New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Congress notes

by: Aashika Kushwaha

Congress notes POLS 1101 096

Aashika Kushwaha
GPA 3.6
American National Government and Politics
Dr. Iliyan Rumenov Iliev

Almost Ready


These notes were just uploaded, and will be ready to view shortly.

Purchase these notes here, or revisit this page.

Either way, we'll remind you when they're ready :)

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

American National Government and Politics
Dr. Iliyan Rumenov Iliev
75 ?




Popular in American National Government and Politics

Popular in Political Science

This 14 page Bundle was uploaded by Aashika Kushwaha on Wednesday October 7, 2015. The Bundle belongs to POLS 1101 096 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Dr. Iliyan Rumenov Iliev in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see American National Government and Politics in Political Science at University of Texas at Dallas.

Similar to POLS 1101 096 at UTD

Popular in Political Science


Reviews for Congress notes


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 10/07/15
Congress Partisan and Local Members are partisan legislators care about their political partyex Democratrepublican gets perks for their political party who are organized by party in Congress Members serve local interests help congressman at a federal AND local level and are elected by local constituencies Ex Members need to win reelection so they have to cater to district opinions on issues even the way you present yourself wear suit in tie at meetings some districts might want you to wear a cowboy hat if they are more agricultural They also need to win favor with fellow members to stay in good graces function in committees and raise reelection money do things that constituents want so they get votes good relations with your political power Congress Love it or hate it But for all this people hate Congress as an institution but we love our representatives 0 Mark Twain called Congress a quotdistinctly native criminal classquot Woodrow Wilson described the House as quota disintegrated mass of jarring elementsquot 0 Members of Congress realize this and typically run for Congress by running against it claiming they are not like the heathens in DC they know that they are hated they tell voters that they hate Congress too say that they will be better than Congress even though it is a lie See ppt for graph Slide 5 6 ppl ended up supporting Communism and Paris Hilton IRS Nixon during Watergate cockroaches Nickelback root canals lice etc more than the they supported Congress CONGRESS IS HATED MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE try not to be like the institution Pressure of Election what is important to Congress Reelection is important Members want Reelection want to be reelected Leadership seen as being active in politics tv etc which goes back to reelection if you are reelected you probably were reelected Good public policy what we want Congress candidates to care about goes back to reelection are reelected if they show that they care about public policy Requirements of Membership House members 25 years old 7 yrs citizenship Senate members 30 years old 9 years citizenship All must be residents of the statedistrict which they represent Who are the Members OCCUPATIONS Atypical occupations Overrepresented law and business Underrepresent labor not jobs like McDonalds mostly are lawyers etc RELIGION All major religions are represented however most ten to be Protestant EDUCATOIN Highly educated over 90 have advanced degrees masters degree PhD etc INCOME above average already were pretty rich above average MINORITIES well below national averages mostly white ppl run for HouseSenate Blacks are currently about 10 of House 3 of Sentate Hispanics are about 4 of the House 3 in the Senate 3 ppl because there are 100 ppl in senate Woman gaining ground underrepresented House members average age 51 Senate members average age 58 age is mostly higher than minimum because they don t have too much or high education at younger ages most are old white Protestand male most CONGRESSMEN Congressional Organization Basic facts to keep straight The Congress is bicameral meaning it has 2 legislative houses or chambers the House of Reps and the US Senate US House House is elected every 2 years and is presumed to be quotcloser to the peoplequot elect ppl from small congressional districts 2 year term no term limits can be reelected as many times as they want Representatives based on statedistict pop Based on census status Favored by large states Apportionment redrawing district lines by Bureau of Census congressional districts tend to have about 750000 people Redistricting redrawing district lines by state legislatures For big states you want to spread districts out so one political party isn t packed too much in one district ex A lot of Republicans in one district NO you need variability not distributed in squares but rather weird shapes US Senate Members elected by statewide constituencies in staggered elections Onethird elected every two years so there aren t any radical ideas taking overNO FACTIONS Representation based on States equally represented so Delaware has as many Senators as Texas state pop doesn t matter Popularly elected since 1913 because of the 17th Amendment direct election of senators President and Congress Lawmaking in the US requires the action of both chambers and the President because president has to sign off or veto the bill Need for presidential approval of legislation unless veto is overridden requires great consensus Unlike parliamentary democracies there is institutional separation from the executive The US system embodies the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances CHECKS