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people of their district represented by their representative

Speaker of the House

a member of the majority party who is chosen by that party and then approved by the entire House. Most powerful leader in HofR. Helps to steer legislation through the House and is in charge of floor debates. 3rd in line for President. Use the power of persuasion to exercise influence

president pro tempore

in charge of the Senate for the time being (usually a senator from the majority party)

ex post facto laws

can't make it a crime after the act has been committed

bills of attainer

must have a jury trial


representative of an interest group who contacts law makers to influence their policy making.


an oddly shaped district used to strengthen a particular group's voting strength

party whip

help the floor leaders by keeping track of where party members stand on legislation

minority leader

the head of the minority party in a legislative body

floor leader

try to make sure the laws passed are in the best interest of their political party

majority party

the party that has the most votes in the house

pocket veto

If Congress is not in session, the President can kill a bill by not signing it for 10 days

standing committee

one that does not go away


an unrelated amendment that is tacked on to a bill


to be officially charged with a crime.

The powers of the legislature, and what they are allowed to do

Taxing and Spending- has the power to collect taxes

Regulating Commerce- laws dealing with air traffic, railroads, trucking, radio, tv, air pollution, and the stock market

Foreign Relations and Treaties- Only Congress can declare war. Has the power to create, maintain, and oversee the army and navy. Must approve treaties with other countries.

Process a bill must go through to become a law

1. Idea- comes from a citizen or member of Congress; some are suggested by special-interest groups

2. Introduce the bill to Congress, then it goes to committee

3. Chairperson decides which bills they will discuss and research, then the committee decides what to do with it.

4. If the bill is approved by committee then it goes on to be considered by the full House or Senate on a floor debate

5. They vote on it, and if they pass it the President can sign the bill, making it a law, or he can veto it.

The jobs of the people that work for the committee

standing committees- divided into smaller committees that deal with specialized issues

select committees-created to do a special job for a limited amount of time

joint committees- includes members of both houses

conference committee- helps the House and Senate agree on the details of proposed laws

Who is our current Speaker of the House?

John Boehner

Who are our current TN senators in the US Senate?

Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker



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