american government essay (influencing congress)




As you have studied, lawmaking can be a long and difficult process. There are many different participants in the process. Even when a bill successfully goes through the committees, the House, and the Senate, there is still a chance that the president may veto it. Also, as a bill passes through different committees and the Congress holds debates, there is a chance that amendments may be added to the bill. The final bill that reaches the president will most likely have been revised many times. Public pressure, lobbyist influence, party conflicts, and time constraints are all possible roadblocks to the passing of a bill into a law.


In this assignment, you will design a presentation to show who’s who in the lawmaking process. The guide will show how different people influence the process. The presentation can be a diagram, chart, or multimedia presentation. Your design should be clear and easy to understand and follow all of the procedures listed below.


Follow the steps below to complete the portfolio.

PART 11. Content: Choose 5 people from the list below:

  • representative

  • Speaker of the House

  • House minority whip

  • House majority leader

  • Speaker of the House

  • senator

  • president

  • citizen

  • lobbyist

Influencing Lawmaking

American Government A Unit 2: The Legislative Branch Portfolio

For each person you selected, answer the following question:

• How does he/she support or prevent a bill from becoming a law. In other words, what role does each play in the law making process?

2. Images: Include an image related to each of the three people you selected. Note: The image may be of a specific person (ex: the current president or a Congress member) but it can also be a symbolic image of what the person does in the lawmaking process.

3. Credit sources: Cite all sources of text and images used in your project. Part 2

Reflection: Answer each of the following questions in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper or Word document:

  1. Which person or group do you think has the most influence on legislation? Give specific facts to support your answer.

  2. What are possible advantages to having so many different groups participate in the lawmaking process?

  3. What are some of the disadvantages of having so many different groups participate in the lawmaking process?


• Include a clear, appropriate title for your project.

• All content should be written in your own words and reflect a clear understanding of the content.

• Information should be laid out in an attractive, easy to follow design. 

• See the rubric for complete grading specifics.


You may wish to use the following resources to research information to complete the assignment:

  • United States Government: Democracy in Action

  • Grolier Online®

  • The Center on Congress at Indiana University (Web site)

• The Library of Congress: Legislative Web site Thomas (Web site)

Grading RubricPart 1: Your presentation or chart will be graded on the following criteria.

Each criterion is worth 1 point. Each person is worth a maximum of 5 points.


Person 1

Person 2

Person 3

Person 4

Person 5

The response gives a clear and accurate explanation of person’s role

The response provides additional examples or supporting details

The response shows excellent understanding of the person’s role in the lawmaking process

The response includes an appropriate image to represent the person’s role in the law making process.

The source of the image is credited.

Sub totals






Total Score /25

Part 2: Your reflection answers will be graded on the following criteria.
Each criterion is worth 1 point. Each question is worth a maximum of 5 points.


Question 1

Question 2

Question 3

The answer is clearly expressed.

The answer gives specific details and accurate examples to support the opinion.

The answer provides a thoughtful response to the question.

The answer is written in complete sentences

The answer demonstrates understanding of the content





Total Score


Final Score

American Government A Unit 2: The Legislative Branch Portfolio

Points Earned

Possible Points

Part 1


Part 2



Final Grade: /40



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