AND BALANCES by veto and 23 vote Powers of Congress Sole legislative power is vested in the US Congress consisting of a House and a Senate Supreme court can also legislate although most legislation power is supposed to only be vested in Congress TODAY president and SCOTUS are trying to take some of this power Each is allowed to determine its own organization and leadership subject to the constitutional provisions for the Of ce of the Speaker in the House and the Vice President and president pro tempore in the Senate they have their own roles to set rules for Congress but Congress normally manages their own issues Only required to meet once each year according to the Constitution they were close to their constituents today they meet more than once because there are a lot of things that why need to get done because they want to show the ppl that they should be reelected BIG GOALGE39TNG REELECTED show that you are actually working to make a good change Protections of members and Perquisites Protected speech provisions cannot be questioned about debates off the oor of Congress Set their own salaries subject to the 27th Amendment Powers and Duties of Members Duties and Powers are listed in Judge their own elections and quali cations set their own rules or procedures What districts are supposed to look like Taxing shall originate in the House Revenue provision power of the purse Power over Courts and the President Override presidential vetoes Set own rules and procedures Power of impeachment House and impeachment trials Senate Lay and collect taxes Pay debts Provide for defense and welfare Borrow Regulate commerce with foreign countries Power of impeachment Secure patents Establish post office and post roads Laws on naturalization and bankruptcy De ne an punish piracy pirates and other crimes of the seas and nations Declare war and rules of war last war of US was WW2 Raise regulate and support armies Call forth militia to execute laws suppress insurrection and repel invasion Administer District of Columbia Elastic clause quotTo make all laws which shall be mecessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers and all other powers vested by this Constitution the gov of the US or in any department or officer thereofquot Article 19 Limits on Congress The Migration or Importation of such Persons of any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation not exceeding ten dollars for each person NO SLAVE TRADE ALLOWED it was a compromies The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in Cases of Rebellion or lnvasion the public Safety may require it making you provide home for soldiers No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed future laws cant arrest you for past actions No Capitation or other direct tax shall be laid 16 amendment No tax on duty btw states No rule can only be enforced for only one state each law msut be followed by every state No money shall be drawn from the treasure It s our budget Expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time budget was agreed to during Clinton years Congress argues and extends budget one or two months so we can spend more as a nation for necessary things No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the US and no person holding any Office of Pro t or Trust under them NO DUKES ARCHBISHOPS KINGS ALLOWED Size and Structure House has 435 members grown 8 times since the beginning Senate has 100 members Staff growth has occurred too since 1891 staff in Congress has grown from 142 to over 24000 so many ppl because there are more issues that need to be discussed so they needed more ppl to deal with all of the problems accumulate issues explain the bills regulate bureocracy Organization of Congress The basic organization in Congress is a Committee ties the Congress to the people and their interests Committee where action take place where Comittees affect Eection prospects serves motives Reelection is the most important being member of a good committee will help you get reelected if they like you want to be in a committee that actually matters that will help your constituents The fortune of the parties Democrats and Republicans Fow of info among members and btw members and the public Fow of bene ts Fow of legislation in the respective houses what gets introduced debated voted on Why care about committees Committees are the center of Congress WHY This is where work is accomplished WHERE THE JOB GETS DONE Convey info about issues legislation agendas etc Create opportunities for advocacy positiontaking credit claiming etc Serve as forum for distributional debates Who gets what These are forums for agenda setting what bills should be killed Committees Divide labor of considering legislation conducting legislative business and engaging in congressional oversight of agencies divided jobs into groups one group will deal with issues about agriculture another group will deal with transportation etc Committees have been created destroyed and changed over the last 200 years About 200 committees each with subcommittees to divide the job Standing committees always there Joint committees deal w issues btw House and Senate Workload of Congress Congress used to only have one group but it was divided into committees to deal with other things because there werer a lot of more problems to debate about On tv debates ex News Hour or CSpan those are the ppl on the oor We don t want too many ppl to be in this group we want ppl to be in committees and subcommittees who actually debate and make decisions sometimes there is actually only one person not a lot They want us to see that they are being a leader so they get our vote Senate over 2 years only in session for nearly 300 eight hour days The House is in session less Average working day 11 hours