Start A Simulation Session

  Start a Simulation Session in the U.S. Senate Add Your Name
a Note
Legislative Bill:
Bill Attribute: Value
Bill Title:
Bill Jurisdiction:
Bill Sponsor:
Sponsor's Party:
Sponsor's Seniority:
Senate Majority Party:
Economic Conditions:
Majority Leader's Decision:
Amended by Committee?:
Killed by Committee:
Committee Vote:
Amended by Senate?:
Tabled by Senate?:
Full Senate Vote:
Temp Majority Leader:
     Bill Flow Chart    Exterior Influences

This simulation will illustrate the approximate U.S. Senate process for developing and considering legislative bills.  To do this,  a single legislative bill representing one of the historic topics will be selected,  and its progress followed through the different possible steps in the Senate process.  At each step,  you will have the opportunity to make selections which will affect the bill's path and progress . . . (more).

Graphics and Bill Data
Also at each step in the simulation,  specific relevant information is available for your consideration.  At the top left of each page,  a (green) table will display current bill data.  Further down the page,  a 'bill path' graph will show the current state of the bill relative to its different possible paths.  Below that,  a different graph will illustrate the external influences interested in the progress and treatment of this type of bill.

Senate Organization
The U.S. Senate is organized to ensure the orderly introduction and conduct of its business.  The Constitution states that each of the houses of Congress is to operate under its own set of rules.  The Senate's rules and procedures are very important in comprehending Senate function.  They are discussed on a separate page in this site.

About this step
Begin by selecting the topic for this legislative bill by clicking on the topic of choice.  You may choose any of the topics shown in the list below.  Press the 'Start Simulation' button when you are ready to begin.

Bill Title Bill Sponsor    Temp Majority Leader  
   (letters, numbers, and
   spaces only)  What?
   (20 characters maximum)

Legislative Bill Flow Chart          (to top)

a graphic of any legislative bill path in the Senate

Exterior influences possibly affecting a legislative bill          (to top)

a graphic of general external influences in processing a legislative bill

Explanation - External Influences          (to top)
At each step in the simulation, the above graph will illustrate external influences on the different entities shown in the Senate.  The graph will be specific to the topic you select for the simulated session,  and will show in a separate box organizations which have historically been active in trying to influence this kind of legislation.  Active influences will be identified with a red background, and the relationship arrows will be enlarged and highlighted.  Arrow points on the relationships maust be taken as approximate.  Relationships are of course almost always bi-directional,  but we like to emphasize the most important direction.  You will see a good example of these highlights and emphases in the graph for the next step.

Of course,  it is not to be pretended that these visual effects are completely representative of the real processs,  nor are they the only important ones.  Your imagination and knowledge of human behavior in situations of differing beliefs and philosophies must be used to help you develop your own understanding of each step,  and an appreciation for the significance of each separate step in the Senate process.

You may observe,  after going through a full sequence of the simulation, that at no time do we emphasize the influence of either the 'voters' or the 'news media' entities.  Of course these entities are important and they do have influence.  However,  we feel they are more to be considered observers of the action than are political parties and political action groups.

About the Simulation (cont)          (to top)
There is,  of course,  much more to be said and understood about the operation of the U.S. Senate.  In this simulation,  we try to retain focus simply on how the current Senate  (circa 2013)  functions.  Other pages on this site exist to help you understand the Senate more fully,  and to explore problems and possible solutions to improving functionality.

You may find that opening a second web browser is a good idea.  That way,  one browser version can be used simply for exploring the site to find explanations,  definitions,  That will leave the initial version of your browser solely to execute the simulation,  avoiding loss of place,  etc.

Add Your Name          (to top)
As you go through the steps of this simulation,  you will be making decisions about your legislative bill which are commonly made  (or at least highly influenced)  by the Senate Majority Leader.  This person,  elected by the members of the majority party,  is easily the most powerful person in the Senate.  Consequently,  this position is highly coveted and protected.  By experiencing  (some of)  the alternatives that are available to this leader,  and by imagining how you might use the special Senate rules and procedures to produce the legislation your party desires,  you will begin to appreciate the complexity and exasperations involved in making the Senate process work.  You may also develop ideas about how it might work better.

Consequently,  we will show your name  (should you enter it)  as 'Temp Majority Leader',  along with the other legislative bill data.  You will get an opportunity at the end of the simulation to print a copy of all the bill data your simulation session produced.  Nothing produced by your simulation session,  including your name,  is stored on our server after the session ends  (see further explanation below in  ('a Note').

For security purposes,  only letters  (either upper or lower case),  numbers,  and underscores ('_') will be accepted when you  enter your name  as  'Temp Majority Leader'.  Also,  any characters beyond a count of 20 will be truncated.

a Note:
Please keep in mind that your browser  'session'  is timed by our server,  and will  'timeout'  in 20 minutes.  This means that if the server does not get a request from your browser in 20 minutes,  your session will be closed,  and you will be forced to start a new simulation session,  losing all of your existing accumulated legislative bill data.  This is no disaster,  but can be an inconvenience,  particularly if your are doing some exploring elsewhere on the site,  or deep thinking,  while running a simulation session.  Sometimes 20 minutes can seem like a pretty short time.

Please be aware that use of the  'Back'   an image of a browser Back button icon  and  'Forward'   an image of a browser Forward button icon  buttons on your browser usually does not generate a request from your internet browser to our server.  Rather,  use of these  (very handy)  buttons accesses copies located on your browser in showing a requested page.  So when using these buttons,  the 20 minute browser  'session'  timeout period keeps ticking.