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Speaker of the House

The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, chosen by and from the majoirty party in the House

president of the Senate

the presiding officer of a senate; in Congress, the Vice President of the United States; in a State's legislature, either the lieutenant governor or a senator

president pro tempore

The member of the United States Senate, or of the upper house of a State's legislature, chosen to preside in the absence of the president of the Senate

party caucus

A closed meeting of party's House or Senate members; also called a party conference

floor leader

Members of the House and Senate picked by their parties to carry out party decisions and steer legislative action to meet party goals

whip

Assistants to the floor leaders in the House and Senate, responsible for monitoring and marshalling votes

committee chairman

Member who heads a standing committee in a legislative body

seniority rule

Unwritten rule in both houses of Congress reserving the top posts in each chamber, particularly committee chairmanships, for members with the longest records of service

standing committee

permanent committee in a legislative body to which bills in a specified subject- matter area are referred

select committee

legislative committee created for a limited time and for some specific purposel also known as a special committee

joint committee

legislative committee composed of members of both houses

conference committee

temporary joint committee created to reconcile any differences between the two houses' versions of a bill

bill

a proposed law presented to a legislative body for consideration

joint resolution

a proposal for actoin that has the force of law when passed; usually deals with special circumstances or temporary matters

concurrent resolution

a statement of positoin on an issue used by the House and Senate acting jointly; does not have the force of law and does not require the president's signature

resolution

a measure relating to the business of either house, or expressing an opinionl doe snot have the force of law and does not require the president's signature

rider

unpopular provision added to an important bill certain to pass so that it will "rider" through the legislative process

discharge petition

A procedure enabling members to force a bill that has been pigeonholed in committee onto th efloor for consideration

subcommittee

Division of existing committee tha tis formed to address specific issues

Committee of the Whole

A committee tha tconsists of an entire legislative body; used for a procedure in which a legislative body expedites its business by resolving itself into a committee of itself

quorum

least number of members who must be present for legislative body to conduct business; majority

engrossed

to print a bill in its final form

filibuster

Various tactics (usually long speeches) aimed at defeating a bill in a legislative body by preventing a final vote; associated with the U.S. Senate

cloture

procedure that may be used to limit or end floor debate in a legislative body

veto

chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislative, literally (Latin) "I forbid"

pocket veto

type of veto a chief executive may use after a lefislature has adjournedl when the chief executive does not sign or reject a bill within the time allowed to do so

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