Simulation assignment – writing legislation
This is an essay about legislation, and my character is Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) – Economic Affairs. and please see the specific information for details.
Simulation Assignment #3 – Writing Legislation
Due: April 10th at 11:59 PM (on Moodle)
Length: No more than two pages (following the format of the sample legislation)
There are several different types of legislation. For this assignment you are writing a “public
bill” for introduction into the House of Representatives. Public bills are items of legislation that
affect the general welfare or address a general question. Therefore, you’re writing a potential
policy that affects a wide range of the general public (or, at least, your constituents). Your
public bill will be placed on the House Calendar. Again, there are several different types of
legislative calendars depending on the type of legislation being debated. However, we are
simplifying the process by using a single calendar for all bills.
All bills will be introduced in the second session of the 114th Congress. You do not need to give
your bill an “H.R. number.” Use the sample legislation as a formatting guide.
Use the following websites to find legislation introduced by the representative you are playing,
or create your own legislation based on your representative’s policy goals (refer to assignment
#2 for ideas). Use any legislation you find as a guide, but know that you not not have include
every single aspect of the legislation into your assignment.
Your representative’s .gov website
The library of Congress database – www.congress.gov (you can search by House member)
Steps for Writing your Legislation
Step 1 – Write a statement of purpose for the legislation you intend to propose. Some elements
are common to all pieces of legislation. For example, every piece of legislation has a statement
of purpose that can be found directly beneath its number. This statement of purpose explains
what the bill is about. If you look at the sample legislation, you’ll notice these statements of
purpose come immediately following the notation, “A bill to…”
Step 2 – Give your legislation a title. In addition to a statement of purpose, most major
legislation also includes a title—that is, a way of referring to the legislation. Sometimes these
titles are simply descriptive (e.g., “Nuclear Threat Reduction Act”); other times, they can be
catchy phrases or can be converted to easy-to-remember acronyms (e.g, “Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO). The title should begin “Section 1” after your statement
Below the title you need to include a brief paragraph telling everyone that you are introducing
the bill. Additionally, you should include the committee you would like the bill to be referred
to. Therefore, you need to review the committee descriptions to ensure you select the
appropriate committee (found at the end of this document). It is generally a good idea to pick a
policy issue covered by the committee you are assigned to.
Step 3 – Draft as least one, but as many as are needed, statements of findings or “whereas”
clauses for your legislation. Many pieces of legislation include a justification for the legislation.
In this case, the justification comes in the form of a statement of findings, which comes after
your title. You will need to present some justification for your legislation.
Step 3 – Outline the major themes of your legislation. The remainder of the legislation should
be focused on the substance of what it is you are trying to accomplish. As you write this
section, you will need to separate your main ideas into major headings and include details
about each of the subheadings. These details could include the appropriation of funds to
support the legislation; they might specify to whom the legislation will apply (what part of the
population?); and/or these details may simply clarify your major themes. Be as broad or specific
as you feel is necessary to get your message across. Your major themes should be a part of
section 3 in your legislation. Refer to the sample legislation to guide you through this process.
Step 4 – Draft the approach sunrise and sunset provisions in your legislation. A sunrise
provision sets a date for the legislation to take effect. A sunset provision sets a date—if you so
desire—for the legislation to expire. All legislation includes some form of sunrise provisions.
Your sunrise/sunset provisions should be a part of section 3 of your legislation.
**Here’s the link to the actual legislation introduced by Brad Sherman (D-CA) I used to create
this sample: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4312?resultIndex=2
A bill to amend the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012 to require the
President to block and prohibit transactions in property and property interests of a foreign
person that knowingly supports certain transactions with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps
(IRGC) or other sanctioned persons if that property and those property interests are in the
United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control
of a U.S. person.
Section 1. Title:
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Sanctions Implementation and Review Act
Mr. Sherman (for himself) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee
on International Relations and National Security.
Section 2. Statements of Findings:
(1) The IRGC has helped train and equip proxy groups and Iraqi Shiite insurgents, and
elements of the Taliban, which have targeted and killed United States and other allied
forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
(2) The Government of Iran continues to engage in serious, systematic, and ongoing
violations of human rights, including suppression of freedom of expression and religious
freedom, illegitimate detention, torture, and executions, without affording anything
resembling an adequate due process.
(3) The IRGC plays a significant role in many of Iran’s human rights abuses.
(4) Strengthening sanctions against the IRGC, ensuring that the United States Government
identify and designate more of the affiliated entities through which the IRGC operates
will help deprive the IRGC of resources needed to carry out its nefarious activities.
Section 3. Major Themes:
(1) Amend subsection (b) of section 302 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human
Rights Act of 2012 by adding, “the President shall block and prohibit all transactions in
property and interests in property with respect to such foreign person if such property
and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are
or come within the possession or control of a United States person.”
(2) The Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the President and the
appropriate congressional committees a report identifying foreign persons not currently
subject to sanctions under subsection (b) of section 302 who knowingly engaging in an
activity described by the amended section.
(3) If sufficient evidence to impose sanctions exists, the President shall submit to the
appropriate congressional committees a report containing the result of the review and
impose all sanctions under subsection (b).
(4) Sunrise provision – The amendment to subsection (b) shall take effect after the date
that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
The Committee on Infrastructure will consider all legislation that deals specifically with
transportation, national resources, and science and technology issues. These issues include,
but are not limited to, agriculture, forestry, ecology, energy policy, environmental policy,
emerging technologies, highways and public roads, bridges, railways, airline regulation, and air
International Relations and National Security
The IR/NS Committee will consider all legislation dealing with bilateral or multilateral
relationships between the U.S. and other countries. It will also consider any legislation dealing
with international trade, global markets, espionage, diplomacy, drug trafficking and
interdiction, the military, base closures, and immigration.
Health, Education, and Welfare
The Health, Education, and Welfare Committee will consider all legislation that deals with
health, education, and welfare issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, health care
policy, Medicare, Medicaid, pharmaceutical drugs, Social Security, Aid to Families with
Dependent Children (and other poverty programs), education policy, teacher testing, national
testing standards, and student loans.
The Economic Affairs Committee will review any piece of legislation that deals with interstate
trade, labor issues, consumer protection and consumer affairs, securities and exchange (the
stock market, antitrust, monopolies, etc.), work-incentive programs, or other economic
issues. This committee will also take on the responsibility of the House Ways and Means
Committee and will be responsible for reviewing legislation referred to it to determine its
effects on the U.S. budget. Such legislation would include anything proposing a tax increase or
Government and Judiciary
The Government and Judiciary Committee will deal with all internal matters relating to the
workings or the conduct of the government, reforms of the House or other government
entities, and rules for members of the legislative branch. Issue such as crime, drugs, abortion,
and gun control would also fall under this committee’s jurisdiction. In addition, this committee
will deal with any veterans’ issues.