PSCI 3308 University of New Haven the Two Congresses Concept Final Exam

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PSCI 3308

University of New Haven



Davidson, Oleszek, Lee, Schickler. Congress and Its Members. Sage/CQ Press. 2018. 16th edition. ISBN # 978-1-5443-0034-4.

PSCI 3308 Legislative Process – Final Exam Assignment

Spring 2020

Due at the Final Exam

Six to Nine Pages

Using the Davidson text and class lectures discuss FOUR of the following:

1. The Two Congresses concept

2. Hill Styles, Home Styles

3. Legislative recruitment and candidacy

4. Influences/determinants on legislative voting decisions

5. Congress and interest groups

6. Congress and the president

7. Congress and national security public policy making.

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Explanation & Answer



PSCI 3308 Legislative Process: Final Exam Assignment




PSCI 3308 legislative process: Final exam assignment
The Two Congresses concept
The two Congresses concept considers the US Congress as a combination of two bodies.
This concept is based on the composition of Congress, the tasks of the body/members, and the
jurisdiction. The dual nature of Congress is wielded in the Constitution that dictates the structure
of the institution, composition, roles, and the responsibilities of the members (Davidson et al.,
2020). This dual nature not only dictates how the institution works, but it also determines how the
members of Congress reflect, serve, and represent their constituents and the nation/government.
First, the two Congresses concept emerges when one considers the composition of the US
Congress as the legislative arm of the government. According to Davidson et al. (2020), Congress
is a decentralized unit of two independent sub-units. In this regard, the arm is divided into two
physical units and two sets of representatives. On the one hand, the physical premises of
Congress are made up of the Senate and the House, while the representation is made up of both
senators and representations. As such, this consideration reveals the existence of the US Congress
as a body that is made from a combination of two independent bodies. While the powers of the
occupants of the senate and the house differ considerably, they need to be combined for the two
bodies to fulfill their obligations to the nation, from which they serve Americans as a single unit.
The composition of Congress is also important when defining its dual nature. On the one
hand, Congress is considered as a body that constitutes senators and representatives. According to
Davidson et al. (2020), Congress constitutes 541 individuals, including the 100 senators, 435
representatives, five delegates, and one resident commissioner. In fact, this is the most common
understanding of Congress by the members of the public. However, a second meaning emerges
when Congress is viewed from the mandates of the body to the people. In this case, Congress is
viewed as an institution rather than a collection of individuals. As a body that is responsible for



formulating and enacting laws, Congress is more than just a collection of senators and
representatives. According to Davidson et al. (2020), one of the definitions of Congress presents
it as a collection of individuals plus a complex network of rules that govern the policymaking
process, norms, traditions, and organizations. Congress, as an institution, also brings together
other leaders such as the president, cabinet members, activists, lobbyists, and career bureaucrats,
among other forces of the US political life. This necessitates the process of policymaking through
the identification of need, consultation, the passing of bills, and signing of these bills into laws.
Congress can also be viewed from the jurisdiction of the members. According to
Davidson et al. (2020), the members of Congress always inhabit two very different, yet closely
linked worlds, which then results in the emergence of ...

Really useful study material!