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The United States of America. Making Laws
Pre-reading task. Read the words. Mind the stress. A):
΄option pro΄vision ,appro΄priation
΄reconcile a΄djourn ,characte΄ristics
΄schedule a΄ssume ,organi΄zation
΄tantamount de΄feat ,intro΄duction
΄agriculture ex΄pire ,presen΄tation
΄signature ig΄nore ,par,tici΄pation
΄legislature ne΄gate ,legi΄slation
΄conference re΄fer co΄mmittee
B) Complete the word building table.
1. Look through the words and expression to make sure that you know them. Learn those you don’t know.
2. Read and translate the text into Ukrainian.
One of the major characteristics of Congress is the dominant role committees play in legislative proceedings. They have assumedtheir present-day importance by evolution, not by constitutional design, since the Constitution makes no provisionfor their establishment.
At present the Senate has 17 standingcommittees and the House of Representatives has 19 committees. Each specializes in specific area of legislation: foreign affairs, defence, banking, agriculture, commerce, appropriations, and other fields. Almost every bill introduced in either house is referred to a committee for study and recommendation. The committee may approve, revise, kill, or ignoreany measure referred to it. It is nearly impossible for a bill to reach the House or Senate floor without first winning committee approval.
Bills are introduced by a variety of methods. Some are drawn up by standing committees, some by special committees created to deal with specific legislative issues, and some may be suggested by the President or other executive officers. Citizens and organizations outside Congress may suggest legislation to members, and individual members themselves may initiatebills. After introduction, bills are sent to designated committees that, in most cases, schedule a series of public hearings to permit presentation of views by persons who support or oppose the legislation. The hearing process which can last several weeks or months opens the legislature process to public participation.
When a committee has actedfavourably on a bill, the proposed legislation is then sent to the open debate. In the Senate the rules permit virtually unlimited debate. In the House, because of the large number of members, the Rules Committee usually sets limits. When debate is ended, members vote either to approve the bill, defeat it, tableit – which means setting it aside and is tantamount to defeat – or return it to committee. A bill passed by one house is sent to the other for action. If the bill is amended by the second house, a conference committee composed of members of both houses attempts to reconcile the differences.
Once passed by both houses, the bill is sent to the president, for constitutionally the president must act on a bill to become law. The president has the option of signing the bill – by which it become law – or vetoing (veto – [´vi:təu]) it. A bill vetoed by the president must be re-approved by a two-thirds vote of both houses to become law.
The president may also refuse either to sign or veto a bill. In that case, the bill becomes law without his signature 10 days after it reaches him (not counting Sundays). The single exception to this rule is when Congress adjourns after sending a bill to the president and before the 10-day period has expired his refusal to take any action then negates the bill – a process known as the “pocket veto”.
3. Give Ukrainian equivalents to the following words and expressions:
dominant role; to introduce a bill; foreign affairs; to kill any measure; to win committee approval; variety of methods; to permit presentation; to be tantamount to defeat; to set aside; to pass the bill; conference committee; the option of signing the bill; refusal to take any action; to negate the bill; pocket veto
4. Find in the text the words or expressions that mean the following:
сучасне значення; за задумом конституції; постійний комітет; асигнування коштів; вийти на рівень Палати Представників чи Сенату; вносити законопроекти різними способами; спеціальні комітети, що створюються задля / для розв‘язання особливих законодавчих проблем; виконавчий урядовець; організації непричетні до Конгресу; відповідний профільний комітет; серія громадських слухань; бути прибічником/противником законопроекту; відкрити процес законотворення для громадськості; схвалити законопроект; дати змогу проводити практично необмежене у часі обговорення; комітет з процедурних питань; встановити часове обмеження; вносити поправки до законопроекту; узгодити різночитання; накласти вето; розходитися на канікули.
5. A: Fill in the appropriate word from the list below.
Appropriation,killed, acts, tantamount, defeats, expires, options, reconcile, table, action, ignore, referred, provision, designated, scheduled, assumed
1. She claimed she was anxious to avoid any … which might harm him. 2. Our government made an …. for the project. 3. I took Law courses as the most interesting of the … . 4. She accepted the job with …. that she should work part-time. 5. His behaviour … on my nerves. 6. Mr. Maples has been …. as a Partner in the Edinburgh Branch of the Bank. 7. A man who commits a crime .... the end of his existence. 8. Mr. Sharp is … as the next chairman of this committee. 9. His term of office as President … next year. 10. You'll have to … their talking so loud. 11. His constant failures … his ambition. 12. The people must …. themselves to a reduced standard of living. 13. He …. his fast recovery to this new medicine he had been taking. 14. A presidential election was …. for December. 15. We will …. that for later. 16. Isn’t this ….to a refusal of the first treaty?
B: Fill in the appropriate proposition or adverb where necessary.
1. He's been … … action …6 months with a serious knee injury. 2. They have excelled in learning the lessons …business management theory, and putting them … action. 3. They were given the option … a fine. 4. Has your lawyer drawn …the contract yet? 5. How do you reconcile your principles … your behaviour? 6. The new law does not refer …land used … farming. 7. The Constitution makes no provision…their establishment … legislative proceedings. 8. When members vote to tablethe bill, it means setting it aside and is tantamount … defeat. 9. To become law a bill vetoed …the president must be re-approved … a two-thirds majority … both houses.
6. Translate the words given in two columns and match the pairs as they are used in the text.
7. Study the following expressions with the word “floor” and use them in the sentences of your own.
1.право виступу, слово – the floor; 2. брати слово – to take (to have) the floor; 3. амер. керівник партійної фракції в Конгресі – floor leader; 4. мінімальна зарплата – floor wage; 5. запитання з місця – questions from the floor; 6. перейти з однієї фракції в іншу – to cross the floor of the House
8. Match the words given on the left with their definitions on the right.
9. Answer the following questions.
1. What is one of the major characteristics of Congress? 2. What areas do the committees specialize in? 3. In what ways are the bills introduced? 4. What happens to a bill after a committee has acted favourably on it? 5. Why is the bill sent to the president? 6. Can a bill become a law without the president’s signature? 7. What is ‘pocket veto’?
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