Perhaps it's my inner-child, but this time of year always inspires me to learn new things. In that the spirit of gaining knowledge, I thought people might be interested in this handy-dandy guide to the legislative process from the House Rules Committee. It's a step-by-step overview of how a bill becomes a law. Citizens and GR professionals should know this stuff for (at least) two reasons: first, it's much easier to win the policy game if you have an inkling of the rules; and, second, it will give you a good sense of all the places where a bill can die--sometimes a terrible, painful death. Referred to multiple committees? Death. Voted down by the Committee or Subcommittee (or, more likely, not considered at all)? Death. Doesn't get past the House Rules Committee? Death. Voted down or not scheduled for the floor? Death.
You get the point. It's like legislative Game of Thrones this time of year. Cersei would be completely comfortable on Capitol Hill. So, as we dive in to a busy September full of fights over debt ceilings and appropriations, advocates and GR professional alike will need to protect and nurture any favored legislative initiatives. And the best way to do so is to know the rules!