Chapter 12: Congress
Chapter 12: Congress POLI 1090 - 006
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Crystal Boutwell on Tuesday November 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 1090 - 006 at Auburn University taught by Regina M. Moorer in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see American Government in Multicultural World in Political Science at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 11/17/15
Structure CHAPTER 12 CONGRESS A Bicameral divided into two chambers i which wanted equal representation 100 members 2 for each state ii which wanted representation based on population 435 members B Differences in House and Senate i House 1 2 3 4 5 ii Senate 1 P1Pquot Minimum age 25 US Citizenship 7 years Term length 2 years Number in each state 153 dependent on population Constituency local each has their own district Minimum age 30 US Citizenship 9 years Term length 6 years Number in each state 2 Constituency local and statewide each senator has multiple districts D Districts i One congressional district is often very uniform throughout 1 Members of the house tend to specialize in one committee ii Entire states tend to have differences in districts however 1 Representation Senators have to be very general A Sociological Representation voting for characters with the same demographic background experience etc as us B Agency Representation voting for a candidate because they have shown us they deserve it or can act on our needs C Delegate given their authority to make a decision by the people D Trustee doesn t need our approval to make decisions we must trust them to do what is right i Members of Congress need to be a mixture of both delegates and trustees E Social Composition i Protestant ii Population of minorities not compatible with representation in Congress Electoral Campaign i 3 Factors affect the outcome of an election 1 2 3 Who decides to run for office and who has an edge Incumbency advantage The way congressional district lines are drawn B Who Runs for Office i Candidates must decide on their own terms to run Some are encouraged by parties more than others Strong qualities of candidates include 1 Good name recognition 2 Success in prior elected offices 3 Ability to raise funds 4 Willingness to campaign 5 Ability to reach out to voters C Incumbency Advantage Incumbency holding the political office for which one is running Once in office members of Congress use tools to stack next election in their favor D District Lines Apportionment allocating congressional seats across the 50 states 1 Each congress person will be representing the same amount of people Redistricting every ten years after the Census the district lines are redrawn if needed The vast majority of incumbents represent quotsafe districts where most voters support one party For example we know Alabama will vote for a Republican candidate but which Republican candidate iv quotCrackedquot redrawing the district and splitting the party v quotpackedquot redrawing the district and adding more votes to one party vi Gerrymandering redrawing the lines in someone s interest IV Organization of Congress A Parties in the House I ii iii iv Speaker of the House Current Paul Ryan R is the leader of the majority party Both parties also elect a majority and minority leader and a whip Whip the party member coordinating legislative strategy Parties determine which of their members sit on various committees B Parties in the Senate Vice president officially chairs the senate but only presides at ceremonial events and in the event of a tie votes The real power rests in the majority leader How a bill becomes a law A Issue idea9craft legislation 9 committee 9 must pass both houses 9 president B Bill a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of Congress and submitted to the clerk of the House or the Senate C Important things to know about this process V I ii iii iv v VI Committees Bills can originate from either chamber The final bill must be reconciled and language must be the same between houses The president has the right to sign a bill or veto it 23 of a vote in BOTH chambers can override a presidential veto Pocket veto if a bill is presented to the President within ten days of Congress dismissing the president can choose to let it sit on his desk for ten days and do no action This saves the president face with the public but also accomplishes the veto A acommitteewith that covers such as finance or agriculture usually highlight or investigate a or address an issue Do not have the power to present legislation to Congress legislative committees formed of but do not have the power to present legislation Conference Committees temporarily appointed by house leader and senate leader work to create a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation Hierarchy based on seniority length of continuous time on a certain committee