Bicameral Agreement

The standard logic of U.S. legislative policy assigns members of conference committees of the U.S. Congress a triangle of motivations. First, each member (or “conferee”) tries to advance individual goals and interests that combine what they see as a good national policy to protect or promote the interests of their riding and to strengthen their own power and influence within Congress. Second, each conference partner also seeks to promote a conference agreement that promotes the politics and programs of its political party. And third, each participant in the conference must defend the position of his house vis-à-vis that of the other. The bicameral American system was born out of the desire to have a balanced legislative system and to address a disagreement over how states would be allocated to representation. [39] There have, of course, been exceptions, especially when there have been significant time constraints to reach an agreement, since it is time to appoint and convene a conference committee, prepare a written report, give members of both houses a minimum amount of time to study it, and then debate and vote in time for each assembly to debate and vote on the conference report. See also the discussion on this topic below in this essay.

The reasons for this difference, as I have tried to identify and explain here, are many. However, they can all be directly or indirectly attributed to the constitutional, institutional and political contexts in which the legislative processes of the United States and Australia take place. At the constitutional level, the parliamentary sources and foundations of Australia`s national political system, which are reflected, for example, in the government`s control over the legislative agendas of both houses, are particularly important, although the government does not normally control the majority of seats in the current Senate. In terms of the institutional context, the different roles played by the standing committees of Australia (Senate) and the United States at the forefront of the legislative process are reflected, and it is not surprising that they are at the end. And politically, the strength of party discipline in the Australian parliament is particularly important, even when compared to the historically high level of party proximity in the current US Congress. From these and other differences that are closely related to them or from them, it appears to me that what seems to me to be a satisfactory set of explanations, which is why the collective approach to bicameral legislative agreements was an available and appreciated procedural option in Washington, but not in Canberra. Another couple bases the differences between the Australian Parliament and the U.S. Congress in applying the collective approach to obtaining legislative agreements with their internal organization and the preliminary stages of their legislative processes.