What are the requirements to be a member of the House of Representatives?
Age - 25 years old
Residence - must be a resident of state in which elected
Years a citizen - 7 years
How many members of the House of Representatives are there?
There are 435 members and the number of representatives each state gets is based off of population. *California has 52 whereas Delaware has 1.
How many are from New York State today?
How many were there from New York State in the 1990's?
What caused there to be a change?
Although New York's population increased from the 1990 census to the 200 census, it increased at a much smaller rate than other states. As a result, NY lost 2 seats.
Why do we have a census?
It is required in the Constitution to be conducted every 10 years in order to determine representation levels from each state within the House of Representatives.
the redrawing of congressional district lines so that every district in the nation contains relatively the same number of people. The state legislatures are responsible for re-drawing the district lines.
Re-districting after a reapportionment to specifically benefit one party
What are the requirements to be a member of the Senate?
Age - 35
Residence - current resident of the state
Years a citizen - 9 years
How many members of the Senate are there?
Why are there that many?
There two senators for every state. Since there are 50 states, each state has equal representation in Congress.
What affect does the census have on the Senate?
The census has no effect on the senate because the population does not determine the amount of senators for a state
What is the role of the Vice President of the United States in the Senate?
The Vice President is the president of the Senate. His job is to break ties on a bill when necessary.
A Bi-cameral legislature is a legislature divided into two houses.
Why do we have a bi-cameral legislature?
- Started with the Connecticut Compromise during the Constitutional Convention
- The Connecticut Compromise created a bicameral Congress
- Each state is guaranteed 2 senators
- The House of Representative is determined by the population of the state
- By creating a bicameral congress, the Constitution sets up another check and balance
- No bill can be passed unless both House and Senate agree on it.
free/reduced fare travel for congressional inquiries
free use of the mail system
most members of Congress can NOT claim this - they do NOT mirror their constituents (a.k.a. the electorates) personal & politically relevant characteristics.
Congressmen represent the interests of the district or group that they represent.
those that already hold the office that he/she is running for.
when voters support congressional candidates because of their support for the president.
signing your name to a bill to show your support before a vote of the chamber floor.
helping constituents cut through the red tape of the bureaucracy.
Appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. There are positives and negatives to this.
The incumbent has decided to not run for re-election so neither contender for a congressional seat is the incumbent
A legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office.
A term used by political scientists to describe the policy-making relationship among the congressional committees, the bureaucracy (executive) (sometimes called "government agencies"), and interest groups.
A bill that focuses on methods for raising money, e.g. taxes, user fees, customs duties, and tariffs.
Refers to a legislative body that is one with two houses, providing checks and balances on policy making within the branch.
"advice and consent" provision:
Article II, Section 2- duties exclusively given to the Senate in part because they expected these matters to be handled in a thoughtful and responsible manner. The Senate has more stability (rotating elections, max of 1/3 up for re-election any one cycle), experience (many senators had previously served in the House), and a longer perspective (six year terms)
an exclusive rule in the Senate that allows for unlimited debate. Senators are limited to six filibusters per bill.
A simple rule for picking committee chairs
Speaker of the House:
presides over House when in session, makes committee assignments (members and chairpersons), and controls bills to be discussed ("sets the agenda" "creates the legislative calendar").
House Majority Leader:
schedules bills, rounds up votes
House Minority Whip:
keeps a close head count on key votes, and attempts to keep party members in line
House Majority Whip:
"whips up support - carries word to and from the rank and file members, pressures members
Senate Majority Leader:
Responsible for corralling votes, scheduling floor activity, influencing committee assignments.
Senate Majority Whip:
"whips up support" - carries word to and from the rank and file members, pressures members
President Pro Tempore:
most senior member of Majority party
Specialized subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
includes members of both houses
members of both houses, created to iron out differences between versions of same bill
Specific, temporary purpose.
A committee that is appointed to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of a specific bill
the process of monitoring the bureaucracy and its administration of policy
House Rules Committee:
"Traffic cop" of the House. When a bill comes out of a
committee, it typically passes thru the Rules Committee before being voted on by the entire House of Representatives. The Rules Committee "generally sets the forum under which a proposition will be debated and the amendment/time limitations for every measure, too. For instance, there might be a limit on the number or types of amendments (proposed changes to the bill). Amendments might only be allowed to specific sections of the bill, or no amendments might be allowed at all. Besides control over amendments, the rule issued by the Rules Committee also determines the amount of speaking time assigned on each bill or resolution. If the leadership wants a bill pushed forward quietly, for instance, there might be no debate time scheduled; if they want attention, they might allow time for lengthy speeches in support of the bill."
Ways and Means Committee:
Tax writing committee.
"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in
consequence of appropriations made by law." U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9, Clause 7. The Appropriations committees were created in both houses to be the final authority on the allocation (or appropriation) of any money. Simply said, any bill that authorizes the spending of money must go through the Appropriation committees. Needlessly to say, this is a very powerful committee. (Ex. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was the chairman of the Appropriations Committee when the Republicans controlled Congress in the mid-1990's - 2006. As the chairman, he added more earmarks into bills than anyone else. He was by far the largest recipient of pork barrel spending than any one else in the Senate. Most infamous example was the "Bridge to No Where."
a group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic.
Legislators who use their best judgment to make policy in the interests of the people.
The concept that members of Congress are merely representatives mirroring the will and interests of the people.
A proposed law, drafted in precise, legal language.
Types of bills:
Some are considered major legislation (the stimulus bill) while others are private bills (an act that addresses the concerns of only a single or small group of individuals - ex. granting of citizenship).
legislation that covers numerous, and perhaps unrelated topics/issues.
Christmas tree bill:
a bill that has attached to it various unrelated riders
: A practice common in the U.S. Congress and in many other legislative assemblies in which two (or more) legislators agree for each to trade his vote on one bill he cares little about in exchange for the other's vote on a bill that is personally much more important to him.
the process of adding amendments to a bill. these can be in the form of earmarks/pork or additional legislation.
amendments that are strictly relevant to the bill.
amendments that can be unrelated to a bill.
amendments that get added during the mark up process and typically are non-germane.
non-partisan Congressional agencies that perform specific work for congressmen.
Congressional Research Service (CRS):
tracks progress of bills & prepares summaries.
General Accounting Office (GAO):
helps Congress with oversight.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO):
principal purpose is to analyze the
president's budget after he submits it to Congress.
The political equivalent of an indictment
in criminal law, prescribed by the Constitution.
A citizen residing within the district of a legislator.