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Medicare/ Prescription Drug Bill

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Within the three branches of government there is s system called checks and balances. This system keeps each branch controlled and limited to it's own specific powers as to not step on another branches toes, all to prevent tyranny. For example in Congress there is the House of Representatives and the Senate. These two legislatures compliment each other but also works against each other at the same time.

For a brief background there some differences between the House and the Senate. There are fewer members in the Senate than in the House. This is because senators are elected on a statewide basis. Being a senator is considered more prestigious and powerful because many presidential candidates were once senators. In the House, leaders have more power and majority rule is predominant. This makes it more difficult for members of the House to have their opinion heard and represented. Completely different, the Senate is a much more relaxed environment, and gives more power to the individuals and focuses on the minority rule. Therefore acting a check on the House, the Senate makes sure that that minority opinion is voiced and later expressed without being taken over by the majority in the House.

In Voices of Dissent, there is a report named "Democracy on Drugs" which details the 2003 Medicare Bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. The report shows just how the inner workings of Congress play for and against the majority and minority rule. In 2003 Representative Nick Smith of Michigan was going to vote against the Medicare/ prescription drug bill when he was pressured to vote for the bill by fellow Republicans. He then was faced with what he felt was a bribe. If he was to vote for the bill his son Bradley who was going to be running in the next election would be aggressively supported by the Republican Party. Since he chose to stand his ground and go with his gut, he voted against the bill. Nothing could be done after reviewing the legal terms for a bribe, but Smith still felt the pressure of the majority party.

Later in the document, Thomas Scully's assistant was



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