AP Gov Unit 2 pt 1: The Legislative Branch

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bicameral congress

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bicameral congress

the national legislature is a...

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British parliament had one, settle conflict between VA and NJ plans, each house checks the other

why do we have a bicameral congress?

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2 years

congressional term

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session of congress

period of time when congress assembles + conducts business

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on the same date in every state

congressional elections are held...

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118th

current congress

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hor: represent general populace senate: made of men elected by state legislatures (more educated house)

house of reps vs senate original design intentions

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house: cup (hot, passionate) senate: saucer (cools cup) SENATE TEMPERS HOUSE

<p>explain the cup + saucer model</p>

explain the cup + saucer model

<p>explain the cup + saucer model</p>
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  • initiate Revenue bills

  • Impeach officers

  • selects President (if no candidate wins)

powers of house

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435 (based on population of each state)

number of hor members

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  • at least one hor rep

  • 2 senate reps

every state=

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2 years

hor term length

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apportionment

Congress tells states their # of seats in hor

  • after each census

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  • 25 years old

  • citizen for 7+ years

  • inhabitant of rep state

formal requirements for hor members

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  • party ID

  • name familiarity

  • experience

informal requirements for hor members

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gerrymandering

drawing district boundaries to the advantage of the political party that controls the state’s legislature

  • ex: Shaw v. Reno

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reapportionment

redistribution of seats in the HoR based on changes in population

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redistricting

drawing the new district boundary lines "Oh em goodness! You got ______ too?!"

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districts

governing sections of a state

  • not mentioned in constitution

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election of 1800 (Jefferson v Burr)

1st and only time hor has had to select president because of tied electoral college "Can we get back to politics? Please? No."

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  • select VP (if no candidate wins)

  • Advice and Consent power

  • declare War

  • Tries Impeached officers

  • ratify international Treaties

powers of senate

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100 members (2/state)

number of senate members

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more enlightened + responsible (upper house)

Framers intended the Senate to be...

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6 years

senate term length

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1/3 of senate runs every 2 years

what does it mean to say the senate is a "continuous body?"

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larger, more diverse than hor

nature of senate representation

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senate members chosen by state legis-->direct election senators held to decisions of voting citizens vs state legis

17th Amendment changed...

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30 yo citizen 9+ years inhabitant of rep state

formal qualifications for senators

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party ID name familiarity experience

informal qualifications for senators

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senate designed to have fewer restrictions because intended to be cautious and experienced

"The World's Greatest Deliberate Body" meaning

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filibuster

lengthy speech to delay action on bill

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Rule 22 (cloture rule)

1917: required a 2/3 supermajority to stop debate and call for a vote 1975: the Senate lowered the standard to 3/5 majority (60/100)

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  1. Representatives of their constituents

  2. Legislators

  3. Committee members

  4. Servants of their constituents

  5. Politicians

5 roles of members of congress

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strong speakers-->weak speakers (members rule) pendulum

phases in house development

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power-->president

WWI + WWII + Great Depression=

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Jeanette Rankin

1916: first female to house before even given right to vote

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Nancy Pelosi

2007: first female speaker of the house

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appointments to late husband's seats

some female senators begin congressional service through...

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power of the purse

Congress appropriates, or allots, public money to be spent

  • budgeting committees

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27th Amendment

Members of Congress set their own salaries 1992: adopted to prevent any pay raises from taking effect until the following Congress

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hold town hall meetings, examine public opinion polls, hold focus groups, and read stacks of mail and emails

ways for legislators to get ideas of constituents' desires

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trustee model

members follow their conscience or ideology

  • attitudinal vote

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delegated model

members try to vote the will of their constituency

  • representative vote

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partisan model

members follow the general beliefs of their political party

  • organizational vote

  • Party leaders encourage members to follow the party-line vote, especially if political favors are expected

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politicos

those who effectively balance their trustee, delegate, and partisan roles to fit the occasion

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Logrolling/reciprocity

trading votes to gain support for a bill

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raise armies and navies, mandate draft, determine money spent on bases, salary schedule, etc

in regards to foreign affairs and military, congress can...

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senate foreign relations duties ____ house foreign relations duties

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Speaker of the House President of the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Senate

leadership positions in the Constitution

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Majority and minority floor leaders Majority and minority whips

leadership positions created by Congress

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speaker of the house

both the elected presiding officer of the House and the leader of the majority party

  • follow the VP in line of presidential succession

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President of the Senate

Senate’s presiding officer

  • Vice President (not a member like the House Speaker)

  • Usually only shows up to break a tie

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President Pro Tempore

Elected by the Senate itself

  • always a leading member of the majority party (usually the longest serving)

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Congress opens

January 3rd, odd-numbers years

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party caucus

the entire party gathers privately weeks before and determines their choices for leadership positions

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caucus

The formal, nongovernmental groups of like-minded people organized in Congress

  • ex: agriculture, business, women's issues

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  • Equal Protection Clause violated

  • federal courts allowed to intervene if civil rights questions

Baker v Carr

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  • unusually drawn districts supported equal black representation in voting

  • racial gerrymandering + violated EPC

Shaw v Reno

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committee

Smaller groups can tackle issues and draft more precise laws than the entire House and Senate

  • where the real work of Congress takes place

  • allow for expertise and make moving legislation manageable

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standing committees

permanent cover particular subject first stage of bill approval senate-hold confirmation meetings for presidential appointments

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joint committees

permanent 2 committees between House and Senate for same purpose ex: Library of Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation

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select committee

assembled periodically for a particular, short-lived reason

  • scandals (ex: scandals)

  • investigate issues that may need congressional action (ex: Jan 6th)

  • 1 or both houses

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conference committees

temporary iron out differences on bills that passed each house but in different forms similar bills passed-->compromise-->members of both house meet for mark up session how bill is amended to become law: pass house + prez

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committee assignment

  • reps + senators seek this

  • parties nominate this (Policy and Steering Committee, Committee on Committees)

  • full house votes on this

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executive branch agencies (FBI, IRS, etc)

  • corruption: call directors to testify

  • fact finder exchanges

congressional oversight over...

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  1. senate/house member introduces bill

  2. bill numbered

  3. assigned to committees (can be addressed by multiple simultaneously)

  4. pass both house-->law

legislative process

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amendment in house

approved by committee overseeing bill

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amendment in senate

individual senator introduces it

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riders

additional points that ride onto an often-unrelated law

  • benefit congressmen's own agendas or programs or enhance the political chances of the bill

  • "Christmas tree bills": items from congress member's wish lists

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pork bill spending

riders on bills lead to...

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pork bill spending

congress members try to send federal dollars (aka pork) back to their district

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earmarks

Funds directed for a specific purpose

  • raised national debate

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  1. 60s and 70s scandals

  2. media only covers controversial battles

  3. lawmaking process is longer than expected

3 factors that contributed to unpopular congress:

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party polarization

the legislature has become a partisan and uncivil institution

  • split on either extreme; few neutral/in the middle

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