument's sake

which is not the case that a session of Congress should be

365 days it's not a whole year but it's say it was but if a

bill came to the president win the first 355 days and the

president didn't sign it that bill would become a law after

ten days, right? But if it should arrive on the president's

desk between day 355 and 365 and he doesn't sign it then

that bill is pocket veto. There is nothing that legislature

can do it. They could re institute the bill in the next

session of Congress. Questions on the pocket veto? Okay.

Let's say that the bill becomes a law then what? Well,

there's another option interestingly. Somebody breaks the

law and challenged the bill in the courts as being

unconstitutional. Strange part about our society is that

before you can challenge a bill you have to have standing

and standing means basically have to break the law to

question the legality of a bill. So somebody breaks the

law, and takes it to court arguing it's unconstitutional.

Now depending on the bill it may take a couple of years or a

couple of weeks but it has to go to the Supreme court at the

ultimate in to determine whether it is constitutional or

not. If there is if they're willing to take it. Not a lot

of bills have been declared unconstitutional on the federal

level by the courts. A lot of state bills have in

violations of the federal Constitution but they do just like

they did with the line item veto. There are nine judges.

It takes five of those nine or nine but five of them minimum

to declare a law unconstitutional. Meaning it violates the

words concepts and spirit of the Constitution. If a law or

part of a law or one line in law is declared

unconstitutional the whole law is out. So what do you do?

Well, you introduce a new law without the unconstitutional

part. If you introduce it with a -- So you have to

introduce a new law without the unconstitutional part.

That's what's usually done. However in many cases Congress

decides to amend the Constitution. It can't be

unconstitutional if the constitutional says it's

constitutional. So they amend the Constitution. That has

seldom if ever worked. The American legislature the

American state legislatures the public do not like amending

our federal Constitution and so I can only think of one law

that was declared unconstitutional that they made

constitutional and it is not constitutional and that was the

income tax. The information act was originally declared

unconstitutional the 16th amendment was passed 1913 at that

point it became -- and so we pay an income tax. But when I

think about it I have to go through the amendments pretty

carefully but as far as I can recall that's about the only

one that was actually based -- there have been many attempts

from flag burning to abortion to make those things illegal

and many times they've gone through Congress with a two

thirds vote but they've died in the state legislature, they

have not passed. One of the ones that was very very

surprising and I'm still surprised it hasn't past. Most to

have the states before 1966 divided their state senates and

assemblies differently. The state senates for example in

California were divided by county. Each county had one

senator which made 58 senators. Therefore, Yolo county

which probably has about three people in it. Had one

senator San Francisco county would seven hundred thousand

people also had one senator. The assembly was divided by

population so Yolo county would have one -- San Francisco

county let's say 35. The Supreme Court said that that was

unconstitutional. It violated the concept of one person one

vote. Well how can we have a U.S. Senate and the house of

reps divided differently? Because that's in the

Constitution. But it didn't permit the states to do it the

big thing that was interesting was that the whole politics

change when it was declared unconstitutional because

previously the rural areas dominate state legislature.

People in San Francisco were being ripped used. People in

loss an were because all the money and all the decisions

were being made for the rural counties in the senates.

Which made sense they had the power because they had an

easier time of getting people into the Senate. Once after

1966 they had to have equal representation by reputation in

the Senate and the house, I'm sorry in the Senate and the

assembly, it took power from the rural areas and put it into

the cities. And now most of the major cities are really

controlling the state legislatures. That was passed an

amendment was passed in the house and Senate to allow the

state legislatures to be a divided according to section not

by population. At least one of the houses. And you would

thing that would have passed all in all but it did not get

through all of the 38 required states. It is still sitting

out there I don't know how many states have sign it today.

It wasn't one that had a time limit on it like the equal

rights amendment. So there are a possibility that it might

still change. Any questions on a bill becoming a law or any

elements of conference committee or the term that I gave

you? None? Are we sure? Positive. Speaks pour all of you

. so for the second time this semester you're going to get

out two minutes early. I will start the judicial system on

Thursday. A week from today.