The Legislative Branch:
INTRODUCTION - What Have We Become?:
Although most of the attention is lavished on the Executive, and the most controversy occurs over the decisions of the Judicial branch, the Constitution has invested by far the most power in the Legislative branch. Being the representatives of those who can still be called people, the members of Congress decree the laws of the land. In effect, the laws they make describe the kind of country we wish to be as a people. And the process by which they do this is among the greatest dramas in American politics: Gladiatorial death-matches.
THE MAKEUP OF CONGRESS - From Melting Pot to Blast Furnace:
The members of Congress are a true cross-section of what's left of America. Today's Congress is more diverse than ever; some Congresspersons are actually several individuals of different races and genders melded together, like Rep. O'Hara-Takufu-Jefferson (D, R, D - CA). But while Congress is a house of many races and creeds, all are united by their loyalty to their districts and their country, as well as their ability to bash in the heads of those who oppose them.
In the House of Representatives, congressmen come from districts ranging from the smallest, most backward village to neighborhoods of the largest megalopolises. In the glowing back country of America, where constituents are concerned largely with subsidies for farming and for fighting off 1,300 lb. coyotes, Representatives are usually just the largest or strongest farmer's son in the village, so it is a tradition to send four or five backup congressmen, due to the high fatality rate of freshmen Representatives.
However, in the huge rival city-states of New-York-Also-Starring-Philadelphia-And-Boston and Los-Angeles-Featuring-Mexico, as well as Chicago and the other cities on the North Coast, Congresspersons can grow to be 15-18 feet tall, often sport broadswords in place of hands, and (their greatest weapon) rely on the old-boys club connections of their Ivy League schools. In order to imbue deliberations with some measure of sportsmanship, however, cyborgs are not permitted to be members of the House of Representatives.
This is not true, however, of the Senate. Short of the President, no figures command the sheer terror and dread of millions the way Senators can. Barely deserving of the mantle of humanity, they have nonetheless blasted their way to the top by sheer violence. It should be noted that none but the richest citizens can pay for the weaponry and electronics built into even the most minor Senator, and so most are beholden to large lobbies and corporations who maintain and fuel these legislative Leviathans, for example Joe Coca-Cola Biden (D-DE).
THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS - We Who Are About To Die Support H.R. 101:
We all remember the popular "How A Bill Becomes A Law" cartoon from the children's series "Indoctrination-Facility Rock" from when we were suspended in the jelly baths of our subterranean population-generators, but in case you need a refresher, here's a basic primer on the legislative process:
- While anyone can come up with an idea for a law, only a Member of Congress can sponsor it. This is done by forging a suit of armor in the Hell-Chasm of Washington, the still-hot core of the first (and second through 20th) nuclear blast which almost destroyed this country. Once the suit of armor has been crafted, the Member of Congress painstakingly inscribes the resolution onto the breastplate. When the Member of Congress dons the armor and steps into the Chamber of Valor, that armor becomes a Bill.
- First, the Bill is tested by the appropriate Committee: generally a pit of bears or feral but intelligent dogs who specialize in Intelligence, Health Care, etc. Although if the Bill (or Congressperson) seems especially unready, they will have to brave the Subcommittee of Truth, a lightless black void where the sponsors must face their most implacable enemy: themselves.
- After successfully making it out of Committee, the Bill goes to the floor of the House. At this point, Congresspersons choose which side they will battle for, Yea or Nay. However, some on the Yea side may arrive with amendments to the bill inscribed on their armor. If the amendments cannot be agreed on, often the Bill, and its wearer, dies before reaching a full vote.
- Finally, the House votes until either the Bill-wearer or the highest-ranking member of the opposition has been disarmed. Although the victor has the Constitutional right to kill his opponent, tradition holds that the defeated may appeal to the Vice-President. The Vice-President almost always votes for death.
- Having passed the House, the armor is passed on to the Senate, where a new champion will wear it. Again, the specters of Committee or Subcommittee await it. The final battle in the Senate, although involving far fewer participants (112 to the House's 1,337), is in fact far more dangerous to the public at large as the Senate, unlike the House, permits cyborgs to be elected, and the battle is often taken to the streets before it ends, sometimes after days or months.
(Note: Although Senate votes are still reasons to flee the countryside around Washington, far fewer die today than in the terrifying reign of "The Dread Triumvirate" of Daniel Webstron, Henry Clayborg ("The Great Decapitator") and John C(omputer) Calhoun.
Pictured: Senator Diebold (R-WA) argues in favor of school vouchers.