POLS 1113 chapter 11 congress

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what did the founding believe

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what did the founding believe

believe that most of the power exercised by american fed gov should be exercised by the legislative branch

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What is bicameralism?

division of congress into two co-equal houses

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what did bicameralism reflect

the social class bias of the founding fathers

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what is the house of representatives

represents common citizen (435 members representing states proportionally, direct election every 2 years)

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What is the Senate?

protects the interests of the states and the less numerous elite (merchants, landowners) (originally selected by state legislatures)

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what are the enumerated/expressed powers in constitution (powers of congress)

impose taxes and tariffs, regulate interstate commerce, naturalize citizens, regulate bankruptcies, coin/print money, establish standards of weights and measures, establish post offices, regulate copyrights and patents, establish lower federal courts, declare war, raise and support armed forces, govern DC, advice and consent powers (senate only)

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what is an example of advising and consenting to powers in the senate

ratifying treaties, confirming presidential nominations for ambassador, federal judge, and agency/department head

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what do constitutional amendments do

certify presidential and VP elections, select president, VP if electoral college fails (12th amendments)...levy personal income tax (16th), help decide presidential succession (25th), power to enforce selected amendments "by appropriate legislation"

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What is the necessary and proper clause?

make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the expressed powers set forth in the constitution

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list the demographics that make up the 118th congress for occupations

51% business owners, 32.7 % lawyers

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demographics of age in congress

average age 58 y/o

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demographics of gender in congress

71.5 male, 28.5 women

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what demographic has increase in congress

increase among women and minorities in the last 50 years

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what are the terms of office for house and senate

house 2 years, senate 6 years

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what do the house and senate represent

house is congressional districts, senate is the entire state

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what is the debate on bills for house

rules committee proposes time limits and limits on amendments which are adopted or modified by the entire house

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what is the debate on bills for senate

filibustering and cloture

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what is filibustering

unlimited debate used by opponents of a bill to stall senate proceedings and block passage of a bill. it is a tactile to force a compromise

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What is cloture?

petition to end filibuster

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what are the steps for house apportionment

  1. census allocates the fixed number of house seats (435) among the states 2. state legislatures determine size & boundaries of house districts

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What is Wesberry v Sanders? (1964)

house districts should have nearly equal populations

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after 2020, what was the reapportionment sizes

almost every house district has more than 760,000 residents

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What is gerrymandering?

drawing district boundary lines in order to gain a partisan or racial advantage

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what usually occurs in gerrymandering

the dominant party in a state legislature manipulates the shape of house districts to maximize in advantage in registered voters and to eliminate / weaken the minority party

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what is cracking

spreading voters of a particular type among many districts to keep them from forming sufficiently large VOTING BLOC in any particular district

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what is packing

concentrating many voters of one type into a single district to deny their influence in other districts

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what are two ways of gerrymandering

packing and cracking

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what is the davis v bandemer case (1986)

federal courts may gerrymandering

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what is the rucho v common cause (2019)

federal courts may not review partisan gerrymandering because of a lack of standards for resolving the gerrymandering claims

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What is Shaw v. Reno (1993)?

congressional districts which benefit racial minorities may be unconstitutional unless there is a compelling state reason for drawing the districts

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what is franking

privilege of a member of congress to send official mail by substituting a printed copy of his/her signature for a postage stamp

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what is office allowance

office in Washington and in home state of district

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list the staff support for congress

personal staff, standing committee staff, congressional research groups

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what does the personal staff for congress do

help develop legislative proposals, write speeches, advise a member of congress about the position to take on legislation or issues, and constituent work

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list benefits for of working for congress

franking, office allowance, staff support, immune from arrest while congress is in session and while traveling to and from the session, retirement plan

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what congress are we in


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Who is the Speaker of the House?

kevin mccarthy republican (has been kicked out temp)

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what dose the speaker of the house do

head of the majority party, second in presidential succession (if p and vp die), presides over sessions of the entire house, appoints house members of join and conference committees, major role in appointing standing committees, refers bills to standing committees for study, liason btwn president and house

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who is the majority leader house of representatives

steve scalice

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what are the duties of majority leader (steve scalice) of the house

schedules legislation for action by the entire house, conducts debate before the entire house, helps control the legislative program and strategy of the majority party, official house spokesperson for the majority party

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who is the minority leader of the house

hakeem jefferies

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what does the minority leader do of the house

consults with majority party leadership on scheduling debate or votes by the entire house, maintains unity among minority party members, helps control the legislative program and strategy of minority party, official house spokesperson for minority party

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define whips

younger members of the leadership who help the majority/minority leadership manage their party

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list two duties that whips do

pass info to house members from the leadership and helps organize floor debate & count votes before action on important issues (party discipline)

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Who works in the Senate?

VP of the us presides over senate and vote only in case of tie and president protempore

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Who is the President Pro Tempore?

