Legislative Process Changes in the Contemporary essay

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This paper examines, and asks the important questions like why did the legislative process change and what were the effects. Some of the changes include the unorthodox law making like the omnibus legislation that began in the 1970s. The change in legislation is entirely owed to the polarization of parties which simply implies that a party will vote for or against a bill in relation to the other party. If the other party is trying to get a bill passed, the opposition will vote as a block against it leading to a situation called a gridlock. The result of this was change of legislation required for a bill to be made law like being voted for both by the Senate, the Congress and the President. This becomes increasingly hard as implementation of policies is becoming a headache due to the sitting government finding it harder to control both the senate and congress at the same time.

Jones emphasizes the role of external factors in explaining the "institutionalization" of the House, while others argue that changes in workload (especially during the industrial expansion of the late 19th Century) drove changes in legislative practice. In the 1970s things were much different as the percentage of polarization was much lower. The legislators could easily vote for a bill in relation to the personal view which was influenced by the people being represented. To understand the gridlock kind of legislation there is need for review on what kind of government is in place. If the government is divided or does not have a majority the chances of passing a bill becomes harder as the opposition can prevent the required vote from being achieved. But if the government is unified then it becomes much easier as the bill can easily be passed but it is subject to not being opposed by the minority who can stop the same by the use of filibustering; which is a tactic of using the constitution to delay an enactment of a bill to law due to the set down legalities.

Unorthodox law making

Unorthodox law making comes about due to the surpassing some stage in the process of making a bill into a law, this involves the changes which can be made on the bill by committees before it reaches the floor of the house. This has impacted strongly in that it has impacted all the aspects involved in the legislative process and the usual routine votes for the cloture.  The main impact is when it comes to bills that deal with budget and the budget process. These have resulted in the quintessential omnibus measures; these alterations have not been formalized in the bill passage process but have been added as a multi-committee process.

It is partly argued by the scholars that some of the changes that have been witnessed in the country came about due to the conflicts between the politicians and bureaucrats. Even though this was not built into the government's constitutional structure, there has been suspicion. These views are shared by Johnson (4) "...even so, consensus between these opposing groups is viewed suspiciously because it implies that opposing viewpoints are not considered and policies are not adjusted to fit additional demands. Consensus emerges not because the relevant participants carefully survey all angles of the issue and reach some agreement, but because contrary views are ignored". It is therefore clear that some important interests are excluded while some unimportant interests are included in the decision making process.

The routine process used toady began with the changes in the 70s. For them to be where they are today a lot of changes and modifications occurred over the decades under different administrations.  These internal changes stemmed up such a long time ago are because of the internal distribution of influence in the legislature both in the Senate and the House. This was a result of the opportunities that began to arise early on as problems arose in the house due to the increased majority of parties. This was due to governments which were divided, while parties continued to polarize due the impacts of huge deficits in the budgets. The problem was further expanded by the fact that Democrats had a majority in the house during this period. The party leaders had to act due to the increased demand by the party members for success and ways of coping with the problems in the legislature. This resulted in the omnibus way of passing the bill: this is a process in which for the interest of both parties all the bills which both passed want passed are put together into a large bill and passed collectively to serve the interests of both parties.

Due to these changes, the legislative process on major bills became a negotiating process for which parties got their interests looked into. Due to this special rules were formed in the house via the Rules Committee and some powerful tools were developed to ensure the control of the floor and the shape of is outcome were in the grasp of this committee as a guarantee to ensure what was agreed was the outcome. Through this the process of the budget was developed but not without the mixed complicated effects of these developments.

During the earlier years, the process was applied differently in that in the House; the resolutions for the budget were highly partisan and hard fought while the debate was turned into a party battle where each party put its priorities first. Later on committees were mandated to reconcile these warring parties. This led to the decision to cut the legislation process of the budget as it was presumed to take too long. The result of this was the creation of the controversial Budget Act that envisioned instructions used in the second resolution on the same.

Although these changes made in the 1980s were quite modest in comparison to date, the experience portrayed made it clear to the participants that the mechanism of the budge was a mechanism available for a comprehensive policy change. Later in the 1990s, the policy changes were also made in the situation of high stakes in the legislature. This implies "...the plausibility of the claim that the early committee system was transformed out of a desire to confront a series of social choice problems that, in their generic form, persist across time and space among all legislatures." Across the decades, the budget has been the target for anyone whose targets any policy change as the stakes are high hence for negotiating with the rival party to ensure the changes intended. The proposals for policy change are always received by the House sub-committees which provide the best setting in which decisions are made by a small number of people who make effective decisions as most members are sidelined.

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