Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government

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Congress

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82 Terms

1

Congress

The bicameral legislature for writing laws

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2

House of Representatives

A 435-member house with members apportioned by each state’s population

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3

Senate

A 100-member house with 2 members per state

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4

Census

A survey taken every 10 years to count population and determine the number of congressional districts each state has

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5

Redistricting

The redrawing of district boundaries to ensure each district has an equal population, done by state legislature

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6

Gerrymandering

Drawing district boundaries to give the majority party a future advantage

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7

Baker v. Carr (1962)

Charles Baker sued Tennessee for not redrawing its state legislative districts because his county’s population had grown but not gained representation, violated 14th Amendment

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8

Shaw v. Reno (1993)

White voters living in North Carolina’s 12th district sued the state for gerrymandering to isolate African Americans into the 12th district, violated equal protection clause because the state was using racial bias in redistricting

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9

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Encouraged state to increase minority representation Congress

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10

Hijacking

Redrawing two districts in a way that forces two incumbents to face each other in a single district

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11

Kidnapping

Moving an incumbent’s home into another area after redistricting

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12

Taxing and spending clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause I)

Gives Congress much control over budgetary spending

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13

Power of the purse

Gives Congress power to influence others by preventing access to funds or adding conditions

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14

House of Ways and Means Committee

Oversees spending laws and taxing

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15

Delegate model (representational view)

Congress members consider themselves delegates who mirror the views of their districts

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16

Trustee model (attitudinal view)

Congress members consider themselves trustees who should think about constituents’ views but use their judgement when making decisions

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17

Bill sponsor

A Congress Member who proposes a bill

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18

Rules Committee (House)

Determines how long a bill will be debated and whether open or closed rules are used for amending

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19

Open rules

Allow amendments; decided by Rules Committee

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20

Closed rules

Forbid amendments; decided by Rules Committee

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21

Filibuster

Used to delay bill’s vote and tie up Senate’s work, usually by a senator making a very long speech

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22

Cloture

The vote which is the only way to end a filibuster, required votes of 60 Senate members

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23

Riders

Amendments that are not relevant to a bill

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24

Pork barrels

Riders created to get money to a home state

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25

Earmark

Provisions in legislation that allot money to a project, not allowed by House

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26

Conference committee

Temporary committees made up of members from committees of both houses who wrote a bill, try to create compromise bills and submit to both houses

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27

Pocket veto

A veto which occurs if president doesn’t sign a bill into law and congressional session ends during 10 days

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28

Line-item veto

The ability of a president to veto certain parts of a bill, struck down by Supreme Court

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29

Committee chair

A member of the majority party and oldest/most experienced member of majority party

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30

Markup sessions

A meeting in which committees amend and rewrite parts of bills after investigations

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31

Pigeonholed

A bill stuck in committee

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32

Discharge petition

The way to force a bill out of committee for a floor vote

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33

Standing committee

Permanent, specialized committee

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34

Joint committee

A committee made of members of both houses, normally used for investigations or communicating with the public

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35

Select committee

Temporary committee created in each house for a special reason, usually carry out investigations to write special bills

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36

Speaker

The leader of the house, chosen by majority party in an election; directs floor debate, has influence over committee assignment and Rules Committee

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37

Majority leader

The member of the majority party who is in charge of party members and determines party policy and agenda

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38

Minority leader

The member of the minority party who is in charge of party members and determines party policy and agenda

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39

Whips

Help leaders keep members loyal to agenda, coordinate members, and get support for legislation

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40

President of the Senate

Vice president, only votes to break a tie

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41

President pro tempore

Temporary Senate president when the vice president is absent; mostly honorary position given to most senior member of majority party

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42

Logrolling

Congress members agreeing to help each other by voting for each other’s bills

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43

Jawboning

President trying to influence voting on a bill

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44

Divided government

When the president and majorities in houses are not from the same political party

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45

Unified government

When the house majorities and the president are from the same political party

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46

Bully pulpit

Authority given to the president that lets them speak with the American people and pressure Congress

