What is Congressional Debate?
• Student Congress is modeled after the United States Congress. Bills and resolutions on the "docket," which are posted on the TFA page, are debated in “houses” of about
• Parliamentary procedure is followed, and a student chairperson known a “presiding officer” leads the proceedings. The presiding officer is address as
“Mister Chairman” or “Madame Chairman.”
• You will be addressed as “Representative,” unless you are part of the Senate—a special house that prepares bills and resolutions for future tournaments.
• After debating a bill or resolution, you and the other members of your house will take a vote to decide if the bill or resolution should be passed.
What is Parliamentary Procedure?
• The US Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and many businesses and clubs follow parliamentary procedure or Roberts’s Rules of Order to increase the efficiency of meetings.
• Speakers are required to make “motions” or recommendations to move the discussion in the meeting along. (See Table of Motions attachment)
• Parliamentary procedure helps to:
• Guarantee that the minority opinion is heard.
• Make sure that the majority opinion prevails
• Provide orderly procedures for conducting business and debate upon issues of importance.
What is a bill? What is a resolution?
• A bill is basically the wording for a law or piece of legislation. Bills include such words as, “Be it enacted by the Student Congress that…” A resolution is a generalized statement expressing a conviction or sentiment.
Resolutions usually contain the words, “Be it resolved by the Student Congress that…” Resolutions should begin with a number of phraes which start with the word, “Whereas”. (See templates for writing legislation)
"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God."