Bush assignment

Students will explore the political agendas from president Clinton and G. Bush and evaluate their relationship with the Senate and House of Representatives as they attempt to pass their legislative agendas though Congress.

A short history lesson on government:

Article I of the Constitution outlines the Legislative Branch of the United States Government to be comprised of representatives that hold seats in the Senate and the House. The Senate has 100 seats, two for each state and the House of Representative seats are determined by state population, totaling 435 elected members. The House of Representatives serve two year terms and the Senators serve a six year term which means that the terms stagger and every two years approximately 1/3 of the members of Senate are up for election in January. Out of these 535 people, each representative holds either a republican or democratic (occasional we see an Independent) party affiliation. The relationship between the standing president and the total representation within Congress create a very unique and often times tenuous experience for the American people when there is discourse due to political alliances (R/D).

Under Bill Clinton (D) the assembly of the 103rd to 106th United States Congress convinced which means that political majority in the Senate and House shifted like this:

  • 103rd: Senate/House D majority
  • 104th: Senate/House R majority
  • 105th: Senate/House R majority
  • 106th: Senate/House R majority

Under G.W Bush (R) the assembly of the 107th to 110th United States Congress convinced which means that political majority in the Senate and House shifted like this:

  • 107th: Senate 50/50 & House 50/49 with an Independent swaying towards D
  • 108th: Senate/House R majority
  • 109th: Senate/House R majority
  • 110th: Senate 49/49 with two Independent swaying towards D & House D majority

What does all this mean?

In America,the relationship between the standing president and members of Congress are directly linked to how successful he/she is able to project a political agenda and to pass legislation. From 1900 to 2010, the United States of America’s experienced a roller coaster of legislation as the political pendulum swayed from republican to democrat and back to republican again. Both Clinton and Bush served two consecutive terms and both meet with fierce opposition as they tried to push their agendas through a primarily oppositional Congress. (Note: this is not an unusual occurrence but for this discussion it is being highlighted)

1st Post: Select one piece of legislation (domestic or foreign/passed or failed) from Clinton or Bush’s presidency.

  • Provide a short summary of the legislation and identify the political agenda set forth by the president, who sponsored the bill and why the bill was proposed.
    • Example: FDR and the New Deal, post WWI the nation was in need of economic recovery. As a democrat he saw the government as a way to facilitate change so he developed a slew of government divisions to promote jobs, infrastructure, support and domestic revenue…. etc.
  • Research how the bill was received by the presiding U.S Congress and include details about the relationship between Clinton/Bush and the standing Congress. Was there opposition? Why or why not…Did the bill pass without and issue? Why or why not?

Additional Sources:

This website is a data base for all the legislation passed through Congress. You did not have to go this route but I wanted to provide valuable search options for you:

  • Legislation of the U.S Congress Search:
  • Process for finding research:
    • Select your president, legislation and when Congress was presiding during that time. (or just go to the website and find a bill…any bill;)
    • Go to the Website titled Legislation of the U.S. Congress and on the left side you can narrow down your search:
      • Under All Legislation since 1979, Congress you need to select morewhich opens up the list of Congress by numerical order.
      • Check the box(s) of the # of Congress i.e. 107th, 109th…
      • Select Bill Type (Key):
        • H.R or S= house and senate bills
      • Under All Legislation check one or more options:
        • Failed on Chamber, Passed One Chamber, Passed Both 7 resolving Differences
      • Next, select the Policy Area & Chamber of Origin.
      • See what comes up!

2nd and 3rd Post: Read over your fellow classmates posts and evaluate the legislation proposed, the process and outcome in comparison to the issues you selected.

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