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47

Literalist doctrine

The idea that the president only has the powers listed in Article II of the Constitution and should not use power that is not granted

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48

Stewardship doctrine

The idea that the president has the ability to use power in multiple ways and arenas; free to use any power not denied to them by the Constitution; increases power of president

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49

Unitary executive theory

The idea that gives executive branch nearly unlimited power to develop any policy that is necessary

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50

Chief of staff

Top aid to the president; very trustworthy and known for a long time; considered extremely powerful, manages Executive Office, controls access to president (+ information received by president)

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51

National Security Counsel (NSC)

Headed by national security advisor, direct access to president in situations related to the military or foreign policy; involved during national emergencies, free from congressional oversight, favored by president

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52

Domestic Policy Counsel

Helps the president create policies related to agriculture, education, energy, natural resources, drug abuse, crime, health, the economy, and welfare

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53

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Prepares US budget and used to control/manage executive agencies; very powerful because it is able to fund cabinet departments and control the department’s effectiveness

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54

Council of Economic Advisors

Helps the president make economic policy; made of economists to advise president

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55

US trade representative

Negotiates trade and tariff agreements with help from the White House

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56

Cabinet secretary

The head of one of 15 cabinet departments appointed by president and approved by Senate; can be dismissed by president, runs department and carries out policies

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57

Impeachment

Gives Congress the ability to remove president for crimes; House brings charges/impeaches by majority vote, Senate holds trial if impeachment passes with 2/3 vote to remove president

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58

Substantive due process

Whether laws are fair

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59

Procedural due process

Whether laws are applied fairly

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60

Grand jury

24-48 jurors who decide whether or not a trial should begin

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61

Petit juries

12 jurors who decide if the accused is guilty/innocent (verdict)

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62

Supreme Court

Hears appeals of cases dealing with the constitution from Circuit Courts and suits between states or cases involving foreign ministers

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63

Federal District Court

Inferior to Supreme Court, civil and criminal cases in original jurisdiction

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64

Circuit Court of Appeals

Hear cases on appeal from Federal District Courts or state Supreme Court; someone must claim that a federal constitutional right has been violated; decide issues of law and not fact

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65

Justiciable cases

Cases that involve an actual legal dispute

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66

Brief

Summary of an argument

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67

Amicus curiae briefs

Efforts from interest groups to sway justices, can be very influential

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68

Soliciter general

Second-ranking member of the justice department who often makes appearances before high court and argues on the government’s behalf

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69

Unanimous opinion

All justices agree, carries the most force in future legal cases

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70

Majority opinion

The opinion with the most votes, decides the case

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71

Concurring opinion

Justices may vote with majority but take issue with legal reasoning

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72

Dissenting opinion

Written by justices in the minority questioning the winning side

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73

Joint Chiefs of Staff

The group of uniformed chiefs of staff of each military service who work together to carry out defense policy and report directly to the president and secretary of defense

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74

Independent agencies

Generally normal bureaucracies with presidential oversight

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75

Regulatory agencies/independent regulatory commissions

More independence, agencies which act as watchdogs over federal government without Congressional/presidential interference

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76

Quasi-legislative agencies

Independent agencies who fill in gaps and write rules

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77

Quasi-judicial agencies

Non-judicial agencies which interpret law, enforce rules, and punish violators

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78

Board of Commissioners

Panels of administrators who run regulatory agencies appointed by president with Senate approval whose terms overlap presidential term

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79

Iron triangle

Informal alliance made of three groups: particular industry + lobbyists, congressional committee dealing with that industry, and the agency that is affected

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80

Alliance/issue network

A close working relationship formed when issues affect many groups by pro/con coalitions of interest groups, Congress members, and bureaucrats

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81

Deregulation

Removing government restrictions and regulations

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82

Civil service system

Office of Personnel Management is bureaucracy’s employment agency, administers civil service examination, publishes job opening lists, and hires based on merit

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