Senior Senate


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by D’Etta Farmer and Quinn Smith

For the past few weeks our senior  class was transformed into members of congress. We began by coming up with our own bills to present to our fellow congressmen and women on topics we felt strongly about or felt were important to explore. We were then divided into Democrats and Republicans as members of the House of Representatives (according to the current majority ratio) and looked over all of the bills that were presented to us.  We were divided into committees of 3 republicans and 4 democrats for mark-up sessions to either pass the bill as is, pass unfavorably , kill a bill or make changes to the bill. The bills that were passed would later be put into a folder with other group’s bills to be debated on the House floor. Before the debate there had to be  a vote for who would be our Speaker of the House for both classes. Jeffery Micono was elected Speaker of the House by popular vote for the ⅔ block and Nick Miller for the ⅘ block. When asking Jeffery if he enjoyed the role as speaker of the house he said,

“Very much so!  Sitting at the front of the room, dictating what was to happen when, was an enjoyable and unique experience.  For the most part, I had the resources to figure out what was supposed to happen, and when there was insufficient information, Mama Reece was very helpful in guiding me back on track.”

-Jeffrey Micono

Each bill was debated vigorously. Both sides had very strong opinions and each congressperson wanted to make sure their point was heard. After hours of debate the majority of the bills were passed with only 1 being sent back to committee to be  fixed. Next was the Senate debate where we switched bills with the other class to be able to have some fresh views on the new bills. Some of the congress people were switched to different parties to reflect the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

With the new groups formed we elected Nicole Granone as the President Pro Tempore for first block and Josiah Payne for 4/5. Finally, it was time for the Senate debate which only took a day to complete leaving one bill undiscussed. The first block ended with a very interesting, yet confusing filibuster by none other than Robert Holloman. The senior class of 2019 was finally done being congressmen and women for 3 to 4 weeks.  

The experience of being members of congress was exciting because we got to explore what members of congress go through on an everyday basis and understand just how a bill becomes a law. It was equally as challenging because if you were not assigned to the party you personally agree with you had to think of what someone of that party what do and what their views on the bill would be and sometimes go against your personal views. Overall this project took us out of our normal teenage lives and turned us into law makers who were in charge of setting laws that could potentially change the future of the country.