Laws constitute the backbone of every society and help people to organize their institutions and enforce the order. The United States has one of the most exemplary legal systems on the planet, which makes it interesting to explore all of the aspects of how it functions. The House and Senate are the two chambers of the U.S. Congress, and they have different lawmaking processes which are essential for every American citizen to understand.
The lawmaking process has its own characteristics in each of the chambers, the House of Representatives and Senate. Although the former and latter have equal legislative roles and functions, only the House is able to originate revenue legislation. At the same time, the Senate’s unique responsibility is the confirmation of presidential nominations and approval of treaties (Lewallen 2020). Nevertheless, in order to enact a law, both chambers need to agree to the same bill before passing it to the President. The two chambers have different approaches to processing legislation, the House relies on a numerical majority, while the Senate favors deliberation. Both chambers have party leaders chosen by members of their own caucus to plan and coordinate congressional action. In the House, such leaders have the power to set the policy agenda and determine which proposals will get floor consideration. In the Senate, the majority party leader only proposes items for consideration, and the party’s leadership should negotiate with the other party to conduct Senate floor action.
The Conditional Party Government is a notable theory which covers the basic rules on how Congress can function most effectively. There are several basic assumptions of the theory, and the main one is that Congress members have both policy and electoral goals, which they try to foster by designing their institution (Campbell 2018). Another assumption of the theory is that, both on the individual and collective levels, members may have similar or different preferences. Finally, the feature such as intraparty homogeneity of preferences and interparty divergence will define the willingness of Congress members to delegate powers to party leaderships.
The theory explains the modern Congress well because it correctly notes how members and parties work. Essentially, if a party has homogeneous views, while the other party’s views are different, members will be incentivized to delegate to help to accomplish their goals. Moreover, they will have no reason to worry about their leaders pursuing goals incompatible with those of the members. Similarly, when the views are heterogeneous and there are no differences with the other party, members will not be ready to delegate. The theory expands my understanding of Congress since it shows that intraparty homogeneity is essential for the institution to be effective.
The Biblical principles guide the actions of many Congress members when they create new bills and approve laws. The biblical model of statesmanship implies that government officials must be accountable to both God and the public and base their decisions on the love for Christ and their country (Ray 2019). The lawmaking process in both chambers of the U.S. Congress enables members to offer their initiatives and to approve bills using the Biblical model of statesmanship. For instance, the lawmaking procedures in the Senate involve regular discussions between the representatives of the two parties. As a result, the leaders can communicate to each other the concerns which may arise among their supporters about a new bill and come to a consensus together. Thus, eventually, through negotiations, the bill begins to reflect the interests of many citizens, which is consistent with the ideas of Biblical statesmanship.
The lawmaking process in the United States Congress possesses a high level of effectiveness and is constituent with Christian statesmanship. The two chambers of Congress have both similarities and differences in the way they process laws. The Conditional Party Government theory correctly describes how members of Congress decide to promote bills. Christian statesmanship enables politicians to design their policies in accordance with their accountability to God and citizens.
Campbell, Colton C. 2018. Leadership in the U.S. Senate: Herding Cats in the Modern Era. London: Routledge.
Lewallen, Jonathan. 2020. Committees and the Decline of Lawmaking in Congress. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Ray, Clyde. 2019. Defining Statesmanship: A Comparative Political Theory Analysis. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield