Legislative Politics Study Guide Spring 2015 Final test
Legislative Politics Study Guide Spring 2015 Final test PSC 2218
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amanda Rewerts on Monday May 4, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PSC 2218 at George Washington University taught by Sarah Binder in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 297 views. For similar materials see Legislative Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 05/04/15
LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE ID Concepts Structural Advantage Republican voters are more distributed geographically while democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas This allows GOP candidates to pick up more seats in the house Significant because it gives GOP advantage in controlling the House which is apportioned by districts Incumbency Advantage The marginal vote cushion that incumbents enjoy due to the fact that they re in incumbents Not reelection rates but a strong correlation between the two Incumbency advantage emerged during the mid1960s The court case associated with this trend is Wesberry v Sanders when the Supreme Court dictated redistricting after every 10 year census Other factors include increased constituency services created after WWII that allowed MCs to claim politically neutral credit the ease of which incumbents can fundraise the advent of television changing campaign tactics increased perks of office including for travel staff communication local of ce etc Some argue that incumbency advantage is disappearing due to the polarization of districts which mean that candidates can win solely on the partisan voters of their districts RetrospectiveProspective Evaluations Retrospective evaluations are when voters use past experience with a candidate to determine if they want to vote for them e g how did they vote Prospective evaluations are when voters consider how the candidate will act in the future on certain issues to determine whether they will vote for them or not Institutionalization The process over time for organizations to become more complex over time This is important because it helps explain the complexities of The House and Senate chambers of Congress Over time it is expected that rules and routines of process become cemented and part of the nature of the organization even those that are considered detrimental Examples include how the Speaker wasn t originally the leader of their party and committees weren39t even in existence in the rst Congresses and parties didn t have so much in uence over the legislative process Previous Question Motion A motion to end debate and vote on the question at hand that required a simple majority to end PQM has a complex history during 1811 it had no uniform meaning and could mean ending debate and voting or postponing the vote During the development of Congress in the early Republic the House maintained the PQM which allowed the majority to over time grant themselves more power by silencing the minority with the PQM The Senate erased the PQM from their rules by the suggestion of Aaron Burr since at the time PQM was a LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE redundant postponement method The consequences of the chambers decisions led to a House passing the Reed Rules of 1890 which gave the majority expansive powers and control of the oor agenda while in the Senate a minority can easily block legislative action Committees Committees are a delegation of legislators who consider and oversee issues agencies programs and activities within a certain jurisdiction Committees didn t exist in the Continental Congress or the Confederation Congress but emerged in the early years of the current Congress however they were temporary and only created for a specific issue Standing committees started to form in the 1810 s as legislators realized the usefulness to develop expertise increased workload and rise in oversight of the executive branch and interchamber competition Heavily brought on by Speaker Henry Clay who would appoint people who agreed with him to write the bills Now committees cover almost all areas of governance and have massive in uence over the language of bills and their fate Heavily politicized Lawmaking vs Representation This term deals with the con icting interests of national representatives as they must both consider the interests of the nation lawmaking and appropriately representing their constituents representation Many times lawmaking won t share the same goals as representing which creates problems for legislators when they don t know which one to choose Cloture Rule 22 In the Senate there is no rule that allows a simple majority to end debate on a bill instead they have cloture which requires 60 votes to end debate on a motion or bill and then 30 hours must pass until a vote is taken After cloture is invoked only amendments that are germane to the bill can be added and can t be libustered This cloture process is important because it highlights the difficulties a small majority can have on the legislative process of the Senate It is very difficult and takes a lot of time for a majority in the Senate to actually turn the gears of the Senate If a majority of 60 senators does not exist the minority can essentially filibuster bills to death resulting in endless gridlock A consequence of the elimination of the PQM Continental CongressCongress of the Confederation Continental Congress lasted between 17741781 during the Revolutionary War and before the Articles of Confederation The Continental Congress had no explicit constitutional powers colonies had equal votes regardless of