Managing Work Committees Informal working groups likeminded memebrs Caucusesthey re just debating fan clubs their decisions don t matter no legislatative power Republican Study groupCongressional Black Caucus Parties Other informal mechanisms we don t even know they exist meet in private lnstitutionalization The Proces by which rules and structures that exist in practices of the gov body or other existing instituaitons Major Pars are Size of staff workload eadership norms Norms rules procedures Congress has rules to organize ow of business on the oor rues divide work ow of egisating prtect majority and minority right in leg rues de ne winners and losers in a debate or on a vote 3 little pigs rues and prcedures that deign the outlines that a policy follows determsin how legislation is written and debated Formal rules Article 1 of the OCnstitution Rule of procedure for the HOsue and the Senate Codi ed las and regulations Informal rules 0 Not written Such as being quiet when the teacher walks in waing on the right of the hallway civiity rule 0 Legislative precedents folkwats and norms are all examples of informal rules Precedents are accumulated decsions of House and Senate leader that ll gaps in the formal rules Explain how House and Senate have dealt with different decisions in the past follow rules that were made yesterday 0 They are codi ed and organized by the hosue and the sentate parliamenarieans and are placed into the legislative record 0 Not enformed formally but through informal sanctioning mechanism Senate norms Apprenticeship listen to ppl that are seior to you they know the rules no reason to do that now Focus on the issues relevant to the topic of the committee Act courteously Beloyal Defend Senate doesn t matter anymore because we vote for the senators directly now we hate Congress anyway 0 They do that to be active House norms Build friendship Important work in committees and oor to looklike a leader Follow procedural rules Memebrs shouldn not ciricize each other isn t followed as much now Willing to trade votes you vote for my bill and I willvote for yours Specialize in committee or policy areas just want to be in important committees now Freshman should serve apprenticeships Decline of norms Norms have decline because of 0 Rise of personalize consitutency 0 Want to start campaign immediately 0 Partisanship want to look like a leader more now not just wil political party 0 Memebrs awant ot participate immediatey 0 Institutional loyalyu NO ONE LIKES CONGRESS NO POINT Memebrs want to be leaders Memerbs do more to shape bills outside of committees Meet in offices not all together in committees Legislating in Congress Have rules and break things down by norms textbook procedure we need to know hwat these rules are that Congres uses to pass laws unorthodox lawmaking quotI m just a Billquot song we don t use type writers now we expect them to be intelligent so they don t just get phone calls from constituents there are a lot of changes before it goes through all of the committees and the oor doesn t just pop into a committee memebrs head Commitees hold heardings oor debates eg sent to the chamber legisation passes both chambers How it actually is 0 bill proposals and ideas come from multiple sources bills introduced by mostly lobbyists and interest groups 0 writing laws is complex 0 Bill referrals and scheduling are strategic Floor debates are complex and governed by rules some have strict rules that are not in the textbook Conference committees and interchamber bargaining President has a role throughout the process not just vetoing Bill Introduction Expectation Who proposes legislation How does it get to the hopper Member of Congress ideas can actually really come from anywhere more complex Reality Bill sponsors may be less than noble lssues may be of personal importance to member cosponsoship may muddle the support coalitions on a bill The history of legislative ideas may be quite complicated Examples Peace Corp idea is thought to come from a challenge to Univ of Michigan students by John F Kennedy on the fron steps of thei Student Union during the 1960 campaign The reality is a more complex mix of evangelistic service Mormonish earlier speeches meetings and other advice given to Kennedy Health care reform legislation has long and storied past going back to at least the late 19405 Singe then the idea of a nationalized or single provider health care system for a majority of the US pop has debated almost annually in Congress Legislative Drafting Bills must be written into legislative language not only written by congressmen The classic view is that this is done by members and their staffs In reality the wording of legislation has much to do with poll number and lobbyists can introduce bills directly input as the work of members o The length and complexity ie number of titles per bill has risen in the last 40 years The average bill today is over 19 pages up nearly 9fold since the 19505 and 19605 Bill Referrals where bill is going to be sent to which committee 0 Referrals are made to the appropriate standing committee 0 The committee with jurisdiction should be relatively obvious from past experience and legislation considerd within a committee s jurisdiction Referral should be based on House Rule X which sets out the jurisdiction of the committees and the precedents for referrals 0 Once a measure has been referred to a given committee it remains the responsibility of that committee Expectation Measure is enacted ito law amendments within the committee s responsibility where bill came from that is the committee that should turn the bill into a law Bills that are more comprehensive measure Responsiblility assigned to each committee Reality 0 Mulitiple referrals sent to multiple committees Altered