Two Houses of the Congress. Are they similar?

Two Houses of the Congress

The United States has got two houses under the Congress. The senator constitutes the Senate, and the citizens elect the representatives to represent the house of representative, known as the bicameral system of representation. Members of the House of Representatives are elected after every two years while members of the Senate are elected for a six-year period. Their differences begin right from their qualification requirements. To qualify for a Senate election, one must be at least 30 years old and must have been a citizen for at least nine years. On the other hand, to vie for the representative post, the minimum age is 25, and one must have been a citizen for at least seven years.
The legislation process in both houses has several similarities stage wise. Both start with the introduction of a bill. A bill is a proposal that is to be debated on and approved to become law if all stages succeed. All the legislative roles are left for the Congress.

They both mainly recognize public bills as private bills would mainly be to an individual’s advantage. Both houses have introduction stage where only members can introduce bills after which they are assigned designation numbers. The second stage in both houses is the referral to the appropriate committees for further study. In the third stage, the committee study, the committee discusses the bill and may assign different segments of the draft law to specific subcommittees for further scrutiny, hearing, and voting where the law qualifies to pass by a simple majority. If approved by the committee, the bill goes to the fourth stage, referral to the house where the bill is then taken back to the particular house. In the fifth step, debate and voting are carried out and again, the bill passes by a simple majority. The sixth step which is the formation of conference committee involves delegation from both houses. The conference committee unites the different versions from the other stages and comes up with a report. After this, both houses again vote to pass or fail the bill. The last step is the presidential ascent where if the president signs, it becomes law.

There are some distinct differences in the legislative processes in the two houses. The very initial one is that all revenue relating bills are left to the House of Representatives. These laws include bills to regulate taxes of the nation. Secondly, as the house of representatives is vested with the power to discuss the revenue laws, it is the mandate of the Senate to review and approve these bills.

The floor debating stage in the two houses differ. In the house of representatives, the Committees have the powers to control the number of amendments offered and even limit the debate as opposed to the Senate where the Senate can speak all their minds, propose the number of bills they require without being monitored and constrained by the committee.

Electing these members representing smaller constituencies is done after every two years as opposed to the Senate who represents larger areas of jurisdiction and after six years they can be elected.

He’s Got the Power. About the Veto of President

The United States president has the powers to suppress bills, legislations and policies he or she opposes. These powers are the Veto powers. It is one of the bargaining ways between the president and the Congress, some of the important legislations in the past century being suppressed and or even reshaped by this bargaining power. The veto is the most significant tool the president can use to prevent passage of law. The president can use this authority to threaten a bill in progress to bring changes to it even when it is still in the Congress. The president enjoys two types of veto powers: the regular and pocket vetoes.

Through the regular veto, the president sends back an unsigned legislation the House of its origin within a period of ten days, accompanying it with a veto message (memorandum of disapproval) for the house reexamine it.In the event, it obtains a two-thirds support from the two houses then it can pass into a legal bill of law. The first regular veto was issued to the Congress by President George Washington in the year 1792, and it was successful. The pocket veto is more authoritative than the regular one. The bill fails to become law immediately the president fails to sign it, also if the Congress has adjourned and if ten days pass before it returns to the Congress.

The presidential veto process can be regulated. The vetoing frequency by the president is affected by several factors, most of which are political. Many leaders fear opposing legislations frequently as they feel the citizens will see them as anti-revolutionaries. The president here may be seen as inflexible and not ready for change and hence lose popularity, especially when still eyeing for another term. Another factor would be the party numbers in the party. A president with fewer members in the Congress will seldom veto legislation as rolling over would be very easy in the Congress. Another critical factor is the term in which the president is serving. As concerned with the public image, a leaving president would naturally fearless as he or she is facing no new challenge to retain the office. The average number of yearly required federal laws can determine the annual veto frequency. To avoid lagging behind the limit, a president can reduce the vetoing frequency. Lastly, public demand is a very vital factor. A president may want to veto legislation, but if the public is for it, the vetoing can be stopped.