population there were no agenda setting power for the president of the Congress and there was no formal authority to impose its decisions on the colonial governments The Congress of LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE the Confederation lasted between 17811789 and also had equal voting between states heavily in uenced by state governments and had no power to tax Failed for multiple reasons including no committee system and poor institutional design needed 7 states to pass routine bill and needed 9 for serious affairs gt nothing got done These Congresses were important because their aws heavily in uenced the Framers decisions on how the current Congress should operategt popular and state representation internal organization expressed constitutional powers Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution has within it critical powers including expressed powers the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause Congress has the power under the Constitution to settle all interstate disputes furthermore the commerce clause allows Congress to regulate all interstate commerce while the necessary and proper clause allows Congress to make all laws that are necessary to carry out its duties Under Section 8 the power and scope of Congress has increased vastly and has altered Congress in ways unforeseeable to the Framers House Apportionment House Apportionment is the process of assigning House seats to States It occurs every 10 years after the population census and is based on 435 seats Allocates seats based on a mathematical formula that tries to ensure equal proportions This is important because it re ects the population trends in America both in terms of growth decline and migration Over time Northern and NE states have been losing seats as the population moves and increased in Western and Southern states Senate Malapportionment The overrepresentation and underrepresentation of voters due to the rule of the Senate that give each state 2 senators regardless of size This means that voters in larger states like California and Texas have the same voting power as small states like Montana and Vermont This has lead to rural states being overrepresented and also adds to structural advantage discussed above Gerrymandering Gerrymandering is the process of drawing districts to give one party demographic an advantage or disadvantage There are 4 types Packing which tries to maximize the of party voters in CDs Cracking which tries to split up similar voters race across CDs Partisan gerrymandering which favors the majority party then finally bipartisan gerrymandering which favors incumbents regardless of party Also Bleaching where they try to pack minority voters blacks into 1 or 2 districts so that white voters can have more seats Gerrymandering is LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE named after Elbridge Gerry who famously made a CD in Massachusetts that resembled a salamander RedistrictingRepresentation Issues Colesgrove V Green 1946 said that the courts shouldn t intervene in redistricting cases Baker V Carr 1962 states that redistricting cases do bring up issues that are justifiable under the 14th Amendment and that cases can intervene Wesberry V Sanders applied onemantoonevote to Congress and made redistricting a decennial process Onemantoonevote the idea that every voter should be equally represented Descriptive Representation representation by someone who looks like you gt may increase constituents trust in the legislator and may increase the legitimacy and quality of legislatures policy decisions Substantive representation Representation of one s interests Focuses on how members serve the interests of their constituents rather than on who represents them Assumes that interests of blacks can be well represented by whites Voting Rights Act of 1965 Eliminated voting restrictions based on race Shaw V Reno 1993 This is a Supreme Court case that allowed white voters to challenge the constitutionality of two North Carolina maj orityminority congressional districts A Court majority argued that oddshaped districts drawn to elect a black legislator might Violate the constitutional rights of white voters The case is signi cant because it was the Court s rst decision establishing that racial gerrymandering could violate white voters constitutional rights Swing ratio gauge the biases and responsiveness of a electoral system Unanimous consent agreement UCAs are agreements that are endorsed by all 100 senators UCAs structure Senate oor debate by specifying amendments andor timing of votes UCAs are significant because they demonstrate the limited agenda power of the Senate majority party LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE King of the Hill last amendment to the budget bill wins Not used that much anymore due to the fact that Queen of the Hill was based on this concept and was recently used in the 2015 budget process Queen of the Hill rule allows for multiple substitute amendment votes amendment that gets the most votes wins if there is a tie the last considered amendment winds very rare and wasn t used was used in the 2015 budget process there was 6 votes taken on this budget bill Hamiltonians federalist wanted a strong central government This would become the current Democratic Party MadisonJefferson Republicanism ruled the majority of citizens Jefferson s republican beliefs favored a largely rural populace with limited governmental interference wanted a republican system in which power is shared by the states and federal government would go on to form the current Republican Party Legislative Party A relatively stable but loss