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Many Americans have seen a “Schoolhouse Rock” video explaining how Congress operates, or they may have taken political science classes in school. But neither paints the full picture of how Congress “actually works,” Clint Brown says.
Take the introduction of bills in Congress as an example, says Brown, vice president of government relations at The Heritage Foundation. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
“Members of Congress introduce thousands of bills every year,” Brown says, but many of them “are laying a marker for what they believe.”
“We call them messaging bills,” he adds, “because [lawmakers] want to talk about the issue, but they don’t intend it to pass.”
As in any office building, “there are conversations happening all the time,” Brown says, and lawmakers have their own “congressional version of the water cooler” and “talk over what they’re working on just like anybody else.”
“Sometimes there are the smoke-filled back rooms where they hatch plans, and it seems very scandalous and salacious,” he says. “But most of the time, it’s just normal conversation. And that’s how things get done, is you go talk to people about it.”
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