The United States legislative branch goes through an intense process to pass bills. I experienced a sample of this legislative process as a Republican conservative from the Northern Border Region. As a delegate, I represented the interest of the second district. I am most concerned with representing the ranchers, rural families and Native Americans that are mostly populated in my district. In the beginning of the process I selected three personal bills to pass and three bills to kill based on the interest of my district.
I supported the C1030: Agricultural Act of 2017, C1069 Communication Act and C1037 National Parks and Public Lands Act. I supported C1030 because this bill provides support in the agricultural sector. This is relevant to me because two-thirds of my district’s population is nourished by the agricultural economy. Additionally, based on my PAC information, I received $93,000 from Agriculture. I recognize the importance to protect farm subsidies and farmers in my district. Also under Key Votes, I voted yes on the Farm bill. This bill also establishes council for Native American farming and ranching.
My district having one of the highest percentages of Native Americans in its population in the nation, this bill is important to a huge part of my district. This bill passed. I supported C1069 because based on my PAC information I received $43,000 from Communications. This bill did not pass. Finally, I supported C1037 because this bill supports creating national parks and recreational areas. This is relevant to me because the market in my district has prospered due to tourism from several national parks and monuments. I believe in supporting funds for national parks.
This bill passed. I opposed the C1032 Clean Water Reauthorization Act, C1016 Social Security Reduction Act and C1040 Climate Adaptation Act. I opposed C1032 because this bill limits the amount of pollutants that are discharged in the air caused by agricultural and industrial establishments. My district relies on agriculture, therefore, I oppose anything that may limit it. This bill was not passed. I opposed C1016 which cuts down Social Security benefits. Based on my PAC information I received money from National Association of Retired Federal Employees.
They’ll be negatively affected by this bill. This bill was not passed. Finally, I opposed C1040 which focuses on arctic and U. S changes in climate and natural disasters. According to my PAC information I received $29,000 from Oil, Gas and Mining. Those who gave me money in my district would be negatively impacted by this bill. This bill was not passed. My strategy to pass these bills was going into the Republican Party and discussing the importance of my bills to the party. This caused the bill C1030: Agricultural Act of 2017 to become a party bill.
I spoke to the representatives of the Homeland Security committee to bring C1069 up their list, however, the bill was not addressed and died. Afterwards, I volunteered to be part of the Energy and Natural Resources committee because the bills in that section related to my district. Being in this committee allowed me to put both my personal bills C1030 and C1037 on the top of the list to begin markup. On the floor, my strategy was to address C1030 first because it was both a personal and party bill and then address C1037. After choosing personal bills, I came together with the Republican Party and decided on six other bills to pass or kill.
We agreed on supporting the C1039; Citizens Self Defense Act, C1030: Agricultural Act of 2017 and C1093 U. S. Enduring Appreciation Act. We agreed on opposing C1016: Social Security Reduction Act, C1092: The Military Appropriations Act and C1034: Grazing Fees Act. Our strategy in passing these bills was going into committees and persuading the other committee members to address the party bills first. For example, I was in the Energy and Natural Resources committee and I persuaded to put C1030; Agricultural Act of 2017 in the top of the list to begin markup immediately.
Our strategy when we went on to the floor was address the party bills that would not cause much argument first. This strategy succeeded by allowing us to pass both C1030 and C1039 and killing C1016, C1092 and C1034. The first bill in markup in my committee was C 1030: Agricultural Act of 2017. For the most part, I agreed on most of the original bill. However, I added in Part 2: Emergency Assistance section for emergency relief to eligible producers of soybeans. I added this part because the agricultural economy in my district relies on corn and soybeans.
Therefore, it will be beneficial to them. This bill made it through the whole process. I did not add any more pork in any other bills passed in committee because the bills addressed most of my district’s concerns or had no effect on my district. After addressing bills in committees, we went on the floor to discuss and finalize the bills that have been passed so far. The first bill that went on the floor was C1030- Agricultural Act of 2017. I voted to pass it because it is my personal bill and party bill. This will benefit my district tremendously because it supports agriculture.
The next bill was C1090-The Give Act. I voted to pass this bill because as a delegate I vote for the best of my district, and this bill had no negative impact on my district. After we discussed the bill C1095-U. S. Welcome Home Act. I voted to pass this bill because it was a bill supported by my fellow Republican. Therefore, I decided to support them so they can support my bills. The next bill we discussed is C1060-Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act and I voted to pass it. This bill does not have a negative impact on my district and I have a fellow Republican that supports it.
The next bill was C1012-Affordable Health Care for American Act. I voted to pass this bill because I have a high population of retired employees in my district and this bill will benefit them. After we discussed C1017-Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act and I voted not to pass it. In 2010 under my Key Votes I voted not to allow and fund research that uses human embryonic stem cells, therefore, I don’t believe in the policies of C1017. Afterwards, we discussed bill C1037- National Parks and Public Lands Act and I voted to pass this bill.
This was my personal bill that I supported because I recognize the importance of funds for national parks in my district and nationally. We then discussed C1093- U. S. Enduring Appreciation Act. I voted to pass this because although it does not impact my district greatly, it is my party’s bill. After we discussed C1094-The Military Gender Equality Act. I voted to pass this bill because it does not impact my district negatively and a fellow Republican wanted it to pass. Therefore, I wanted to help them out so they will help me pass my bills.
The last bill we debated on is C1013-Compassionate End to Suffering Act. I voted not to pass this bill because in my key votes in 2011 I voted to ban physician assisted suicide. This bill will not ban it, but allow it. Therefore, I do not support it. Furthermore, in order to ensure that my bills were to pass, I had to take a leadership role. In the first party meeting I voiced my opinion on all my personal bills to be included in the party bills. They listened and this caused for C1030 to be included in the party bill.
Although they did not all agree on putting C1037 and C1069 on the party bill, I ensured that I was put into the Energy and Natural Resources committee because two of my bills were in that section. In committee I immediately pushed to put C1030 and C1037 on the top of the list. Although no one in my committee opposed this, I discussed the importance of the bill both on the floor and in committee. On the floor, I spoke on these bills and ensured these bills were passed. Therefore, demonstrating my strong beliefs for these bills and showing leadership allowed for both bills to pass.
I learned from this Congressional simulation that not everyone cares or supports bills I strongly support. For example, my personal bill C1069- Communication Act was not even addressed and killed automatically because no one really cared for it. Additionally, I learned that in committees the members are more knowledgeable about the bills because they have access to more information. The most interesting part of this process was discussing the bills on the floor. It is interesting to see how certain bills have two sides to it; one side that really supports it and one side that really disapproves of it.
The negative part of this process is getting points off for not passing all the bills because it is very difficult to do so. I gained more insight in the actual process and the importance of committees in reviewing specific bills. In committee and caucus, Kiayna was an active participant. She demonstrated her knowledge and commitment to her district. She also influenced me and the other members on passing certain bills in committee such as C1030. She was not distracted and participated in discussion in caucus and committee. Another member I worked along with is Diondra. She was also in my committee and caucus.
She was very helpful in clarifying some aspects of certain bills and was not afraid to voice her opinion. For example, she pushed for our party bill C1030 to be on the top of the list in committee. She was not distracted and participated frequently. Finally, a member of my caucus that participated and voiced her opinion on her personal bills was Cece. In caucus she spoke about her personal bills like C1039 and pushed for it to be in the party bills. She also discussed with other Republican member about bills they want to pass in her committee. She demonstrated leadership doing so.