A Bill Becomes a Law
Home About the Project Citations Site Map Contact the Author
Unit 5
Strategies and Power Plays
Exceptions to the Rule
Stats, Quirks, and Examples
House Versus Senate
The Legislative Junkie

Strategies and Power Plays

Unit 5


1. Committee Assignment: Sponsors of legislation attempt to improve its chances by getting it assigned to a committee on which they serve and where they can shepherd it through the process.

COMING SOON! [Video: Committee assignment rationale?]

2. Multiple Referral: Sending a piece of legislation to more than one committee increases its chances of passage by creating competition between committees to do their work well and quickly. This is rare in the Senate. Under current House rules, however, bills can be split between committees or referred to different committees sequentially but not simultaneously.

COMING SOON! [Video: Multiple referral]

3. Creative Drafting: Bills are often drafted with particular committees in mind. Committees are not random samples of either chamber and have particular preferences. For example, a bill to use National Park Service personnel to teach environmental stewardship could go to either the Education or Interior Committees.

COMING SOON! [Video: Mention of own committee]

Unit Introduction







Home Unit 1: Introduction Unit 2: From Problems to Solutions Unit 3: Origin of Bills Unit 4: Bill Drafting and Floor Introduction Unit 5: Referral to Committee Unit 6: Subcommittee Review Unit 7: Mark-up and Subcommittee Voting Unit 8: Committee Action Unit 9: Scheduling Floor Consideration Unit 10: Floor Debate Unit 11: Floor Votes Unit 12: Ironing Out Differences Unit 13: Presidential Action and Congressional Reaction Unit 14: The Legislative Processes