Vetoing signifies the president’s weakness. The president’s signature is a decisive factor of whether a bill becomes law or not. However, the president has to bargain with the Congress and cannot decide solely to dismiss a bill. However, this does not mean that the Congress’ powers have been limited. The Congress has got two options when the president sends back the bill to it. The Congress can decide to rewrite, review and amend the bill then send this corrected bill back to the president to approve it. The Congress can as well choose to show that it is still powerful by overriding the veto with two-third roll-call from both houses and this will have disapproved the president’s wish. Such an occurrence first happened in the year 1845 when. The Congress has got the final say despite the vetoing power of the president. It is just a bargaining process which is at the stake of the Congress. If the Congress decides, it can turn down the president’s veto by just overriding it.

U.S. Political Parties. History and Rise

United States Capitol

Politics involve people of different policy ideas, some of which may be shared among several politicians. In most cases, those politicians with common ideologies work together. A group of people with shared principles, who can nominate a single candidate among themselves to contest for a given legislative seat, with the aim of running the government or a small agency of the state as per the approved manifestoes, is called a political party. The legislative seat is always a public office. Political parties enable citizens to practice their democratic rights by allowing them to select best leaders and also send home the poor performers.

The first two political parties in the U.S.A were the Federalists and Anti-Federalists. These two were born in the 1790s when the need for democracy arose. Since then, the USA has been like a two party nation as these two parent parties have evolved into the two largest parties in today’s American politics; Republicans and Democrats. The birth of political parties in the U.S.A can be said to have delayed mainly because the founding fathers of America saw no sense in forming political parties. There are five eras in the history of political parties in the U.S.A.

The first period starts in 1796 where the first two political parties are formed, every party with interest to counter the influence of the other. However, the common goal was to see how to form a government, although every party had got its way to approaching this. The Federalists wanted a centralized system of government, with one central bank. They supported such economic developments as industrialization and improvement of infrastructure through the building of canals. As opposed to this, the Anti-Federalists were for the devolved system of government. They believed in the power states. They were against the issue of the government helping in industrialization and instead suggested farming. The Federalists won, but the Anti-federalists ensured that they weakened their competitors. The Federalists have been wholly undermined by the Anti-federalists and were almost non-existent by 1828.

The second era comes in between 1828 and 1856 consisting of the Democratic Party as well as the Whig party. Andrew Jackson was the defacto leader of the Democrats who formed the Democratic party and as in the Anti-federalist period were opposed to the central government system, central banking system and believed in a common man political system. The Whigs were against the Democrat’s democracy and got the support of the bankers and the industrialists. The parties later got divided due to the slavery issue. The Democrats split into the Northern and Southern Democrats. The issue of slavery increased the Republican’s popularity, and they managed to win the presidency. However, they faced challenges due to economic fall. In the 1900s, the third era had begun, and Democrats realigned into Progressive Party under Franklin Roosevelt who won the presidency in the year 1932. The progressive party formed a collision with the New Deal party and reigned up to 1968 when the Vietnam War shook them. The last error began in 1968 where there were still two main parties, the Republicans, who have significantly controlled the presidency and the Democrats who have been the masters of the congress. Today, the outgoing president is a Democrat, and the incoming one is a Republican.

The main reason for the rise of political parties in the U.S.A was the different ideologies on how to come up with a government and a constitution. Two sides have existed ever since the American political history. One side advocated for the central government and national banking as the other was for the power of states. These gave rise to the formation of the first two political parties in the U.S.A. The verge of political parties’ eruption was the clash between Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton in 1792 that led to the formation of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists parties. Hamilton proposed the plan to have a federal government and support for manufacturing that was opposed to Jefferson. Those that were pro-Hamilton formed the Federalists Party as the opponents formed the Anti-Federalists Party.

