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Analyze Legislation


What is the purpose of this type of analysis?


  • To provide a platform for thinking about, talking about, and acting on long-term priorities for American politics
  • To bring a more data-driven outcome to making progressive policy arguments
  • To consistently provide a Millennial generation response to new legislation, backed by a common framework

How do bills become legislation?


  • Bill is introduced
  • Bill goes to a committee
  • Committee marks up bill, and produces its own version, along with a committee report
  • Bill is reported to the floor
  • Each chamber must consider the bill, and approve it (typically the House goes first)
  • Separate House and Senate bills are combined in conference committee
  • House and Senate then each must pass the combined, identical bill
  • President must sign bill, or Congress must override veto with 2/3 majority
  • Authorization provides the government will the authority to do something but not the money to do it
  • The last step is for the money to be appropriated (harder than it sounds)

How to analyze legislation, step by step:


  • Identify bill to analyze
  • Access bill on
    • Click on “Official Bill Text”
    • Scan the contents of the bill (usually 1-15 pages in length)
    • Select 1-3 distinct bill provisions to hone in on, from a future preparedness standpoint
  • Cross-reference the bill’s contents with the “Official Bill Summary” (usually 10-50 pages in length) to identify more specifically what the bill’s relevant provisions are
  • Reference the relevant Future Preparedness Index indicators to guide analysis of the bill section(s) chosen; FPI indicators will be available on the web in mid-February, and are currently available in the Legislation Analysis Guide
  • Use resources identified in the Legislation Analysis Guide to aid in your analysis
  • Write a 1-2 page brief on your findings, along with a summary of your findings in 3-6 bullet points
  • Look for opportunities to engage your community (e.g. through seminars at the University or local high school) in discussion around the legislation, and how it affects young people and America’s future

Suggested format for brief-writing:

Title: Choose a title that reflects both what is in the bill, and how it affects America’s future (4-8 words)

Describe the bill: Briefly summarize the part of the bill you analyzed in plain English. (50-100 words)

Your take: In a few sentences, offer your overall assessment of how the provision changes America’s future preparedness (50-100 words)

Deep dive and key facts: Take a couple of paragraphs to explain how the bill provision you analyzed affects different aspects of future preparedness. How much is it likely to help America reach out future preparedness goals? Why? How did you arrive at this conclusion. (250-400 words)

Next steps: What could be done to improve the bill? Make a few practical suggestions (optional, 100-250 words)

Sources: Tell us how you know what you know (don’t cite Wikipedia).

Share your findings:

  • The world won’t be any different unless other people read your assessment
  • It will be posted on the Roosevelt website
  • Spread the word to your peers via social media
  • Participate in community forums to share your analysis

Energy and Environment:


Health Care:

Fiscal Policy

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