Rule 1: In Favor
The bills should be presented to the House in chronological order based on the date the committee reported them out. This is to give way to non-partisan legislative proceedings as well as to eliminate political bias and prejudice. By setting aside personal preferences over which bills should be presented first to the House, the legislative process is assured of eliminating mere politicking and other political tactics set to advance the interests of certain groups in the House while keeping in line with the spirit of the legislature.
Moreover, the presentation of bills in chronological assures that no bill reported by any committee is left to ‘age’ in the waitlist of the House. Since bills are presented on the basis of the time they are reported, the sequence of the bills remains intact regardless of whether or not the bill appeals to the preference of the other members of the House. While a chronological sequencing gives way to an equal chance for bills to be heeded by the House, it also guarantees the instance that the bills will all be treated similarly with respect to their legislative merits. That is, even with the fact that bills do vary in many different ways, a chronological sequence will not place the ‘unpopular’ bill at the last line assuming that the bill has been earlier reported and noted for the legislative body to enact into a law.
Finally, a chronological arrangement of the bills will give the House more control of the time in dealing with the multitude of legislative tasks at hand. Time management for the members of the House will be less hindered by the queue of bills to be discussed and voted on precisely because a predetermined arrangement of the tasks of the legislative body can be obtained weeks beforehand any bill reported by the committees can be discussed.
Rule 1: Against
The presentation of bills in the House should not be based in terms of chronology but on the decision of the Speaker. That is, bills should be presented in accordance to the personal judgment of the Speaker for several reasons. For the most part, it is highly expected that the Speaker is a legislator elected to abide by the spirit of the legislative process. Bias over certain bills should be discarded and preference should not be based on the bill’s appeal to the personal political opinion of the Speaker.
Granting the Speaker the authority to decide on what bills are to be discussed and on what day gives the Speaker to personally assess the merit of every bill considered for presentation before the House. Since the House of composed of numerous legislators, it is highly expected that there will be a wide disagreement on which bills should be discussed from among the legislative body. Hence, allowing the Speaker to decide on behalf of the House strictly limits any perceived disagreements from the body. This, in turn, eases the function of the House as no wide disagreement will derail the legislative process.
Moreover, it goes without saying that “two many cooks spoil the broth”. Apparently, the more heads there are who are to cast their preference on which bills to present and discuss would entail more problems to be resolved. For instance, a certain group of legislators may argue that bill A should be discussed first while another group may argue that bill A does not deserve to be discussed at all. Further, another group in the legislature may argue that neither of the two is right; bill B deserves the topmost priority in the hierarchy of the legislative agenda. In the end, huge lapses in terms of disagreements will only consume a large amount of time which could have been used for the discussion of the bills in the first place.
Rule 2: In Favor
There should be the requirement that the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading should release all bills no later than 45 days after the committee has received the bills. Within the timeframe of 45 days, it is expected that the committee should release the bills because 45 days are long enough for a discussion on a single bill or at least a couple of bills. Establishing a certain time limit for the committee to work on every single bill also has the advantage of making the legislature act in good faith and in the proper allocated time.
The allotment of a certain timeframe for the legislature to fulfill its role also sends the impression that the legislative body is serious enough to carry-out its function and is also able to be professional enough to set and meet deadlines. Achieving these ends are just some of the basic goals of any organization, and the House, being a collective law-making body, is not an exception to these goals. In fact, the House should all the more recognize the elementary requirement of being able to meet deadlines without compromising the quality of the work done.
The weight of the legislative pressure is handed down to the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading precisely because it is the committee which will propel the bills to becoming actual laws. By putting-up a 45-day policy in the release of the bills after time of being received, the committee is further trained to handle such an important stage in the legislative process. It is a fact that the House handles laws by the tenfold, it is thus an imperative for the House to create bills on time without bending over the pressure of the timeframe. The 45-day policy only reaffirms the proposition that a hastened work process is more preferred, especially in such a national body, than a slow working House.
Rule 2: Against
There should be no requirement that the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading should release all bills no later than 45 days after the committee has received the bills. One reason to this is the fact that all the bills being looked into do not have the same levels of difficulty. While some bills may be relatively short and require minimal time for taking into legal consideration, there are some bills which require more resources and time. The reason to this is the fact that there are certain laws which are not an easy fix. That is, there are bills which are complicated enough to require a considerable stretch of time for more than 45 days. Law makers need a considerable amount of time to deal with all the relevant existing laws regarding the proposed bills. The committee cannot compromise the whole body of existing laws by undermining or cutting short the legislative process
While it remains true that the House or the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading should not escape the prerequisite of passing bills on the appropriate time without unjustified delays, it is equally true that the committee should not also hasten their work and compromising the quality of the bills in the process if only to meet the 45-day deadline. To substantiate and to critically examine the bills requires a certain amount of time which cannot essentially be predetermined in the context of 45 days.
Moreover, bills which tend to reform a large sum of the existing laws of the nation require the utmost amount of time and consideration. If the committee is to be delimited by the framework of 45 days, it would be not surprising of the entire House would end up unable to meet the expectations of the constituents of the nation.