Laws have existed since ancient times to establish a guide for human coexistence where safety, justice, protection, peace, and social progress are fundamental to the construction of society.
In the United States, Congress has the power to create laws and splits in two, the Senate and House of Representatives, each with specific functions.
Dictating the future of many American citizens, let’s take a closer look at how the house of representatives votes.
What is the House of Representatives?
The House of Representatives is considered the people’s house because it’s the part of Government that American voters have directly elected. While in the Senate, every state has an equal voice, in the House of Representatives, it’s based on the size of each state’s population.
For this reason, the House of Representatives is composed of 435 members, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states, according to the census conducted every ten years, and the members are elected for two years. There is a quorum (explain what a quorum is) with at least 218 members present.
The Senate and the House of Representatives share legislative responsibilities; each with special constitutional duties and powers. The House of Representatives dictate laws which are passed to the Senate, and scrutinize the work of the Government.
To create a law, any member of Congress can present a bill, which is inspected closely and is then voted on for approval. This proposal goes to the president, and if he signs, it becomes a law.
Voting is a large responsibility and therefore has specific rules. Let’s count them down.
House leadership includes the speaker, majority and minority leaders, assistant leaders, whips, and a party caucus or conference. When a motion is put on the table to be discussed, the speaker can raise the question, “As many as are in favor. ”
The members will answer “Aye” or “No,” and the speaker will count the number of votes in favor or against the bill.
This type of vote takes place when a member calls for a division of vote or when the speaker is not sure about the voice vote result. The speaker can request that all in favor of the question rise from their seat. In the division vote, only members who are present and voting participate.
Yea and nay vote
It’s a vote in alphabetical order. The speaker will call each member by its name, and they will answer the question with “Aye” or “No.” When the quorum is not present, they may cast their vote through an electronic device.
This is a vote that can be requested by any member of the house and is done through an electronic device. It’s similar to yea and nay vote, but the speaker will set a time limit to participate. Usually, it’s fifteen minutes; however, the speaker may consider giving more or less time, it just can’t be less than five minutes.
Other less frequently used available vote methods are roll call votes and teller votes. In roll call votes, the Clerk calls the roll in alphabetical order as each member votes. And for teller votes, members fill out and sign a vote tally card submitted to a designated clerk teller.
When it comes to non-controversial matters, the house uses something called unanimous consent, which is when one member stands and asks that something be done or permitted by unanimous consent and no other member objects to the request.
In line with the House’s rules, there are four regular methods of voting that may be employed one after the other or in any combination before a decision is made. The other ones are available for special conditions.
The importance of the house lies in the fact that it is in charge of making and passing federal laws, which apply to the country in general, such as a federal criminal law, immigration, social security, or bankruptcy.
Voting choices involve a lot of understanding of how the government works and the laws are made. If you want to go deeper, you can read our other blogs.