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64 terms

Chapter 5

Study Guide Key Terms and Questions
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House of Representatives
One of the two parts of Congress, considered the "lower house." Representatives are elected directly by the people, with the number of representatives for each state determined by the state's population.
Senate
One of the two parts of Congress, considered the "upper house." Senator are elected by the people and there are 2 from each state.
Speaker of the House
the person that oversees the house of reps who are a member of the house LEADER OF THE HOUSE
bicameral legislature
a two-chamber legislature
session
a period of time during which a legislature meets to conduct business
census
a population count
Census Bureau
takes a census every 10 years
reapportionment
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
redistricting
to set up new district lines after reapportionment is complete
Elbridge Gerry
Governor of Massachusetts in late 1790's
gerrymander
to draw a district's boundaries to gain an advantage ion elections
Twenty-Seventh Amendment
-prohibits a sitting Congress from giving itself a pay raise
-any new congressional salary increase will take effect after an intervening election
franking privileges
in addition to salaries Congress enjoys a number of benefits
at-large
as a whole; for example, statewide
Political Action Committees
(PAC) an organization formed to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates
censure
a vote of formal disapproval of a member's actions
incumbent
elected official that is already in office
constituents
a person whom a member of Congress has been elected to represent
caucus
a private meeting of party leaders to chose candidates for office
majority leader
the SPeaker's top assistant whose job is to help plan the majority party's legislative program and to steer important bills through the House
whips
an assistant to the party floor leader in the legislature
bill
a proposed law
calendars
a schedule that lists the order in which bills will be considered in Congress
House Rules Committee
...
quorum
the minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action
president pro tempore
the Senate member, elected by the Senate, who stands in as president of the Senate in the absence of the vice president
filibuster
a method of defeating a bill in which a senator talks until a majority either abandons the bill or agrees to modify it
cloture
a procedure that allows each senator to speak only 1 hour on a bill under debate
The calendar of General Orders
...
The executive Calendar
...
standing committee
a permanent committee in Congress that oversees bills that deal with certain kinds of issues
subcommittee
a group within a standing committee that specializes in a SUBCATEGORY of its standing committee's responsibility
select committee
a temporary committee formed to study one specific issues and report its findings to the Senate or the House
joint committee
a committee of the House and the Senate that usually acts as a study group and reports its findings back to the House and the Senate
conference committee
a temporary joint committee set up when the House and the Senate have passed different versions of the same bill
seniority system
a system that gives the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee
personal staff
the people who work directly for individual senators and representatives
administrative assistant
member of a lawmaker's personal staff who runs the lawmaker's office, supervises the schedule, and gives advice
legislative assistant
a member of a lawmaker's personal staff that makes certain that the lawmaker is well informed about proposed legislation
caseworker
a member of lawmaker's personal staff who handles requests for help from constituents
How many members of Congress are there?
535
How many members in the House of Representatives?
435
How many members in the Senate?
100
Who is the leader of the House of Representatives?
speaker of the house
Who is the president of the Senate?
Vice President
How long is the term of a representative?
2 years
How long is the term of a Senator?
6 years
When does each term of congress start?
January 3rd
How long is a term of Congress?
2 years
How many sessions are there in each term?
2 sessions
How long does a session of congress last?
each session lasts one year and includes breaks for holidays and vacations
What are the qualifications to become a Representative?
25 years old
citizen for 7 years
legal resident of the state that elects them
What are the qualifications to become a Senator?
30 years old
citizen for 9 years
legal resident of the state they represent
What are the Characteristics of members of congress?
*nearly half are lawyers
*large number are from business, banking, and education
*typically white, middle-aged males
Why do congressional office holders rarely lose reelection?
1. easier to raise campaign funds cause they have worked with so many while representing their district
2. district gerrymandered in their party's favor
3. well-known to their voters
4. use their position to help solve voters' problems
What is the main task of congress?
to make laws
How often do the House and Senate print their rules?
every 2 years
What are the Vice President's responsibilities in the Senate?
*recognize members and put questions to a vote
*votes only if there is a tie
*can try to influence by personal contact
What are the limitations on the Vice President's participation in the Senate?
can not take part in Senate debates
How important are politics and political parties in congress?
house is organized around political parties
What is the role of a committee chairperson?
6 year term and ...
How is the committee chairperson chosen?
...
What are support agencies and what do they do?
...
secret ballot
type of ballot that has made changes to the seniority system