Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How a Bill Becomes a Law

It's been awhile since I took high school civics, but I think I recall the basics: The House and the Senate both have to pass it, and then the President signs it. There are some wrinkles involving vetoes and conference negotiations and whatnot, but the basics aren't too difficult.

Unless, apparently, you're the GOP Majority Leader in the House. Then a bill becomes a law solely upon action by the House, regardless of whether the Senate and President like it or not:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said at a press conference that Republicans would consider the Government Shutdown Prevention Act on Friday. The bill would make H.R. 1 law if the Senate fails to pass a measure “before April 6” to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. H.R. 1, which passed the House but has gone nowhere in the Senate, would fund the government through the end of September and seeks to cut $61 billion in spending.

Despite GOP claims to the contrary, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act would not become law unless the Senate also approves it and the president signs it into law, neither of which is expected to occur.

In other basic checks-and-balances news, the Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General says that the state's new anti-union law is "absolutely" still in effect despite a state judge's restraining order blocking the law from going into effect (a temporary measure while the judge determines whether the passage of the law violated the state's open meetings requirement).

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