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The purpose of this essay is to determine your ability to locate and analyze information on a Senate committee.

You are to find the home page of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions.

Once you’re on the committee’s home page, you’ll want to print out a roster of the members of the committee. You’ll also want to get a print out of information on any bill the committee is working on– you can usually get this by looking at the Schedule section of the committee’s Web page. Remember, you must get these copies without the assistance of any other student (a librarian may assist you)– getting copies from another student is a form of plagiarism, and can lead to disciplinary action from the Dean.

You are to write a 250-word essay on the printouts. Your essay must include a summary of what the committee does (in your own words), a summary of who sits on the committee (not a list, but a description– breakdown by party, total number of members, etc. Also, remember that the chairman of the committee is a member– be sure to count him in the total number of members). In addition, it must include a summary of any bill the committee is working on– what does the bill do, etc.– and an analysis of the political realities of the bill that describe, in your opinion, whether or not the bill will pass, and why.  Remember– the bill you’re writing about hasn’t been voted on yet. If it’s already been voted on, you have to find another bill. If you write on a bill that’s already been voted on, your paper will earn no credit.

Your opinion should include at least two concepts from class, and should address some of the political realities of government. The bill may be a good idea, but is it important enough to be one of the few bills Congress acts on?  Which of the political parties supports or opposes the bill, and what role might that play in the passage of the bill? Is this a bill the President supports?

Points will be awarded for this activity as follows:

Web-site links to the home page of the committee, a roster of the committee, and a link to the bill are included in your essay (no points will be awarded for this activity if the links are not attached)
The essay at least 250 words long (no points will be awarded for this activity if the essay is shorter);
Your essay includes a summary of who sits on the committee (0-1 points);
Your essay includes a summary of what the committee does (0-1 points);
Your essay includes a summary of a bill the committee is working on (0-3 points);
Your essay includes an opinion on the bill that addresses the political realities of the bills chances of passing. (0-5 points.)


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