The borders of Washington, D.C.

The borders of Washington, D.C.

Off the radar but inside the corridors of the U.S. Capitol an attempt to give the nation’s capitol city, Washington, D.C., voting representation in Congress has been raging.  Supporters of voting representation in the House of Representatives for the Americans living in D.C. fall into two camps: those who seek full statehood for the District of Columbia with all of the rights statehood would provide, and those who just want a Congressman of their own to represent D.C. interests in the House. The latter group have enlisted the help of a somewhat unlikely ally in the form of the State of Utah.

The challenges of granting statehood for the District of Columbia are tremendous as the U.S. Constitution places some very tough requirements for adding an amendment and there are only four ways that a constitutional amendment can be added:

  • Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
  • Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
  • Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
  • Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

The Founding Fathers made it difficult to amend the U.S. Constitution because they wanted to ensure that such additions were made only when the greatest numbers of people agreed, thereby safeguarding the Constitution as much as possible from immediate, but short-lived, political concerns.

Click to continue reading “Voting Rights for D.C. Take a Step Forward”

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With all of the excitement that surrounded the first “Bailout bill” and now the furor over the new Stimulus bill I looked through our archives and saw that no one had yet discussed what a bill is and how it becomes a law. The point of this post is purely educational. There are no opinions here regarding the current stimulus package or Geithner’s announcement yesterday that he needs $TWO TRILLION MORE. I’m sorry, was I shouting? In keeping with the main premise of Inside Government – to help educate and inform the public – the following is a detailed look at bills. But, first – a blast from the past for those of you who might remember School House Rock:

Pretty cool, huh? Well, that is a very simplified presentation of how bills become law, but, it is on target and most of you probably remember seeing it. Now we move on to greater detail…

Click to continue reading “Just What is a Bill and How Does it Become a Law?”

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The Great Seal

Since the election ended on Tuesday, there has been a lot of talk about President-elect Obama establishing his cabinet.  The term cabinet refers to the heads, or secretaries, of the fifteen executive departments of our government which form the United States Cabinet.  The departments, from the executive branch of the government, are as follows: Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Education, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Homeland Security.   You might recall that President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security following the events of 9/11.

Click to continue reading “The President’s “Cabinet””

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