Class Note for POL 231 with Professor Norrander at UA
Class Note for POL 231 with Professor Norrander at UA
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Date Created: 02/06/15
U 8 Congress Parties matter a lot preferences of representatives legislative strategies majority versus minority party Committees matter a lot 95 of legislation dies here content of legislation House and Senate differences matter a lot Weakness of Congressional Party Undisciplined parties ties to geographic districts no control over renomination Independent committee power Changing Strength of Parties 18801910 strong Speakers Thomas B Boss Reed Joseph G Czar Cannon 19401960 weak and factionalized parties Reed Since 1970s stronger parties changing rules more distinctive and cohesive parties Cannon Majority versus Minority Party Majority party determines control of leadership positions House Senate 232 53 Republican 55 Republicans 202 49 Democrat 44 Democrats 1 2 independent 1 independent 109th Congress 20052006 Majority Party Status US House Source MicroCase le History variables 16 DEM HOUSE 70 REP HOUSE 68 HSEOTH Powers of Majority Party All committee chairs More influence over legislative agenda More tools for strategy Minority party status most onerous in House Party Leadership in the House Roles Scheduling amp Rules Speaker of Party Spokesperson the House J Dennis Strategy Haskert R IL mm Hageaker house gov Majority Leader John Boehner R OH m waw maioriwieader uov Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D CA imp democraticieader house aov Constitutional Leadership of the Senate Vice President Dick Cheney Breaks tied votes President pro ternpore Ted Stevens Alaska Most senior member of majority Party 7 36 years Rarely oversees Senate oor Actual Leadership of Senate Majority Leader Minority Leader Bill Frist R TN Harry Reid D NV mu reDubllcan Senate qov htlD Udemocrat Senate qovmdexs html Other Party Leadership Posts Whips Chair of party caucus Chair of policy and strategy committees Chair of congressional campaign committees Power of Leadership Persuasion amp coalition building Elected leader Vl llingness of members to follow More information House control of Rules Committee Party Caucus Elect party leadership Confirm selection of members to standing committees Too large for most policy and strategy Committees in Congress Formulate legislation Kill 95 of all proposed legislation Such strong committee role is rare Types of Committees Standing committees permanent legislative writing subcommittees Select or Special Committees Joint Committees Conference Committees ouse Agriculture Appropriations Armed Servlces Budget Education amp tne Workforce Energy amp Commerce Einancial Servlces coyernment Rerorm Homeland Security House Administration lnternational Relations uudiciary Resources Rules Science Small Business Standards or orticial Conduct Transportation amp lnrrastructure Veterans Arrairs ays amp Means Senate Agriculture Nutrition amp Eorestry Appropriations Armed Servlces Budget Healthy Education Labor amp Rension Commerce Science amp Transportation Energy amp Natural Resources Banking Houslng amp Urban Altairs Homeland Secunty amp Governmental Affalrs Foreign Relations uudiciary Envlronrnent amp Public Works Rules amp Administration Small Business amp Entrepreneursnip yeterans Arrairs Flnance lndlan Affalrs 109th Congress Standing Committees Committee Assignment amp Leadership Members appointed by party Members ask for committees to help reelection write good policy power in Washington Chairs selected by modified seniority system commmee ASSlgnments Of Anzona Senators Committee Assignments of Arizona Representatives Jim Kolbe 8th District Re ublican John McCain 9quot Kyl p Raul Grijalva 7m District Committee on Finance Democrat Committee on Commerce Science Schofnmmee 0quot coma on Appmpnmons amp Transportation Taxml amp IRS Subcommittee chair Committee on Education and Workforce Committee on Armed Services OVCTSlgm Chair Foreign operations Export Committee on Indian Affairs chair Committee on Judiciary Financing ampRelated Programs Committee on Resources Senate Legislative Process FromSenate Standing Floor Senate Incremental legislation commutes Floor Coalition building U Easier to kill legislation Reconciliation Multistage process Informal or Committees House Conference amp committees Floor action Standing Reconciliation of House amp Senate versions commutes H9956 Floor PreSIdential deCISIOn Rules Floor House and Senate Differences House Senate Subcommittees Full committee Controlled Uncontrolled Debate Debate Filibuster Cloture Limited Nongermane amendments amendments How Legislators Vote Too many to be fully informed Cue taking Contact from party constituents lobbyists administration legislative staff 23rds party line votes Example of Party Line Vote Bill to Increase Minimum Wage 106th Congress Vote Democrat Republican Total Increase 97 37 66 No change 3 63 34 Number 207 21 6 423 Party Line Votes 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1957 1962 1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 Note Points represent 5year averages Hnuse nzte Increase in PartyLine VOting Why Parties in All Democratic Legislatures More cohesive parties Demise ofthe conservative coalitionquot Stable majority for legislation reduces time for coalition building decreases likelihood of cycling majorities Uniqueness of US Legislative Odds and Ends Parties Congressional pay 158100 Weaker than in European parliaments 39 Websites M t I I t d b rt httpMwhousegov os eglsa Ion nee 8 some Ipa Isan mt WNWsenate 0V support httpthomasloogov Autonomous committees write egislation Best coverage Congressional Quarterly Weekly Reports Parties slightly less Important In Senate OSPAN than in House
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