coalition of likeminded members a group that exists to meet the demands of its members They stay together due to shared policy preferences common coalitions electoral interests party identification Conditional Party Government We see something approaching party government under certain conditions which are high majority party cohesiveness high polarization between the two parties Reserve funds increase the cap as long as the Congress evaluates the law that cuts spending or raises reserves to pay the extra defense spending quite a gimmick was used in the 2015 budget process Distributive model Committees are independent dominated by high demanders full of people who really care about the issues MC must defer to other for how to vote on the bill only people on the inside of the committee make decisions LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE Partydominated model committees are agents of the majority party committees produce bills to build the majority party s brand name the party leaders appoint the most loyal partisans to the most important committees majority party controls the committee parties use the committees to build their rep and get things done Committee chairs buy their positions from other member s donations to their campaign and giving it to the party Informational model Chamber creates committees for expertise is agents of chamber the bills that come out of committee re ect views of the chamber median the median member is the controller of the committees and assumes that committees are created for their pocket expertise Jurisdiction Set of policy issues on which a committee is allowed to report bills some jurisdictions of committees make it harder for some bills to be seen by their experts other committees jurisdiction subjects if they want when committees are referred to multiple committees they tend do worse in Congress due to the fact of disagreements between committees and enhances the in uence of noncommittee actors such as party leaders and Speaker 211d degree amendments Committees have the first right to amend amendments and votes happened on the 2nd degree amendment and then on the 1St degree amendment this means that committees have a little bit more power than others in the chamber Modes of representation Delegate faithfully representative of constituents views in Congress Trustee Senators Members are trusted to decide districts best interest decisions Politico members know which issues they should be delegates trustees Descriptive the representative looks like a majority of the voters in their district Substantive still know how the morals are of the majority of the voters in a district Gridlock 1 Causes Divided government bicameral differences partisan polarization House Senate differences tight budget liberal public a Mayhew view no difference if there is unified divided party control he has no dominator he only focused on the laws enacted LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE b Binder viewpoint You need a denominator of the all of the big issues that Congress did or didn t act on It matters most if there is unified party control and if there are bicameral differences in Congress a smaller factor is the polarization argument Textbook Process of Law Bill considered by one house and one senate committee House rules committee grants open rule Senate debates bill on oor for two days votes on 10 amendments 14 conferees meet and adopt final version by voice vote President signs the bill despite reservations Single committee typically involved in each chamber Committee shapes final package limited challenge to committee on chamber oor committee leaders dominate conference committees chamber ratify conference decisions Motion to recommit Guaranteed to the minority party language directs to committee to report back forth with very quickly or nonfourth with kill the bill Gives the minority 211d crack at favored amendment No restrictions on amendments post 1995 rarely succeeded before 2007 If the motion to recommit passes the bill recommitted and dies if the opposite party opposes motion to recommit then they risk losing underlying bill Holds used to be places so that senator would get advance notice before bill came to the oor sometimes used to temporarily postpone oor consideration often used to block measures secretly and indefinitely this is never made known to the public who places these holds This really pisses off some senators because they don t know who they can talk to get their bill considered and back on the oor Filibuster Opportunities to filibuster are motion to proceed happens on most oor motions 3 motion to get to conference appeals of presiding officer rulings They are meant to keep debate and keep democracy have always been very partisan and originally feature in Senate in 1789 reserved for major measures never kill measures preferred by a majority Filling the tree Majority party leader power doesn t let minority get a say it is to protect the interagency of the package blocking powers and protects negotiated agreements rather giving more power LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE Going Nuclear by the Senate Reid made a point of order simple majority for cloture on nominations Chair rules 35th majority to invoke cloture point of order not sustained Reid appeals ruling cloture related appeals nondebatable Vote to sustain chair s ruling 4852 Dems overturn chair with 52 votes sets new precedent of Senate rule 22 McConnell makes point of order for cloture majority cloture for norms This changes the 60 votes needed for a nomination to only 51 votes now Patronage projects When the president makes a