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by: Lizzie Enright
Lizzie Enright
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About this Document

Definitions and powers of Congress.
Intro to American Politics
Dan Thaler
Class Notes




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lizzie Enright on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PLS 100 at Michigan State University taught by Dan Thaler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 117 views. For similar materials see Intro to American Politics in Political Science at Michigan State University.

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Date Created: 02/22/16
Congress - Great Compromise 1787 o House of Representatives:  Proportional to population (2yr. elections) o Senate:  Equal representation (6yr. elections) Powers of Congress: o Economy o Foreign affairs o Confirm justices o Necessary and proper clause  “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”  Plurality Voting v. Proportional Representation Plurality: Candidate or party with the most votes cast in an election, not necessarily more than half. Duverger’s Law - Single member, plurality electoral system produce two-party systems Congressional Districts - Districts of congress are based on apportionment o Gerrymandering- manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral  constituency) so as to favor one party or class. o Creates unequal representation in the senate Electoral Politics - Candidate- centered v. Party- centered politics Candidate- centered: Politics that focus on the candidates, their particular issues, and character rather than party affiliation. - Incumbents tend to stay in office o Senators are vulnerable to losing a seat - Party-centered politics o Presidential coattails: When president tries to get candidate of own party elected o Representation v. Responsibility  Pork Barreling Conditional Party Government: - The degree of authority delegated to and exercised by congressional leaders; varies with and is conditioned by the extent of election-driven ideological consensus among members Congressional party leaders have the most power when: o Intra-party homogeneity o Two- parties disagree House: - Speaker of the house- o The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant. - Majority/Minority Leaders o Prominent spokespersons who vote and debate - Whip: makes sure members vote within party Senate: - Vice President is head o Breaks tied votes President Pro Tempore - Presides over business, little actual power Majority/Minority Leaders and Whips o Similar to the House Norm of Equality: every Senator more or less equal


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