While your friends are playing fantasy football, are you completely lost? Donít know a single football stat? While your friends are boning up on football stats are you to busy following politics? Are you watching C-SPAN and reading blogs? Then Fantasy Congress may be just the game for you.
Just like with football, you get to draft your own team of real-life legislators. You can join a league or create your own league. Create yourself an account and login. Then begin drafting your team. You will need twelve representatives, four All-Stars, from the top one-third of the House of Representatives in seniority; four Supporting Lineups, from the middle one-third of the House of Representatives in seniority; and four Rookies, from the bottom one-third of the House of Representatives in seniority. Then, you pick your Senators, two Upper Senators with high seniority and two Lower Senators, with low seniority. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can strategize a new lineup and redraft your members of Congress, deciding who to play and who to bench.
You will be awarded points on how far legislation sponsored by your Congress member moves through Congress. When your House Member of Congress introduces a piece of Legislation in the House you will be awarded five points. The legislation then moves to committee. If your House Member of Congress can persuade the committee to approve the legislation then you are awarded fifteen points. Next your House Member of Congress must get the legislation passed through the rule committee and placed on the calendar; this will earn you ten more points. Now you House Member of Congress must lobby and win enough votes to obtain a majority of votes. If the House votes yes you win 25 points and a no vote will get you 15 points.
When legislation is passes in one chamber of the House, it must then move to the other chamber. So the legislation that your House Member of Congress introduced in the House now goes to the Senate. There it must be formally introduced by your Senate Member of Congress and referred to committee; this earns you five points. The Chair of the Committee may hold hearings, mark up the legislation, or leave it alone. Once your legislation clears the Committee and is submitted to the Chamber you will receive fifteen points. In the Senate you will usually need sixty votes to move youíre the bill forward. If you succeed in securing a yes vote you will be awarded twenty five points, a no vote will gain you fifteen points.
If the legislation has been altered so that the version passed by the House and the Senate differs then you will need to move to conference to create compromise legislation. The conference report, the compromise, will result in your getting thirty more points. Now both houses must approve the legislation. You will get twenty points for a yes vote in each chamber and five points for a no vote in each chamber. Once passed your legislation is sent to the President, POTUS. You get fifty points when the President signs or vetoes your bill.
This game is tracking real legislation and your points are awarded as real legislation moves through the Congress. This is a great way to learn about and follow what Congress is doing. There are lots of resources on the site to help you learn about the members of Congress and the process your bill must take. You can join the BellaOnline.com Fantasy Congress league at www.fantasycongress.us. Set up your team and start playing with other BellaOnline.com readers.