New Nationalism in Obama’s and Roosevelt’s Speeches

According to the speech made by President Theodore Roosevelt and Barrack Obama, it is evident that both men are concerned about the rising inequalities in the American society. Both leaders are passionate about fundamental human rights, elimination of racial discrimination, and equal opportunities to everyone in the society. Both leaders believe that equitable access to education is crucial in the alleviation of poverty among the vulnerable communities. Ironically, these gentlemen belong to different sides of the political divide, but they share similar aspirations and dreams for the American nation. In his speech, Obama invokes the visions of Theodore Roosevelt who was the first person to provide the new nationalism speech anchored of various critical national issues such as the need for special interests, the need to distinguish between human and property rights, as well as the need to regulate corporations. However, just like Obama, Roosevelt used this opportunity to also drum up support for his presidential bid by invoking the memory of Abraham Lincoln through the reiteration of the significance of the declaration of independence and the bill of rights in guiding the transformation of the American society. Obama’s address in Kansas has drawn a lot from the speech made by Roosevelt in the same place, and hence it would be interesting to understand the nature of the conversation that both individuals would have if they got a chance to have a dialogue.

In the initial speech provided by Roosevelt, he vehemently criticized what he referred to as the square deal, which Obama also referred to when he made his address in Kansas. Both men used their speeches as a foundation upon which they anchored their political campaigns for the presidency. According to Obama and Roosevelt, they espoused that for the American nation to eliminate economic disparities in its society, there was the need for significant constitutional changes. Roosevelt perceived American history as a struggle between those have more they have legally earned and those who earned greater wealth than they currently possess. President Roosevelt and Obama concur that the significance of the struggle to liberate America was anchored on the desire to ensure equal access to opportunity, eliminate special privileges, as well as offer meaning to the lives of all American citizens. However, Roosevelt was opposed to rapid change, although he was a strong proponent for equal opportunity. Nonetheless, unlike Lincoln, Roosevelt interpreted the new birth of freedom to imply that the boundaries of special privileges should be eradicated, which would eventually result in a conflict between classes. Roosevelt misleadingly perceived that this struggle would be against special interests such as the struggle led by Lincoln against self-governance and slavery under the Constitution.

In his speech, Obama constantly places blame on the American economic woes on something he referred to as corporate greed. Obama argues that there is a significant degree of collateral damage that has occasioned a sense of mistrust between Main and Wall Street. He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at his Republican opponents because of their perceived and implied eagerness to roll back the reforms in the financial sector to the previous laws that caused the 2008 economic recession in the United States. The paradigm that holds that the greater wealth at the helm produces employment and earnings for the masses below depict the level of individualism and the skepticism of allowing too much involvement from the government. Obama argued even though this paradigm is suitable for the elite class, this has never been and will not be a solution to the challenges facing a majority of the poor people living in America. In this regard, Obama espouses that the American society has already gone through radical transformations from the community that existed during the days of the founding fathers. Through national efficiency, President Roosevelt demands that real democracy should be anchored on the needs of individual rights. This implies that the government and the society should allow people to gain wealth only in a manner that benefits the wider needs of the community. Therefore, there is the need to enhance the degree to which government can influence and control certain aspects of the economy, for instance, through the creation of a Federal Bureau of Corporations. Additionally, progressive inheritance and income taxes can be levied on multibillion fortunes. Moreover, the federal department of agriculture should be empowered to cover all the aspects of farm life.

