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Chapter 6 Notes

by: Sierra Crumbaugh

Chapter 6 Notes POLI 201 001

Sierra Crumbaugh

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These notes cover all the lecture slides in chapter 6 of Political Science 201 and any other material the professor covers during class.
American National Government
Class Notes
political science, history, Government, chapter 6
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sierra Crumbaugh on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 201 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Darmofal in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 03/02/16
Chapter  6 Thursday,  February  18,  2010:11  AM Congress  is  the  First   Branch Thursday,  February  18,  2016 10:07  AM • The  U.S.  Congress  is  more  independent   and  powerful  than  legislatures  in  other   industrialized  democracies • It  is  no  accident  that  the  makeup  and   powers  of  Congress  are  outlines  in   Article  I  of  the  Constitution  and  that   Article  I  is,  by  far,  the  longest  Article  of   the  Constitution   The  Powers  of  Congress:   Article  I,  Section  8 Thursday,  February  18,  2016 10:11  AM Congress  is  given  a  vast  array  of  powers: • Power  to  tax  and  spend • Power  to  raise  an  army/navy  and   declare  war • Power  to  regulate  commerce • Power  to  coin  money  (regulate  the   currency)   • Power  to  make  all  laws  "necessary  and   proper"  (elastic  clause) Today,  presidents  play  a  bigger  role  in  each   of  these  areas. proper"  (elastic  clause) Today,  presidents  play  a  bigger  role  in  each   of  these  areas. Forms  of  Representation Thursday,  February  18,  2016 • Delegate:  Legislators  vote  according  to   the  preferences  of  their  constituencies • Trustee:  Legislators  vote  based  on  what   they  think  is  best  for  their  constituencies Descriptive   Representation Thursday,  February  18,  2016 • Legislators  not  only  represent  others;   they  may  be  representative  of  others  as   well.   • Descriptive  representation  refers  to  the   idea  that  we  seek  to  have  legislature  that   has  demographic  characteristics  similar   to  the  population  it  represents.   House  and  Senate:   Differences  in   Representation Thursday,  February  18,  2016 • Congress  is  a  bicameral  legislative   assembly;  it  is  composed  of  two   chambers,  or  houses • The  Senate  is  smaller  and  more   deliberative • The  House  is  larger,  and  thus  power  is   more  centralized  and  the  process  is   more  organized Minimum  age:  25  (H)  30  (S) more  centralized  and  the  process  is   more  organized Minimum  age:  25  (H)  30  (S) Length  of  U.S.  Citizenship:  7  yrs  (H)  9  yrs  (S) Length  of  term:  2yrs  (H)  6  yrs  staggered  (S)   Dependent  on:  Population  (H)  2/state  (S) Constituency:  Tends  to  be  local  (H)  Both               local  and  national  (S) The  Electoral  System:   Who  runs? Thursday,  February  18,  2016 • Because  members  of  Congress  are   agents,  electoral  considerations  are   very  important. • To  win,  candidates  need:   ○ Ambition ○ Money ○ Name  recognition/strong  political   base ○ Charisma/strong  personal   organization The  Electoral  System:   Incumbency Thursday,  February  18,  2016 10:50  AM • Incumbency  (holding  a  political  office   for  which  one  is  running)  is  huge   advantage  in  congressional  elections • Some  advantages  include: ○ Casework ○ Patronage ○ Pork-­‐barrel  legislation ○ Early  money ○ Name  recognition ○ Patronage ○ Pork-­‐barrel  legislation ○ Early  money Name  recognition ○ Money  in  Congressional   Elections Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • One  of  the  big  reasons  congressional   incumbents  are  so  safe  is  that  they   raise  and  spend  more  money  than   their  opponents • In  part,  this  becomes  a  self -­‐fulfilling   prophecy,  as  campaign  donors  want  to   give  only  to  those  they  think  can  win,   and  incumbents  usually  win,  so  they   get  more  money The  Electoral  System:   Congressional  Districts Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Every  10  years,  House  districts  must  be   reapportioned  among  the  states  and   lines  redrawn  to  reflect  population   changes • There  is  a  lot  at  stake  in  how  these   lines  are  drawn,  as  voters  can  be   aggregated  within  certain  districts  so   as  to  give  an  advantage  to  one  political   party.  This  is  called  gerrymandering Problems  of  Legislative   Organizations Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 10:43  AM Problems  of  Legislative   Organizations Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 10:43  AM • Cooperation  among  many  members  is   difficult  for  several  reasons: ○ Matching  Influence  and  Interest   -­‐ Each   member  has  particular  priorities  but   only  one  vote  on  each  issue ○ Imperfect  Information  -­‐Legislators   cannot  be  experts  on  every  policy  area ○ Compliance:  Monitoring  legislative   deals  and  legislative  outcomes  requires   collective  effort Legislative  Organization:   Parties Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Members  organize  themselves  into  part   coalitions  in  the  House  and  Senate  called  a   caucus  (Democrats)  or  a  conference   (Republicans) • Members  choose  leadership  (Speaker,   Majority  Leader,  Minority  Leader,  Whips) • Members  empower  part  leaders  to  influence   the  agenda  and  manage  legislation Legislative  Organization:   Committees Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Members  are  also  organized  into  standing   committees  