Patty Murray

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Who is Patty Murray?

first woman to serve as president protem

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what are the three duties of president pro tempore (patty murray)

presides over the senate when vp is absent, 3rd in line for presidential succession, and the majority party member with the longest continuous service in the senate

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who is the majority leader in senate

Charles Schumer

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what are the duties of majority leader in senate

schedules debate before the entire senate, chief spokesperson for the majority party in senate, major role in making standing and conference committee assignments, directs the legislative program & strategy of the majority party in senate, and liasion btwn the president and the majority party in the senate

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who is the minority leader in the senate

Mitch McConnell

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what does the minority leader do in the senate (mitch mcconnell)c

chief spokesperson for the minority party in senate, major role in making standing and conference committee assignments, directs the legislative program and strategy of the minority p in senate, and liason betwn the president and the minority p in the senate

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what are the five basic functions of a member of congress

lawmaking, constituent work, oversight of federal agencies, re-election, and public education through agenda-setting

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What is agenda setting?

determining public policy issues to be considered by congress

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What is lawmaking?

process of deciding legal rules that are binding on all citizens

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what is the key to lawmaking

build a majority coalition to pass legislation through congress

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list the elements of congressional decision making (how does a member of congress decide to support a bill)

advice from other members of congress with expertise on the subject a bill covers, influence/pressure from constituents, political party membership, the need of his/her district or state, influence of interest groups

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list the two features of constituent work

casework and proving constituents with info about federal programs and services

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define casework

member of congress deals with a federal agency on behalf of a private citizen

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what does oversight of federal agencies entail

make sure the laws or regulations congress enacts are enforced as intended

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list the methods of oversighting of federal agencies

hearings/investigations, constituent complaints through casework, and control of agency budgets

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What are incumbents?

incumbents are very powerful, more than 75% of house and senate incumbents have been re-elected

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list the four factors for re-election in congress

advertising, credit claiming, house district is redrawn to benefit an incumbent, and member of congress develops a home style

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what is credit claiming

making the voters believe that a member of congress is personally responsible for causing government to act on voters behalf

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What is home style?

a distinct organization and personal image that helps insure reelection

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what are three factors of committees and caucuses

do most of the actual work in congress, members of congress become an expert in 1-2 years, and standing committees

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What are standing committees?

permanent committees with specific areas of legislative policy

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what is jurisdiction

bills dealing with that area are studied by that committee

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how many standing committes does a member have to serve

each member must serve on 2-3 standing committees

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how do they determine which party controls the senate/house

Demo/Repub make-up of a standing committee reflects which Party controls the Senate or House of Representatives (majority party has chairpersons and a majority on each committee)

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how does Congress decide which Democrats/Republicans serve on which standing committees

members are appointed to committee by party leaders, must have personal expertise, constituent needs, political needs of the member of congress, and seniority

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what is a standing chair committee

person who operates standing committee, majority party member with longest continuous service on the committee (seniority) is given preference, becomes a high profile member of congress

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what are two duties that a standing committee chair does

controls the scheduling of hearings, formal committee action, and assigns bills to subcommittees for study and discussion

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what does a standing committee have

has several subcommittees to deal with specific topics within its broad major legislative area

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how to subcommittees help standing committees

greater opportunity to deal with specific topics within a broad area and chance for newer members of congress to get a subcom. chair and enhance their image at home and with news media (improve re-election chances)

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What is a conference committee? (COMPROMISE)

members of the House & Senate, work to achieve agreement (exact wording) on legislation that deals with the same topic, but passed the House & Senate in different versions; committee agrees on language in the compromise bill and returns the bill to both houses for passage

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what is a caucus

an association of members of Congress who advocate a political ideology or a regional, ethnic or economic interest

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what is the freedom caucus

house of conservatives, democratic study group (congressional liberals)

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what is a problem concerning caucuses

growing political independence of various caucuses is a growing problem for party leader

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what is the first step for a bill to law

a senator or house member introduces a bill

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what is the second step for a bill to become law

a bill is assigned to appropriate standing committee(s)

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for the second step of turning a bill into a law, what do the standing committees do

standing committee chair assigns the bill to a subcommittee

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in the second step of bill what do the subcommittees do (3 things)

hold open hearings, marks up the bill (determines appropriate language for the bill), and reports to the entire standing committee

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for the second step of the bill what can full standing committees do

can hold more hearings and further amend the bill, can kill the bill (refuses to report it out of committee) or reports it out with a recommendation (do pass/no recommendation)

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what happens if a house standing committee refuses to report out a bill

a majority of house members (218) may sign a discharge petition to remove the bill

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what is the third step in making a bill into a law

bill is placed on a "calendar" and scheduled for debate

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what is the senate in charge of during the third step of making a bill into law

majority and minority floor leaders work to schedule debate

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what is the house in charge of during the third step of making a bill into law

bill must pass the rules committee, which assigns it a "rule" (length of floor debate, amendments), before the majority leadership work to schedule debate

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what is the fourth step in making a bill into a law

during debate on the bill, advantages/disadvantages of the bill are discussed and amendments are considered

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what is the fifth step in making a bill into law

bill is adopted or rejected, voting is by voice, division, or roll call

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what is roll call

asking for yays and nays electronically in the house

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what is the sixth step in making a bill into law

if a bill passes, it goes to the other house of congress

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what are the three steps in the sixth step in making a bill into law

follows same route through subcommittees, standing committees, and floor debate...if a bill passes without changes, it goes directly to the President...if a bill passes which is similar to a bill already passed by the other house, both bills are referred to a conference committee (committee decides on a compromise version, both House and Senate must pass the compromise)

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what is the seventh step in making a bill into a law

president signs bill or vetoes it

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what are the four option in the seventh step in making a bill into a law

signs or vetoes bill, president waits more than 10 days to decide it automatically becomes law w/o his signature, if congress is NOT in session and it has been 10 days and president hasn't decided it will be a pocket veto, congress may override a regular veto by 2/3 majority vote of both houses

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what is a signing statement

statement, attached to a bill which the president signs into law, that offers the president's interpretation (limit or reject portions of the bill) or the bill

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what is the budget process

based on the fiscal year , oct 1 to sept 31

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what is the first step of the budget process

9 months to 1 year before the start of the fiscal year (Oct 1)--

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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviews requests from various departments and agencies and recommends a budget to the President ("fall review")

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what is the second step of the budget process

January before the fiscal year--President submits budget to

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