by many 0 Members keep it or move it to another committee Memebrs of committee can write a bill and signal it to get it to got 0 a speci c committee so that it can get approved of faster Depends on the sponsor who introduces the bill Timing matters health reforms for when there are a lot of health problems get it passed faster Major changes in referrals 1Sent bill to a bunch a committies given a joint committee approval so that bills can get killed faster 2send parts of bills to committees if any part is disapproved of the bill is killed 3 impose time limits committee doesn t have much time to make a decision bill will probably get killed can also bring a bill back for more debate now primary committees that that one committee has most of a say for a bill appointed by the Speaker of the House Floor Sceduling and Debate 0 Bill can be scheduled for oor consideration 0 There is a sequence of events for hwo bill will go back to the oor 0 Various types of debates and calendars there are rules House Calenders ways bills can go back to the oor ways to slow down or speed up bill progress 0 Union calendar bills that raise or spend money 0 House calendar all other major legislation discuss bill quickly Private Calendar to bury a bill Correction Calendar hard to get the bill back on the oor Floor Rule Calendars may play little rold bcuz the speaker will consult with the part and the oor 0 Actual path of legislation depends on number of factors 0 Major or minor legislation 0 What role if the committee memebrs have a strong opoinoin about that bill Measure is noncontroversial corrections of calendar or suspension of rules Bills come to the oor based on ta rule 0 Sets time limits what type of debates are allowed what kind of amendments are allowed Committeechairman reporting a bill requests a rule Senate Rules 0 Recall the SSenate operates more informally o Emphasize minority rights Senators may place holds on legislation nominations Filibuster and cloture rules mean that legislation wil require supermajorities for passage speak for a limited amount of time 0 Encourage multiple referral cannot send bill to many commiteess Referals don t occur often consultaiont with minority leadership Only 10 Senate Calenders Calendar of Business 0 Executive calendar executive nomination Senate oor Unanimous consent agreements 0 Majority leader controls business by his ability to take the oor whever he wants unanimous consent agreements quicker process motions Unanimous Consent agreements Formal rules submitted Limit debate times Limits amendments procdures Alters the rules Specify other motions that can and cannot be offered Hold request by a Senator to be noti ed to discuss a bill later enforced by a libuster Filibuster member fails to yield the oor continuous debate no limit to what you can talk about Cannot be used on budget resolutions Used to extend time to block or delay legilations Ex Huey Long in 19305 reading the Consitution Bible quotpot liquorquot recipes can do almost anything ex Pee during the debate No more libusters threats of libusters if you don t listen to their ideas and follow through with them Congressmen are really old They waste time on libuster doing random stuff almost anything until ppl follow through with their ideas SOLUTION OF FILIBUSTER Cloturevote on ending in debate Requires a 35 majority unless a rule changes If cloture fails can continue debate or new cloture petition THer eis no limit on cloture way to get ppl tired of debating about bill ibuster until you agree on a bill or cloture Comittees are formed bipartisan appointed by the House Speaker 0 Senate conferes are appointed after consultaion about where those bills actually came from most senior leaders Conference Procdures Nonconference procedures onchamper pressures to end sessions Amenments btw the chambers to get a bill through Conforence Committees most common pass bill both chambers and go to conference Congress men are limited by time money research on bills allowed These decisions musy be strategized by creating bills that agree with the ppl in by area that will vote for me or that live near me geographic Oreelection primary persona Primary constituency the ppl that will always vote for you Personal constituency ppl that owe you stuff so they vote for you Homestyle different proceses of how to get votes that varies from one senator to another expantaoin of DC behavior why did you act in this certain ways in DC compared to how you cct at home Legislative Activity Decisoins about leg activity that allows member to build a record MA39TER FOR REELECTION Decisions to take positions 0 Did they say something in committee 0 How did they vote 0 Claim credit 0 Advertivse posioints Specializiation in legilsateive issues 0 Introduction of legislation Cosponsorship o Paricipatoin in committee work 0 Voting on legislation 0 Participation in oor debtate o How involved they are in political affairs did they try to make a difference by speaking up and showing that hey were a leader Congressional Voting 0 Constituency Fellow MCs Party leaders and ranking memebrs Interest Groups Administration and executive branch agents Congressional Staff 0 Media and other info sources Key factors in voting Party 23 of all votes in a given year quotparty votesquot Constituency Ideology memebrs harbor ideological positons 90 of all roll calls can be explained by race and economic politics President 23 to 34 of presidential positions become law


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

75 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Janice Dongeun University of Washington

"I used the money I made selling my notes & study guides to pay for spring break in Olympia, Washington...which was Sweet!"

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.