Government - Chapter 5 - The Organization of Congress

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bicameral legislature

made of up 2 houses

sessions

meetings of Congress

census

population count

reapportionment

determining the new number of representatives to which each state is entitled

redistricting

setting up new district lines after reapportionment is complete

gerrymandering

political party controlling state government draws district boundaries to gain an advantage

at-large

statewide

censure

vote of formal disapproval of a member's actions

incumbents

members already in office

constituents

the people in the districts represented by a Congress member.

caucus

closed meeting

majority leader

Speaker of the House's top assistant

whips

assistant floor leaders in the House

calendars

list bills that are up for consideration

quorum

minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action

president pro tempore

for the time being, president in the absence of the vice president

filibuster

keep talking until a majority of the Senate either abandons the bill or agrees to modify its most controversial provisions

standing committees

continue from one Congress to the next

subcommittees

specializes in a subcategory of its standing committee's responsibility

joint committees

made up of members from both the House and the Senate, may be permanent or temporary

conference committee

temporary committee set up when the House and Senate have passed different versions of the same bill.

seniority system

gave the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee

select committees

study one specific issue and report their findings to the Senate or the House

cloture

a procedure that allows each senator to speak only 1 hour on a bill under debate

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