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Politics of the United States
Chapter 10 (Vocab and Practice Questions)
American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials 2014 Edition
Terms in this set (60)
A person represented by a legislature or other elected or appointed official
The division of a legislature into two separate assemblies
The process of establishing the legal rules that govern society
An arrangement in which two or more members of Congress agree in advance to support each other's bills
Special Provisions in legislation to set aside funds for projects that have not passed an impartial evaluation by agencies of the executive branch. Also known as "pork"
The function of members of Congress as elected officials representing the views of their constituents as well as larger national interests
A legislator who acts according to his or her conscious and the broad interests of the entire society
A legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal beliefs
Personal work for constituents by members of Congress
A person who hears and investigates complaints by private individuals against public officials or agencies. (From the Swedish word ombudsman, meaning "representative")
The process by which Congress follows up on laws it has enacted to ensure that they are being enforced and administered in the way Congress intended.
Determining which public-policy questions will be debated or considered
A power specifically granted to the national government by the Constitution. The first 17 clauses of Article I, Section 8, specify most of the enumerated powers of Congress.
A standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considered by the House.
The use of the Senate's tradition of unlimited debate as a delaying tactic to block a bill.
A special rule that can be applied to budget bills sent from the House of Representatives to the Senate. Reconciliation measures cannot be filibustered.
A policy that enables members of Congress to send material through the mail by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage.
A person who identifies with a political party
The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state after each census
The redrawing of the boundaries of the congressional districts within each state
A question that may be raised and reviewed in court
The drawing of legislative district boundary lines for the purpose of obtaining partisan or factional advantage. A district is said to be gerrymandering when its shape is manipulated by the dominant party to maximize electoral strength at the expense of the minority party.
A procedure by which a bill in the House of Representatives can be forced out of a committee that has refused to report it for consideration by the House. The petition must be signed by an absolute majority (218) of the representatives and is used only on rare occasions
A permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a specific purpose
A legislative committee composed of members from both chambers of Congress
A special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
A custom followed in both chambers of Congress specifying that the member of the majority party with the longest term of continuous service will be given preference when a committee chairperson (or other significant position) is selected
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The speaker is always a member of the majority party and is the most powerful and influential member of the House.
Majority Leader of the House
The majority leader of the House of Representatives is selected by the majority party in caucus or conference to foster cohesion among party members and to act as spokesperson for the majority party in the house.
The party leader elected by the minority party in the House
A member of Congress who aids the Majority or Minority leader of the House or the Senate
President Pro Tempore
The temporary presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice-president
Senate Majority Leader
The chief spokesperson of the majority party in the Senate, who directs the legislative program and party strategy
Senate Minority Leader
The party officer in the Senate who commands the minority party's opposition to the policies of the majority party and directs the legislative program and strategy of his or her party.
The budget prepared and submitted by the president to Congress
Fiscal Year (FY)
A 12 month period that is used for bookkeeping, or accounting, purposes. Usually, the fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year. For example, the federal government's fiscal year runs from OCT 1st through SEPT 31st.
The annual process in which the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires federal agencies to review their programs, activities, and goals and submit their requests for funding for the next fiscal year.
The annual process in which the OMB, after receiving formal federal agency requests for funding for the next fiscal year, reviews the requests, makes changes, and submits its recommendations to the president.
A formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency. Some authorizations terminate in a year; others are renewable automatically without further congressional action
The passage, by Congress, of a spending bill specifying the amount of authorized funds that actually will be allocated for an agency's use.
First Budget Resolution
A resolution passed by Congress in May that sets overall revenue and spending goals for the following fiscal year
Second Budget Resolution
A resolution Passed by Congress in September that sets "binding" limits on taxes and spending for the following fiscal year.
A temporary funding law that Congress passes when an appropriations bill has not been decided by the beginning of the new fiscal year on OCT 1st.
The Bicameralism of Congress means that:
Congress is divided into two legislative bodies
In Article 1, Section 8, the Constitution provides most of the enumerated powers of Congress, which include the power to:
a. establish national school standards
b. regulate interstate commerce
c. create presidential primaries
b. regulate interstate commerce
The central difference between the House and the Senate is that:
The House is much larger than the Senate
The 435 congressional districts are apportioned every ten years based on:
The results of the latest U.S. Census
Congressional redistricting often involves gerrymandering, which means that the redistricting results in:
strange shaped districts designed to favor one party
There are several types of committees in congress, they include:
Standing committees, select committees, conference committees, and joint committees
The most powerful leader in the Senate is the:
Senate majority leader
When an appropriations bill has not been passed by the beginning of a new fiscal year, Congress may pass a temporary funding law called:
a Continuing resolution
The process of compromise in which members of Congress support each other's bills is called _________
In contrast to the House, only the Senate has the power to accept or reject presidential nominations of _________ and _________ _________ _________
ambassadors and Supreme Court Justices
A high percentage of senators and representatives are reelected, and we describe this as due to the power of _________
_________ committees are permanent bodies that are established by the rules of each chamber of Congress
One of the most important committees in the House is the _________ _________ Committee, because it has the power to decide which legislation will reach the floor of the House.
The representative with the most power in the House is the _________ __ __ _________ because he or she is the official leader of the majority party
Speaker of the House
_________ are members of Congress who pass information from the leadership to party members and from the members to the leaders
In contrast to the calendar year, which starts January 1st and ends on December 31st the federal government's _________ year runs from October 1st through September 30th.
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