Winter Congress 2016

Don’t complain about laws—write them!

“You write the bills. You cast the votes. You make the laws.”

Textbook accounts of how a bill becomes a law can never convey the passions of lawmaking. Even viewing Congress in session fails to give you a sense of the heated debates that go on in committee hearings or the compromising done in back room meetings.

At Winter Congress, you get a unique opportunity to place yourself in the shoes of a Representative or Senator in Congress. In your chapter, you get to write bills on topics that you think should be discussed. At the conference, everyone is divided into committees, and you get to debate, amend, and pass bills into law—or prevent them from doing so.

How does the legislative process in JSA work? At home, you will write legislation with your fellow chapter-members on the issues that you believe need to be addressed. Each bill will be sponsored by a Senator and a Representative. On Saturday, you will be divided into Senate or House committees, and sponsors will try to persuade their committee to pass their bill. In the committee, members will debate, amend, and vote on the legislation, and hopefully the Senate and House committees will both pass your bill. The next day, you will be grouped together with two more committees, and will debate the bills that had passed in all of them the previous day. The same process occurs, where the Senate and the House debate, amend, and vote on bills, and if they pass in both chambers, then congratulations—your bill has become a law!
Check here for more information!

Come down to Washington, D.C., to not only debate bills, but also have the opportunity tour the nation’s capital, hear from speakers in the area, and see Democracy in Action.

Along with debate, you also get to witness JSAers declare their candidacy for elected positions. Campaigning will take place in the following months, and elections will occur at Spring State.

RSVP on Facebook!

Important Information

When: February 26-28, 2016
Where: Double Tree Crystal City
300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

Submit your Chapter’s bills.
Deadline: January 8
Chapters must have at least one bill submission for every 3-5 students.

Apply for the Scholarship.
Deadline: January 10
You will be notified by January 12

Don’t forget to Register!!
Registration Due: February 9, 2016

Be a Chair/Clerk.
Deadline: February 9
Chairs and Clerks play an essential role in making sure Winter Congress runs smoothly. Chairs serve as moderators for their committee rooms for the whole day as students debate on bills, while Clerks record the results of each bill and moderate when the room’s Chair is unable to do so.

Be a Whip!
Deadline: February 9
Whips are party leaders who push for a platform and encourage party members to vote for or against certain legislation. At Winter Congress, you can whip for either the Republican or Democrat Party.

Be a Logistics Agent.
Deadline: February 9
Logistics agents help the bill team by helping to keep track of results, and communicating  information between committees.