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Schoolhouse Rock: Another Legislative Bill to Bring Back the A&M-Texas Game!

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I’m just a bill! For now...

Here we are again! Time for Democracy to unfold before our very eyes! Yes, another Texas State legislator has set forth a bill proposing that the Aggies and Longhorns play football again each year. Great! So how does it navigate the state’s system of governance from here on out? Here’s a primer.

Boy: Woof! You sure gotta climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Austin. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?

I’m just a bill.

Yes, I’m only a bill.

And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.

Well, it’s a long, long journey

From the Internet to the capital city.

It’s a long, long wait

While I’m sitting in committee,

But I know I’ll be a law someday

At least I hope and pray that I will,

But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Bill: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a bill, I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted to grandstand on a hot-button issue that has absolutely no political repercussions one way or another, so they called their local Congressman and he said, “You’re right, there oughta be a law.” Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I’ll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.

I’m just a bill

Yes I’m only a bill,

And I got as far as South Congress Avenue.

Well, now I’m stuck at a food truck

And I’ll sit here and wait

While a few key Congressmen grandstand and debate

Whether they should get the credit for letting me be a law.

How I hope and pray that they will,

But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?

Bill: You bet! Sure, there are far more pressing issues facing our society, but the beauty of my popularity is that there’s an instant base of rabid support for either side you come down on me. Better yet: it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to the well-being of this State whether or not I pass or not! It’s an instant win-win! Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.

Boy: Die?

Bill: Yeah, die in committee. But not to worry, a different congressman can just resurrect me during the next legislative session over and over and over like some zombie drain on the news cycle. Oooh, but it looks like I’m gonna live this year! Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.

Boy: If they vote yes, what happens?

Bill: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again. More grandstanding, louder chest-thumping, the whole nine yards!

Boy: Oh no!

Bill: Oh yes!

I’m just a bill

Yes, I’m only a bill

And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill

Well, then I’m off to the Governor’s

Where I’ll wait in a line

With a lot of other bills

For Greg Abbott to sign

And if he signs me, then I’ll be a law.

And he’ll take lots of pretty pictures,

Until people get mad, and he changes his mind. Then changes it back.

How I hope and pray that he will,

But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the governor can still say no?

Bill: Yes, that’s called a veto. If the Governor vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time the fanbases have moved on to their next momentary obsession like recruiting graphics or Tom Herman snapchats and you’re so old...

Boy: By that time it’s very unlikely that you’ll become a law. It’s not easy to become a law, is it?

Bill: No!

But how I hope and I pray that I will,

But today I am still just a bill.

Congressman Lyle Larsen: He signed you, Bill! Now you’re a law!

Bill: Oh yes!!!