However, to regulate the national economy, it is also critical to control private lives as well. To execute the objectives of the government of serving the needs of the people, Roosevelt argued that there should be a genuine and constant moral awakening. In this regard, the federal government should mold the education system and the family to encourage progressive results. According to Roosevelt, the new nationalism is anchored not only in a strong military and global influence, but also upon the nationalization of the way of life. Obama notes that the level of inequality in the US has been drastically increasing during the last forty years and there are no signals that it would decrease any time soon. Because of the changes and transformations in the economy, new factors have enhanced the levels of inequality. The primary factor being the huge wages and salaries offered to top officials and managers of organizations. As result of this high salaries, it has shifted demand in the market towards commodities that target the talents and preferences of these high earners. Since the wealth have everything they could need, they often tend to use their surplus income in pursuit of things that are relatively special. However, the truth is that these special things are often manufactured by organizations that unique talent that cannot be replicated anywhere else. Moreover, the wealthy do not contract simple architects, lawyers, doctors, or artists. They often go for the best and most expensive professionals in all categories.

Recent developments in information technology have enhanced the capacity of the wealthy to search for and access these professionals. This implies as the wealthy continue to get richer, individuals with talent and unique skills also benefit by increasing their wealth because of patronization. Therefore, as the elite spend, it increases the wealth of other elite practitioners. This continued increase in wealth among the elite has also had a negative impact on the political environment because the elite use their resources to access legislators. This implies that they have a greater capacity to influence or dictate public opinion by making donations to research agencies and political action movements. The results of these actions have been a decrease in estate taxation, lower incomes, as well as lenient business regulations. These transformations have resulted in higher concentrations of wealth and income among the elite, which gives them more political influence.

Roosevelt understood that a free market would only function well if the rules of engagement ensured that everyone was able to compete in an honest, transparent, and fair manner. However, it should not be perceived as an open license to loot whatever an individual can from another person. Therefore, inequality and exploitation should not be perceived as the collateral damage of progress. President Barrack Obama strongly supports these sentiments.

Perspective of Democracy in U.S.

James Risen has identified the obsession for Greed and is a major problem affecting people within a given society. Risen disclosed the obsession to greed through different ways; First, he introduces us to the East Rutherford Operations Centre in which the Federal Reserve deposits are secretly hidden. He demonstrates a lot of riches that are hidden there beyond imagination. He displayed the color of the building as dull and surrounded by almost thirteen- acre land and a huge fence that makes it invisible to the public and the outside world. No one would imagine that a building exists there. It almost appears like a secluded place. Risen describes some riches there to be amounting to 60 billion US dollars. This shows certain elements of Greed exercised by those who control the deposits.  While the federal bank is using the money as a security and power tool to keep its control over the American economy, the citizens around there may view this as a plot to keep off people from accessing the money.

The primary function of the federal bank is to ensure smooth flow of money into the economy of United States. This flow is done by making sure that the commercial banks have enough cash and credit balances to make render finance operations in the country. By controlling the financial system of the country, the Rutherford gives the executive (white house) power to have control not only for the US but also for other nations’ economies which largely depend on dollars to run their economy.

In 2003, in the during the America- Iraq war, especially in the aftermath of the ouster of Osama bin Laden from the control of Iraq, the journalist gives an account of the American greed which led them to steal money from Iraq. This money was filled into Dozens of pallets each carrying around $ 100 bills, loaded into big trucks and transported all the way to America and secretly hidden in the Rutherford building. This was a great injustice exercised against the people of Iraq. The Americans went there pretending to fight terrorism that was being perpetuated by the Al-Qaeda terrorists led by Osama bin Laden. Despite passing through places like Newark, they never sympathized with the residents of those locations but just continued with their mission of ferrying riches from Iraq to their country. The United States military was perpetuating these selfish actions under the command of the powerful sources within the US government. Instead of helping to redeem the Iraq from terror, they used their power to instigate war there which left many suffer up to date. Their power was also influential when they took over Iraq and instead start stealing money, wealth, and riches from them.

Furthermore, some of the money that was returned to the Iraq through Bangladesh got lost and could not be traced up to date where they disappeared to. It is suspected that the money was stolen by some of the powerful leaders in Iraq who ascended to the powerful positions in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden. These are also an element of greed. In spite of the suffering the citizens of Iraq had gone through during the frequent wars, Leaders still exercise their obsession to power and greed to still from the citizens.