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ISU - POL 106 - Notes for Exam 1 & 2 - Class Notes

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ISU - POL 106 - Notes for Exam 1 & 2 - Class Notes

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background image What Government Does 1. Make policies about how stuff should work
2. Implement policies to enforce the law
3. Structure ways people get into office to make and implement policies
4. Manifest the system of checks and balances, for good and bad
Policy: it all starts with an idea… Somebody somewhere decides government ought to do something… Pick an issue any issue Want government to deal with it, call it a “policy” Then have to get it passed and implemented… Let’s start in Congress Lots of people run for Congress specifically to fix problems they’re having in their 
Let’s assume you're one of them… What to do? Where do policy ideas come from? o Life experiences o Problems to be solved o Interest group demand o Bureaucracies  o Presidents  o Ideologies o All of the above How a Bill becomes a law… (the long version) Let’s assume you get elected Discover several things about Congress o Lots of rules o Political parties matter o Have to make coalitions to get anything passed o Committees are really, really powerful o Interests groups and money matter I’ve got this great idea… what do I do? Step 1: Give it to the  Speaker of the House  for assignment to a committee Office designated in Constitution Leader of the majority party in the house Public symbol of the House What committee(s) will the bill be assigned to? The short answer: it depends… 
background image o Topic o Party o Whether the Speaker likes bill/you  o Usually to a  “standing”  committee : Standing Committee:  Permanent committee dealing with specific policy area Are other types of committees: Subcommittees:  o subunits of regular committees Joint Committees:  o shared membership House and Senate Select Committees:  o focused on specific issue Conference Committee:  o temporary committee designated to resolve differences 
between the House and the Senate on a bill (tbd)
So how do I get a seat on a committee? Parties matter! o Seats on committees divided by party o You ask your party leaders for a seat on one committee or the other o Party leaders decide what you do or don’t get on So the bill comes to a committee… now what? Where the major analysis and consideration work goes on (and in 
o Hearings  o Testimony/evidence  o Debate on details (Above are roles for lobbyists, presidents, bureaucrats TBD) A lot depends on what the committee chair wants to do So how do you become a committee or subcommittee chair? o Amended seniority rule… The longest serving member of the majority party on the committee or 
subcommittee is chair…
So long as the person’s party approves the appointment And then… (usually) The “markup”: o   private session where members amend the bill to their preferences… Log­rolling:
background image o   making deals with others in Congress­vote for each other Key role(s) of
money “Law making and  sausages” Usually followed by a vote o Recommend passage o Recommend not to be passed o “Table”:  basically kill bill by doing nothing. Note: two of three are dead ends… Most bills introduced to Congress go nowhere…  Or, put more formally: Why are things so different in the senate? Filibuster:  o right to control floor so long as you can stand and talk… Hold:  o don’t have to stand and talk; just threaten a filibuster and debate shuts 
Cloture:  o process to end filibuster or hold; takes 60 votes Unanimous consent agreement: o  agreement between majority and minority leader to avoid filibusters…  Majority leader
Minority leader
You Conferen
Senate House Subcommitte
“Floor” Rules committee Committees Subcommitte
er cloture
2/3 2/3 Preside
courts vetoe
background image Has turned out to be a huge deal in the Obama administration… what happens when everything has to be over 60 votes? And that’s just to get a law through Congress! Process guarantees whatever idea or plan you have it cannot get through 
congress in its pure, unbroken form.
Hard to get ANYTHING passed Impossible to get “your” idea through “perfectly” Haven’t even begun to explain how presidents, interest groups, courts, elections, 
voters, bureaucracies can shape laws and policies
And then implemented A final p­m question … for Congress Why do members vote for or against a bill? (Gun Control) They all interact with eachother Constituent pressure Party pressure Re­election Donors Ideology Log­rolling Interest group pressure Guess what? Presidents get a say, too… But it’s actually less than you might think. How do presidents influence domestic policy­making?
2 basic paths 
A. Influence policies to be made
B. Shape how those policies are implemented
We’re focusing on (a) right now… President shave two paths to shape policy­making Constitutional powers:  o specifically listed powers in the Constitution Extra constitutional powers: o powers that derive from social and political changes in the US, 1787­today Constitutional powers quite weak Suggest laws to congress Call congress into session under extraordinary circumstances 
background image Make treaties with consent of Senate He has the power of the veto The action is in the “extra” powers… US much more powerful than when the Constitution was written Federal government much larger; president’s “reach” much longer Head of state:  o Symbol of unity, claims to represent nation; to oppose is “unpatriotic”  Head of government:  o leader of political party, was bureaucracy to get what wants Lots of countries separate these two. Examples: Going public: o Using speeches to promote the president’s message Executive orders: o Instructions to an agency to do something Signing statements: o Interpretive statements amending bills as president signs them into law Think about as tools in a tool chest… Pull out what you need as you need it Go public: lobby the American people Send staff to lobby congress direct Shape implementation (tbd) with executive orders and signing statements How effective is this (for the Prez)? Really depends on the issue Domestic/ Economic policy o Taxes, welfare, immigration, budget, etc…. Presidents have a hard time getting what they want Regulatory policy (tbd) o Setting rules for how policies are implemented Presidents tend to have a low more success, but not 100% Foreign policy o Relations with foreign nations/groups o “diplomacy” and “national security”  Presidents tend to be much more successful Why do presidents struggle with domestic/economic policy­making? Makes sense when you think about it… Limited power
background image Lots of competition  Have “bigger hands” than anyone else, but the issues are too complex/ difficult to
really handle.
Why are presidents “better” at foreign policy? 1. They have more power Commander in chief Vast military Vast spy system Economic relations with foreign countries 2. They have less competition Congressional deference No other “experts” Public trust/focus Emergency powers Foreign policy powers I A. Traditional diplomacy Making treaties  (senate approval) Special case:  “executive agreement”: o Agreement between president and other leader to follow certain rules, 
even without a treaty
Appointing ambassadors  (senate approval) Recognition power: o Accepting credentials letter from foreign person claiming to be 
ambassador = recognizing that person’s government as the legitimate 
government of the country. Foreign policy powers II B. National security/ emergency powers Commander in chief (big since WWII) o Military based all over world o Need for instant response o Congress turned over most authority to use military to president  “rally ‘round the flag’” o Popular support early days of war Rise of the so­called “presidential wars” Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, Lebanon, Grenada, Somalia Congress did try to reduce such presidential war­making… War powers act (1973): o President has to get Congress’ permission if putting troops in harm’s way  for more than 60 days

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School: Illinois State University
Department: Politics
Course: US Government and Civic Practices
Professor: Olukayode Ajayi
Term: Summer 2015
Name: Notes for Exam 1 & 2
Description: These notes cover the lectures in class and will be key for your exams.
Uploaded: 12/29/2017
40 Pages 33 Views 26 Unlocks
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