An In-Depth Look at the Legislative Process in the United States
Lindsey Buckton graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Political Science and have volunteered and served on boards of several non-profits over the years. In 2013 she began homeschooling her 2e children with a combination of co-ops, online classes and her own curriculum. Lindsey fully believes that each child has the ability to flourish and she’s excited to work in an online classroom setting. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys training her deaf dog, watching documentaries, and traveling
Look closely at the process, influence and success rates of federal change!
There’s history, and there’s history in the making. In this class, learners discover how our federal government really works by zooming in on the legislative process. Together we will explore what it means to be active and informed citizens by exploring how to find reliable sources, understand present pressures within the United States, and apply lessons from history to current legislative debates.
In Creating Laws at the Federal Level we will touch briefly at what makes the American government unique. As we continue into the class we will have in depth discussions about party affiliations, social media, lobbying, local and state influences and how to make meaningful change. The instructor will give students diverse resources ranging such as news articles, explanatory videos, and different kinds of legal texts as students learn to analyze the legislative process. By the end of the class, students should understand and recognize biases and motivations of those trying to create laws.
This class includes weekly homework in addition to a final project. Students will be asked to prepare a final presentation about an existing law, a social movement that lobbied for new laws, a bill they would like to see become law, or a bill they would be interested in writing. Before each class, students should complete their weekly homework and document their final project process.
Sample Course Outline
This course meets 8 times where each meeting focuses on a different aspect of the legislative process. Topics may change in response to student interest. The following outline is meant as a sample:
- Overview of how bills are made into laws. Find the driving force behind the law and describe media influence
- Understand who is impacted by policy
- The role of Corporate Sponsors and Lobbyists
- What does Congress do?
- How do bills get votes? Exploring committee work and backroom deals.
- Decision making in Congress: Exploring filibusters, cloture, and voting
- How often do bills become laws? What are the checks and balances to make good laws?
- Final presentations
Creating Laws on the Federal Level is offered Summer 2019 and Fall 2019.