divided  by  policy  jurisdiction • There  are  similar  jurisdictional  committees   in  the  House  and  Senate • Committees  have: ○ Gatekeeping  authority:  the  right  to   decide  is  a  change  in  policy  will  be   considered • There  are  similar  jurisdictional  committees   in  the  House  and  Senate • Committees  have: ○ Gatekeeping  authority:  the  right  to   decide  is  a  change  in  policy  will  be   considered ○ Proposal  power:  the  capacity  to  bring   a  proposal  before  the  chamber Legislative  Organization:   Staffers  and  Agencies Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Each  member  of  Congress  has  a  large  staff   that  provides  assistance  on  everything  from   writing  legislation  to  correspondence  with   constituents • Congress  has  also  created  staff  agencies  like   CRS,  GAO,  and  CBO  to  provide  nonpartisan   policy  advice  to  members How  a  Bill  Becomes  a  Law:   Committee  Deliberation Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Bills  must  first  be  introduces  by  a  member  of   Congress  and  referred  to  committee(s) • Most  bills  die  in  committee • Some  are  referred  to  a  subcommittee,  are   amended,  and  are  reported  out  to  the  full   chamber How  a  Bill  Becomes  a  Law:   Debate  in  the  House Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Bills  reported  out  of  committee  first  go  to   the  Rules  Committee,  which  determines   the  rules  under  which  the  bill  will  be   Debate  in  the  House Tuesday,  February  23,  2016 • Bills  reported  out  of  committee  first  go  to   the  Rules  Committee,  which  determines   the  rules  under  which  the  bill  will  be   debated  on  the  floor,  where  the  majority   rules • The  Rules  Committee  may  provide ○ A  closed  rule:  prohibits  the   introduction  of  amendments ○ An  open  rule:  permits  the  addition   of  amendments How  a  Bill  Becomes  a   Law:  Debate  in  the  Senate • The  Senate  has  a  tradition  of  unlimited   debate • It  takes  3/5  of  the  Senate  (60  votes)  to   invoke  cloture  (end  of  debate) • Recently,  greater  partisanship  has  meant   that  the  minority  frequently  uses  the   filibuster   -­‐ a  delaying  tactic  in  which   senators  do  not  allow  debate  to  end   -­‐ to   kill  legislation How  a  Bill  Becomes  a  Law:   Reconciling  Bills Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:15  AM • To  become  a  law,  a  bill  must  be  passed  in   exactly  the  same  form  in  both  chambers. • Frequently,  the  two  chambers  send  the   bill  back  and  forth  until  one  chamber   passes  a  version  passed  by  the  other • Sometimes,  a  conference  committee  is   appointed  with  members  from  each   chamber  to  work  out  differences bill  back  and  forth  until  one  chamber   passes  a  version  passed  by  the  other • Sometimes,  a  conference  committee  is   appointed  with  members  from  each   chamber  to  work  out  differences How  a  Bill  Becomes  a  Law:   Presidential  Action Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:18  AM • The  president  may  veto  legislation  and   Congress  may  only  override  the  veto  with   a  2/3  vote  in  each  chamber • Presidents  generally  use  the  threat  of  a   veto  to  shape  legislation  and  try  to  avoid   the  embarrassment  of  having  a  veto   overridden   Unorthodox  Lawmaking:   Health  Care  Reform  Act Thursday,  February  25,  2016 • Getting  legislation  through  this  long   process  sometimes  requires  unorthodox   procedures • The  Health  Care  Reform  Act  is  a  good   example  of  this: ○ Multiple  referrals  to  committees ○ Use  of  reconciliation  to  pass   changes  to  the  bill  that  couldn’t   overcome  a  filibuster The  Distributive   Tendency  in  Congress Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:26  AM • Building  the  super-­‐majority  coalitions  in   The  Distributive   Tendency  in  Congress Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:26  AM • Building  the  super-­‐majority  coalitions  in   Congress  necessary  to  pass  legislation   leads  to  a  distributive  tendency  in   legislation • This  means  that  bills  are  frequently   designed  so  as  to  distribute  policy   benefits  as  widely  as  possible How  Members   Decide Thursday,  February  25,  2016 • Constituency:  Members  care   about  what  constituents  will   think  on  Election  Day • Interest  Groups:  Groups   educate  the  public,  mobilize   constituents,  and  make   campaign  donations • Party  Voting:  Members  listen  to   part  leaders  more  today  than   they  did  50  years  ago Causes  of  Increasing   Partisanship  in   Congress Thursday,  February  25,  2016 • Greater  power  for  party  leaders: ○ Committee  assignments   ○ Access  to  the  floor ○ The  whip  system ○ Logrolling   ○ Increasing  power  and   visibility  for  the  president • Gerrymandering ○ The  whip  system ○ Logrolling   ○ Increasing  power  and   visibility  for  the  president • Gerrymandering Beyond  Legislation:   Other  Congressional   Powers Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:39  AM • Advice  and  Consent  (Senate  Only) • Ratification  of  Treaties  (Senate  Only) • Impeachment Congress  and  the   Policy  Principle Thursday,  February  25,  2016 10:43  AM • The  Policy  Principle  states  that   "political  outcomes  are  the   products  of  individual  preferences   and  institutional  procedures" • We  have  seen  that  individual   preferences  are  very  divergent  and   that  institutional  mechanism  have   been  developed  in  Congress  to   make  collective  action  possible.


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