As some of you may know, I was an intern for a certain state legislature. I’m not going to post which state because that probably would not be wise. With that being said, I’m going to write about what I learned about politics.

Bipartisanship and the bicameral system are games involving a power struggle. To understand this one would have to be familiar with the words cloture, filibuster, substitutes, and amendments. Cloture is a motion to end a debate on a bill that has been introduced to the House or the Senate. Filibuster does the opposite by extending the debate. The differences between them is that a cloture takes a petition while a filibuster is put together during a behind the scenes strategy among certain politicians. A substitute is a completely new bill that has been introduced under the same number as the original bill while an amendment changes only certain parts such as the punctuation or complete pages. It’s important to know these terms because political parties and caucuses use these strategies to either kill bills that they are opposed to or to hurry up and get to the ones that they support. Also the House and Senate may use these strategies against each other just to basically be brats.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that when people complain about Legislation, they should be blaming the lobbyists instead of the politicians. For example I’m thinking of the Affordable Care Act. Statistics may have shown that a majority of Americans were against it, but there may have been some powerful and rich lobbyists in these politician’s ear. I’ve personally witnessed how lobbyists made sure that members of a certain political party would not show up to a Committee meeting so that they would not be able to make quorum. The power and money of a lobbyist from certain agencies is to never be underestimated.

What happens in committee meetings and during floor debates impact only probably 10% of a bill’s outcome. The legislatures have access or knowledge of a bill ahead of time most of the time. A lot of them know how they’re going to vote on it after talking to their constituents, having lunch with each other, or just hanging out. Committee meetings and floor debates are to make the public see that there have been some discussion on the Legislation, but don’t think that what they’re saying isn’t pre-planned.

In conclusion, there are many politicians who really do have their constituents’ best wishes at heart. I encourage any of you that have concerns to voice your concerns to them because they really do hear you. There has been times when they’ve been checking their emails during meetings because the people that vote for them are having issues. Don’t be afraid to educate yourself and others on how local, state, and federal legislation works. Attend conferences. Attend speaking engagements. Just get involved. I know I will in the future.

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