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Chapter 11 The CONGRESS
Constituents the citizens from a state or district that an elected official represents.
Proportional-to-Population Representation meant that the numbers assigned to each state would be
based on population. The most populous states Virginia, Pennsylvania, & Massachusetts would have
nearly half the seats in Congress. They could dominate the other 10. Not a good deal for the smaller
states who were used to autonomy.
The Great Compromise apportioned the Senate seats equally and the House by population.
The House of Representatives is the “people’s house” with direct election every two years.
The Senate would have two members from each state and would be selected by the state legislature
(changed to direct election by the 17
th
amendment). They would represent the States’ interest in
Congress and serve a six year term with only one-third up for election in each two year cycle. It was a
deliberative body designed to slow the emotional temperament of the electorate.
ENUMERATED: Powers specifically allocated to the national government alone by the Constitution.
Elastic clause: Powers necessary to carry out constitutionally enumerated functions of government.
RESERVED: Powers constitutionally allocated to the states.
House initiates all revenue (money) bills.
Senate approves (ratifies) treaties, political appointments and federal judges.
HOUSE: Initiate bills raising revenues ($$$) (money bills). New taxes.
SENATE: Advise and Consent Role: Ratify Treaties by two-thirds vote; Approve Cabinet level
Appointments; Approve Supreme Court nominees and all federal judges.
Plus Seventeenth Amendment initiated the direct election of Senators by the people.
Seniority System rewards those with longer service with positions of leadership.
Congressional Budget Office nonpartisan agency created to assist in the budget process.
Polarization: Dysfunction, gridlock, stalemate. Ideological gap.
Franking Privileges free postage for members of Congress to communicate with constituents.
Casework finding solutions to constituent problems, usually involving government agencies. AKA
Constituent Service
After each census, the states redistrict their Congressional districts, and state & local legislative districts
redrawing those electoral boundaries based on where people are now living.
Reapportionment is the reallocation of the 435 House seats based on the census every ten years.
Gerrymandering drawing congressional boundaries to the advantage of one party over the other.
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Racial gerrymandering: The drawing of legislative districts in order to segregate the races for the
purposes of voting.
Minority-Majority District - Cluster minorities to make majority. Intention to get a minority elected.
Trustee makes own judgment in legislative decision making.
Politico alternate between delegate and trustee as he/she deems appropriate.
Descriptive representation: The idea that our representatives should reflect the demographic makeup
of the population and not just our political interests.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessments of budget proposals.
General Accountability Office (GAO) agency audits and recommendations.
Congressional Research Service (CRS) specialized reports and keeps track of legislation.
Standing Committees are permanent and continue session to session. Specialized areas.
Pork Barrel Projects: Term applied to spending for pet projects of individual members of Congress.
Earmarks: Funding for specific projects that are added by members of Congress to appropriations bills,
usually without oversight or public debate
Select Committees usually limited duration for a specific issue.
Joint Committees includes members from both houses. Monitor and report on government agencies.
Conference Committees resolves the differences between House and Senate versions of a bill. Must
be identical for the president to sign.
Committees and Subcommittees are where all the work is done on legislation.
Blue dog democrats term given to conservative Democrats. Usually on spending issues.
Leadership in Congress SPEAKER and Majority/Minority Leaders and Whips
Discharge Petition: Method of freeing legislation from a committee in the House that requires
signatures of 218 members. Think ‘Legally Blonde 2’ – booser’s bill.
Committee on Rules in the House, is the committee charged with determining rules for debate,
amendments, and vote on bills brought to the floor.
Filibuster Senate practice of continuous debate often employed to stop pending legislative action.
Cloture The procedure that ends a filibuster with sixty votes in the Senate.
Hold - Action a senator may place requiring personal consultation before the matter can proceed.
Lawmaking is Congress’s principal function. Legal rules that govern society.
Presidential actions:
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Sign the bill into law. Big ceremony.
Veto say no and why. But veto can be overridden with 2/3 both houses of Congress.
Allow to become law without signature after 10 business days while Congress is still in session. President
does not like but has support in Congress.
Pocket Veto if Congress adjourns within 10 business days the bill dies and can not be brought up until
the next Congress. Rule is don’t dump and run. Wait.
War Powers Act passed in 1973 over Nixon’s veto.
President must inform within 48 hours of deployment of military forces.
No approval must remove troops within 60-90 days.
Impeachment:
House brings formal charges against federal officials: treason, bribery and other high crimes and
misdemeanors
Senate conducts the trial; need two-thirds vote to convict. Recently a federal district court judge was
impeached & convicted; removed from office.
Oversight - Congressional authority to monitor the actions and budgets of executive agencies it creates.
(close scrutiny)
Investigations examines policy implementation or scrutinize the activities of government personnel
and officeholders. Testify under oath. Uses General Accountability Office
Legislative veto (unconstitutional) allowed Congress to rescind rules promulgated by executive agency.
Congressional Review action requiring approval by both houses and the president, that can stop
implementation of executive branch regulations.
Signing Statements: Documents presidents append to legislation indicating their particular
interpretation of its contents.
Budget Resolution early step in the budget process in which both houses of Congress set spending
goals.
Reconciliation process of amending spending bills to meet budget targets.
Continuing Resolution vehicle for funding government operations at the previous year’s level of
support when a new budget is delayed.
Omnibus Bill: A bill that folds spending for all executive agencies into one legislative package.
Advice and Consent (Senate ONLY)
Treaties (involve key senators?) needs a 2/3rds positive vote to ratify.
