A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts.
An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action on it.
Political disctrics in which the candidate elected to the House of Representatives wins in a close election, typically with less than 55% of the vote.
A district in which incumbents win by margins of 55% or more.
An alliance between Republicans and conservative Democrats.
Drawing the boundaries of political districts so that districts are very unequal in population.
Drawing the boundaries of political districts in bizarre or unusual shapes to make it easy for candidates of the party in power to win elections in those districts.
Congressional districts designed to make it easier for citizens of a racial or ethnic minority to elect representatives.
A correspondence between the demographic characteristics of representatives and those of their constituents.
An increase in the votes that congressional candidates usually get when they first run for re-election.
The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.
A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, rounds up members when important votes are to be taken, and attempts to keep a nose count on how the voting on controversial issues is likely to go.
Party unity vote
A vote in which a majority of voting Democrats oppose a majorty of voting Republicans.
An association of members of congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest.
A permanently established legislative committee that considers and is responsible for legislation within a certain subject area.
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time or purpose.
A Committee on which both representatives and senators serve. An example of this, The conference committee make up of representatives and senators appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same pece of legislation before final passage.
A legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern.
A legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters rather than with general legislative affairs.
An expression of opinion either in the House of Representatives or the Senate to settle housekeeping or procedural matters in either body. Such expressions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law.
An expression of congressional opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate but not of the president. Used to settle housekeeping and procedural measures that affect both houses.
A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the presidident.
A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees that consider it simultaneously in whole or in part.
A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had a bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor. If a majority of the members agree, the bill is removed from the committee. This was designed to prevent a committee from killing a bill by holding it for too long.
An order from the House Rules Committee in the House of Representatives that sents a time limit on debate and forbids a particular bill from being amended on the legislative floor.
An order from the House Rules Committee in the House of Representatives that permits a bill to be amended on the legislative floor.
An order from the House Rules Committee int he House of Representatives that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the legislative floor.
A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see wheather the number of representatives in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official business.
Amendments on matters unrelated to a bill that are added to an important bill so that they will "____" to passage through the congress.
When a bill has a lot of riders, it is called this.
A rule used by the senate to end or limit debate. Designed to prevent "taking a bill to death" by filibuster. To pass in the senate, three-fifths of the entire senate membership (or sixty senators) must vote for it.
A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business.
A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval.
A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted.
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and then the "nays".
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names.
Legislation that gives tangible benefits (highways, dams, post offices) to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return.
The ability of members of Congress to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their fascimile signature for postage.