The distribution of House seats among the states on the basis of their respective populations.
The geographic area that is served by one representative in Congress.
a condition that results when, based on population and representation, the voting power of citizens in one district become more influential than the voting power of citizens in another district.
"One Person, One Vote" Rule
A rule, or principle, requiring that congressional districts must have equal populations so that one person's vote counts as much as another's vote.
The drawing of a legislative district's boundaries in such a way as to maximize the influence of a certain group or political party.
A district whose boundaries are drawn so as to maximize the voting power of minority groups.
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The Speaker has traditionally been a long-time member of the majority party and is often the most powerful and influential member of the House.
The party leader elected by the majority party in the House or in the Senate.
The party leader elected by the minority party in the House or in the Senate.
A member of Congress who assists the majority or minority leader in the House or in the Senate in managing the party's legislative preferences.
A permanent committee in Congress that deals with legislation concerning a particular area, such as agriculture or foreign relations.
A division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committee's policy area. Most of the standing committees in Congress have several subcommittees.
A standing committee in the House of Representatives that provides special rules governing how particular bills will be considered and debated by the House. The Rules Committee normally proposes time limitations on debate for any bill, which are accepted or modified by the House.
The Senate tradition of unlimited debate, undertaken for the purpose of preventing action on a bill.
A method of ending debate in the Senate and bringing the matter under consideration to a vote by the entire chamber.
A meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.
A temporary committee that is formed when the two chambers of Congress pass separate versions of the same bill. The conference committee, which consists of members from both the House and the Senate, works out a compromise form of the bill.
A report submitted by a congressional conference committee after it has drafted a single version of a bill.
A special type of veto power used by the chief executive after the legislature has adjourned. Bills that are not signed by the president die after a specified period of time and must be reintroduced if Congress wishes to reconsider them.
A part of the congressional budgeting process that involves the creation of the legal basis for government programs.
A part of the congressional budgeting process that involves determining how many dollars will be spent in a given year on a particular set of government activities.
A government program (such as Social Security) that allows, or entitles, a certain class of people (such as the elderly) to receive special benefits. Entitlement programs operate under open-ended budget authorizations that, in effect, place no limits on how much can be spent.
A twelve-month period that is established for bookkeeping or accounting purposes. The government's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.
First Budget Resolution
A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in May, that sets overall revenue goals and spending targets for the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1.
Second Budget Resolution
A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in September, that sets "binding" limits on taxes and spending for the next fiscal year.
A temporary resolution passed by Congress when an appropriations bill has not been decided by the beginning of the new fiscal year.