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Appointments (partisan?) - senior policy makers cabinet secretaries, executive agencies;
ambassadors; judges of Supreme Court (actually all federal judges). Some lower level appointments are
delegated to lower levels on an exception basis.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Chapter 11 The CONGRESS Constituents –the citizens from a state or district that an elected official represents. Proportional-to-Population Representation meant that the numbers assigned to each state would be based on population. The most populous states – Virginia, Pennsylvania, & Massachusetts would have nearly half the seats in Congress. They could dominate the other 10. Not a good deal for the smaller states who were used to autonomy. The Great Compromise apportioned the Senate seats equally and the House by population. The House of Representatives is the “people’s house” with direct election every two years. The Senate would have two members from each state and would be selected by the state legislature (changed to direct election by the 17th amendment). They would represent the States’ interest in Congress and serve a six year term with only one-third up for election in each two year cycle. It was a deliberative body designed to slow the emotional temperament of the electorate. ENUMERATED: Powers specifically allocated to the national government alone by the Constitution. Elastic clause: Powers necessary to carry out constitutionally enumerated functions of government. RESERVED: Powers constitutionally allocated to the states. House initiates all revenue (money) bills. Senate approves (ratifies) treaties, political appointments and federal judges. HOUSE: Initiate bills raising revenues ($$$) (money bills). New taxes. SENATE: Advise and Consent Role: Ratify Treaties by two-thirds vote; Approve Cabinet level Appointments; Approve Supreme Court nominees and all federal judges. Plus Seventeenth Amendment initiated the direct election of Senators by the people. Seniority System rewards those with longer service with positions of leadership. Congressional Budget Office – nonpartisan agency created to assist in the budget process. Polarization: Dysfunction, gridlock, stalemate. Ideological gap. Franking Privileges – free postage for members of Congress to communicate with constituents. Casework – finding solutions to constituent problems, usually involving government agencies. AKA Constituent Service After each census, the states redistrict their Congressional districts, and state & local legislative districts – redrawing those electoral boundaries based on where people are now living. Reapportionment is the reallocation of the 435 House seats based on the census every ten years. Gerrymandering drawing congressional boundaries to the advantage of one party over the other. Racial gerrymandering: The drawing of legislative districts in order to segregate the races for the purposes of voting. Minority-Majority District - Cluster minorities to make majority. Intention to get a minority elected. Trustee – makes own judgment in legislative decision making. Politico – alternate between delegate and trustee as he/she deems appropriate. Descriptive representation: The idea that our representatives should reflect the demographic makeup of the population and not just our political interests. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – assessments of budget proposals. General Accountability Office (GAO) – agency audits and recommendations. Congressional Research Service (CRS) – specialized reports and keeps track of legislation. Standing Committees are permanent and continue session to session. Specialized areas. Pork Barrel Projects: Term applied to spending for pet projects of individual members of Congress. Earmarks: Funding for specific projects that are added by members of Congress to appropriations bills, usually without oversight or public debate Select Committees – usually limited duration for a specific issue. Joint Committees includes members from both houses. Monitor and report on government agencies. Conference Committees – resolves the differences between House and Senate versions of a bill. Must be identical for the president to sign. Committees and Subcommittees are where all the work is done on legislation. Blue dog democrats – term given to conservative Democrats. Usually on spending issues. Leadership in Congress SPEAKER and Majority/Minority Leaders and Whips Discharge Petition: Method of freeing legislation from a committee in the House that requires signatures of 218 members. Think ‘Legally Blonde 2’ – booser’s bill. Committee on Rules – in the House, is the committee charged with determining rules for debate, amendments, and vote on bills brought to the floor. Filibuster – Senate practice of continuous debate often employed to stop pending legislative action. Cloture – The procedure that ends a filibuster with sixty votes in the Senate. Hold - Action a senator may place requiring personal consultation before the matter can proceed. Lawmaking – is Congress’s principal function. Legal rules that govern society. Presidential actions: Sign the bill into law. Big ceremony. Veto – say no and why. But veto can be overridden with 2/3 both houses of Congress. Allow to become law without signature after 10 business days while Congress is still in session. President does not like but has support in Congress. Pocket Veto – if Congress adjourns within 10 business days the bill dies and can not be brought up until the next Congress. Rule is don’t dump and run. Wait. War Powers Act – passed in 1973 over Nixon’s veto. President must inform within 48 hours of deployment of military forces. No approval must remove troops within 60-90 days. Impeachment: House brings formal charges against federal officials: treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors Senate conducts the trial; need two-thirds vote to convict. Recently a federal district court judge was impeached & convicted; removed from office. Oversight - Congressional authority to monitor the actions and budgets of executive agencies it creates. (close scrutiny) Investigations – examines policy implementation or scrutinize the activities of government personnel and officeholders. Testify under oath. Uses General Accountability Office Legislative veto (unconstitutional) –allowed Congress to rescind rules promulgated by executive agency. Congressional Review – action requiring approval by both houses and the president, that can stop implementation of executive branch regulations. Signing Statements: Documents presidents append to legislation indicating their particular interpretation of its contents. Budget Resolution – early step in the budget process in which both houses of Congress set spending goals. Reconciliation – process of amending spending bills to meet budget targets. Continuing Resolution – vehicle for funding government operations at the previous year’s level of support when a new budget is delayed. Omnibus Bill: A bill that folds spending for all executive agencies into one legislative package. Advice and Consent (Senate ONLY) Treaties (involve key senators?) needs a 2/3rds positive vote to ratify. Appointments (partisan?) - senior policy makers – cabinet secretaries, executive agencies; ambassadors; judges of Supreme Court (actually all federal judges). Some lower level appointments are delegated to lower levels on an exception basis. Name: Description: ...
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