deal with a senator to get him to change his vote on a controversial bill that the president wants to see enacted Most of time it is funding for hospitals projects trade nominations etc This is very important for presidential power Reconciliation Tells committees to come up with new revenues or entitlement cuts can t be filibustered often included in the budget resolution intended as a way to mop up loose ends in the budget now is used to pursue party agendas War Powers Resolution President is required to consult with Congress and must notify Congress within 48 hours if military forces are committed Troops must be withdrawn after 60 days unless Congress approves extension no filibuster allowed concurrent resolution Congress can pass a concurrent resolution to stop action no presidential signature power to filibuster is taken away during this time from Congress this act is constitutionally suspect but has never been ruled on ESSAY QUESTIONS 1 Members of Congress typically earn high approval ratings from their constituents but Congress as an institution typically gets poor marks Why do we love our congressperson but hate Congress 1 When Congress excels at representation and not at lawmaking people should rate their MCs higher than the institution a According to Mayhew MCs are singleminded seeks of reelection at the expense of policy b They may care about other things but first need to be reelected c Take action to reelection and representation at the expense of the collective good 2 If Congress excels at lawmaking and not representation people should rate Congress higher than their MC 3 Members typically blame the body of Congress rather than themselves 4 Constituent services and visits to local organizations increase approval ratings of MCs LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE 5 Credit claiming want to claim credit from popular things Congress does 2 Compare and contrast the power of party leaders in the House and Senate In your essay you should a define what you mean by leadership power and b explain the forces electoral institutional and constitutional that contribute to the level of leadership power in the House and Senate On balance which chamber do you think allows for more powerful party leadership and why a Legislative Power of party leaders Chosen to be brokers favordoers agendasetters and protectors of established institutional routines Mayhew 100 Leaders in both houses have a habit of counseling members to vote their constituencies They are really only as strong as their rank and le members b Forces that contribute to the level of leadership power a House i ii iii b Senate i ii iii Only of Majority Leader pg 158 in Smith There should not be any controversy or scandals they are involved in Electoral A expectation that while you are in power your party should gain seats in the House if not you could be replaced build your party s reputation and money for fundraising and campaigning building coalitions on major legislation Institutional Managing the oor serving as intermediary with the president refer legislation to multiple committees or to propose the creation of an ad hoc or temporary committee or can split legislation and send it to multiple committees sets time limits on committee action allows the Speaker to remove members and appoint additional members to select and conference committees after initial appointments have been made controls the ow of major legislation on the oor Constitutional Sets the senate s schedule plans the order of business for the oor There should be no controversy they are involved in Electoral A expectation that while you are in power your party should gain seats in the Senate if not you could be replaced build your party s reputation and money for fundraising and campaigning building coalitions on major legislation Institutional Managing the oor serving as intermediary with the president require the majority leader to get consent from the minority leader on most scheduling matters Constitutional Sets the house s schedule plans the order of business for the oor c What Chamber allows the most powerful party leadership Speaker of the House a Why He doesn t have to consult the minority leader on anything really unlike the Majority leader of the Senate 3 In November 2013 Senate Democrats went nuclear lowering the number of votes required to end debate on confirming most judicial nominations What forces have made it so hard for LEGISLATIVE POLITICS STUDY GUIDE presidents to get their judicial nominees confirmed and why has such con ict increased in recent decades Finally has the nuclear option made it easier for presidents to get their judicial nominees confirmed Why or why not I Forces made it hard for judicial nominees confirmed Have to wait for their party to be in the power of the presidency Senate Judiciary Committee sends blue slips to 2 home state senators the committee holds hearing and reports if they are qualified for the job if a home state senator doesn t return the slip then process can t continue and if the senator is on the other side of the aisle they never approve it also any senator can object 11 Why such con ict increased in recent decades Blue slip con ict GOP said they would filibuster any nominee they disapprove of polarization of party s approval rates for judges III Easier for presidents to get judicial nominees confirmed It depends on if the president s party is in majority in the Senate a Why only 51 senators are required to say yes to the nominee now after the presidential approval and will usually happen right away after they are the same Party
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