How Laws Are Born, and How They’re Killed; Article 1 Section 7

Let’s talk about money, and the process used to remove it from you. Section 7 of Article 1 is about taxes and votes in the Legislature.

Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Taxes are spawned in the House for the most part, and the Senate “fine-tunes” it with Amendments. The Senate can also write tax bills, and all can write bills they want to become law. Why the House to originate tax bills? My theory is this…up until 1913, the Senate was filled by a vote of State legislators. You had Vox Populi in the House, the Representatives were picked by popular vote, so the citizens had a voice. The Senate represented the State Governments, remember it used to be that State’s were Sovereign, until the War Between the States.  That’s two layers of protection against taxation and loss of liberties. People don’t want to be taxed excessively nor State governments or burdensome laws. People used to like personal responsibility.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

This part sets up Veto Power. When the Legislative Branch passes a Bill and it goes to the President to sign off on it. If he doesn’t approve of it he sends it back with a list of why he doesn’t like it. That’s a veto. Then the House and Senate reconsider, and if they pass it again as it was, with the 2/3rds majority, the bill is law. Overiding the President’s veto.

This last part is new to me, where a bill goes to the President and he doesn’t sign it within 10 days it becomes law. Unless Congress is adjourned. But it’s really smart if you think about it. Here’s a scenario:

Congress passes a unpopular bill, sends it to the President, then adjourns and leaves town, so the vetoed bill can’t be returned. Because of that last line, it keeps Congress of going around the President by simple majority.

Now the President just ignoring a bill and it becoming law anyway in 10 days, as best I can figure, is covering his ass. I don’t want to fight about this bill nor approve it. I wash my hands of it.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Rehashing the above, anything that has an affect on the country other than leaving town, has to get the President’s opinion.

I hope I have been making this interesting for you. I’m learning along with you, as I write these. Some I know, and some I didn’t know. Next week we start looking at what powers the Congress does have, as opposed to what they’ve taken unconstitutionally.


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