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38 terms

Molander U.S. Government Chapter 13

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Bicameral Legislature
A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
Filibuster
An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action on the bill
Marginal Districts
Political districts which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55 percent of the vote
Safe Districts
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more
Conservative Coalition
An alliance between Republican and conservative Democrats
Majority Leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or the Senate
Minority Leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or in the Senate
Whip
A senator or representative who helps the party stay informed about what party members are thinking
Party Polarization
A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators
Caucus
An association of Congress members created to advance a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest
Standing Committees
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area
Select Committees
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose
Joint Committees
Committees on which both senators and representatives serve
Conference Committees
A joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill
Public Bill
A legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern
Private Bill
A legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters
Simple Resolution
An expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body
Concurrent Resolution
An expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president
Joint Resolution
A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president; constitutional amendments need not be signed by the president
Divided Government
One party controls the White House and another party controls one or both houses of Congress
Unified Government
The same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress
Earmarks
"Hidden" congressional provisions that direct the federal government to fund specific projects or that exempt specific persons or groups from paying specific federal taxes or fees
Multiple Referral
A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several important committees
Sequential Referral
A congressional process by which a Speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting
Discharge Petition
A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had the bill for 30 days, may petition to have it brought to the floor
Closed Rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor
Open Rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
Restrictive Rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the floor
Quorum
The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress
Quorum Call
A roll call in either house of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present
Cloture Rule
A rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate
Double-Tracking
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 businesses
Voice Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval, permitting members to vote quickly or anonymously on bills
Division Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
Teller Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and the "nays" second
Roll-Call Vote
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names
Pork-Barrel Legislation
Legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
Franking Privilege
The ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage