On August 3, Congress proposed an amendment to the United States Constitution.
United States Constitution
The twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution grants US citizens, who are eighteen years of age or older, the right to vote. However, legislation extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older is now up for consideration. Before I get into the specifics, it is useful to clarify a few key concepts and terms.
What Is Legislation?
- As the Legislative Branch of government, Congress creates laws (legislation) and changes laws. This includes amending the United States Constitution.
- Most legislative proposals are in the form of bills. For a bill to become a law, both Chambers (the House of Representatives and the Senate) must approve the legislation in the same form. Once both Chambers are in agreement, the bill goes to the president. The President can veto the bill or sign the bill into law.
What is A Joint Resolution?
- Other legislative proposals are in the form of joint resolutions. Bills and joint resolutions are essentially the same. But, joint resolutions are used for proposing amendments to the Constitution (among other things).
- Joint resolutions require approval from two-thirds of the House and Senate.
- Additionally, three-fourths of the states must ratify a joint resolution to amend the Constitution.
- Finally, while the president must sign a bill before it becomes law, joint resolutions used for proposing amendments to the Constitution do not need the president’s signature.
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