Model Congress Travels To Philadelphia

Manan Manchanda ‘19
EE Staff Writer

Earlier this month, Trumbull Model Congress had the opportunity to attend Penn Model Congress. These students were able to partake in heavy bill-debating that centered around real world issues, and were also able to meet and talk with Former US Senator Evan Bayh.

Model Congress gives high school students an opportunity to learn about, experience, and live under the American legislative system. Penn Model Congress consists of small, specialized committees of approximately 15-20 students modeling the committees in the U.S. House and Senate. Delegates from all over the country present their bills in these specialized committees using parliamentary procedure, the common debate procedure used by legislative bodies all over the globe. Bills passed in committee sessions earn consideration in the full House or Senate. Those passed during full sessions reach the Penn Model Congress president, modeling the United States president, who then decides with the cabinet whether or not to sign them into Penn Model Congress Law.

The opening ceremonies at Penn Model Congress were quite special. Students were able to talk to Evan Bayh, a former US Senator for Indiana. He commented on a variety of real world issues, both international and domestic, the presidential race, and even how general government policies have changed from the past to the current day.

Bayh stated, “Compromise today is viewed as an act of betrayal. We need to go back to the founding generation where compromise was looked highly upon.”

One of the highlights of the conference was the election – Taylor Berlin, a senior at Trumbull High, was elected President for Penn Model Congress 2016. Jacob Fried was her running mate for VP.

Reflecting on the experience,Taylor said, “Being elected president was such an amazing experience. I was so impressed by the other candidates’ speeches and the care that every student took in choosing their president. Winning the campaign was incredible, but the executive branch meetings throughout the weekend were what made the conference so unforgettable. I had so much responsibility as president to sign only the best bills into law and there were times I was unsure of the right course of action. My cabinet was so helpful in breaking down both sides of every bill’s argument yet they still respected my opinion on the topics presented. It was an unforgettable experience altogether.”

Trumbull performed very well at the conference. The hours spent practicing, writing, amending, and finalizing bills finally paid off. Out of the 17 bills presented, 13 were passed on committee. A few were passed unanimously, including Derek Marble’s bill and Manan Manchanda’s bill. Ethan Bachand ‘18 had his bill passed in full session by a vote of 38-16, and was also signed into PennMC law by President Berlin.

At closing ceremonies, Ethan Bachand also won an Honorable Mention in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

After the conference, President Taylor Berlin commented, “Thanks for a great trip, everyone! I’m so proud of the amazing work everyone did this weekend and I know I’m leaving the club in great hands.”

Penn Model Congress was definitely a success for Trumbull High. As the club continues to grow, we hope that the team will be able to perform even better at conferences in the years to come.

 

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