AP US Gov. The Legislative Branch


Terms in this set (...)

17th Amendment
Establishes the election of US Senators by popular election, instead of by state legislatures (previous)
Baker v. Carr
Established the rights of federal courts to review redistricting issues and examine their justiciability
meaning "two houses"
Only formal procedure provided by the Senate for ending a filibuster. Allows the Senate to limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 hours, but only by a 3/5 vote.
concurrent resolution
Resolution adopted by both houses of the legislature that does not require the executive signing off.
conference committee
Committee set up to resolve disagreements on a particular bill between the House and the Senate.
discharge petition
A way to bring a bill out of committee and onto the floor for debate
Prolonged speech that is meant to delay voting on a bill or issue. Only applies in the Senate
franking privilege
Legislative privilege/incumbent advantage of receiving free mail
Manipulate the boundaries of a constituency to benefit one or another political party
joint committees
A committee made up of members on both sides of a bicameral legislature
joint resolution
Legislative measure that requires approval by the House and the Senate and is presented to the president for his approval or disapproval
legislative veto
Veto exercised by nullifying or reversing a decision of the executive branch (declared unconstitutional)
Exchanging favors for votes
majority and minority leaders
Drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so they are
majority-minority districts
An electoral district in which the majority of voters are of a minority group
Malapportionment is the creation of electoral districts with divergent ratios of voters to representatives. For example, if one single-member district has 10,000 voters and another has 100,000 voters, voters in the former district have ten times the influence, per person, over the governing body.
marginal districts
Political districts in which candidates to the House win by a very slim margin (usually with less than 55% of the vote)
"one man, one vote"
The concept that one man's vote should have the same worth as another's.
party whip
Official in a political party whose primary job is to ensure that other party members stay in line with the legislative agenda
pork-barrel legislation
Appropriation of gov't spending for a localized project secured solely or primarily to bring money to a congressman's district
President Pro Tempore
Presides over the Senate in the Vice President's absence
quorum call
A quorum call is a way of counting the members of a legislative body to see who is present and to determine if there are enough members present for the session to begin
Redistribution of representation in a legislative body
Dividing or organizing an area into new political differences.
Unrelated amendments added to a bill in the hopes that it will pass
Rule 22
Only formal procedure for breaking a filibuster
rules committee
Committee of the United States House of Representatives that is responsible for setting the rules under which bills come to the floor
safe districts
A district where a representative wins handily, usually with 55% or more of the vote.
select committees
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate hearings
Shaw v. Reno
Significant ruling in the areas of redistricting and racial gerrymandering
(simple) resolution
Resolutions passed by only one house that do not have the force of law
Speaker of the House
The Speaker is chosen by the party in the majority, and has both informal and formal powers in the House. Is also 2nd in line to the VP to succeed if the presidency becomes vacant.
standing committees
Handle bills in different policy areas, are permanent committees in the House and Senate.
Meaning "one house"
Wesberry V. Sanders
Ordered House districts to be near as equal in population representation as possible.
12th Amendment
Provides a procedure for electing the President and Vice President
22nd Amendment
Established a two-term limit for the presidency
25th Amendment
Establishes the line of succession for the presidency and procedures should the presidency be vacated
"Bully Pulpit"
A public office providing it's occupant an outstanding opportunity to speak out on an issue
Secretaries or chief admins of the major departments of the federal gov't
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act (1974)
Modified the role of Congress in the federal budgetary process, created standing budget committees
Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is an agency within the Executive Office of the President that advises the President of the United States on economic policy.
direct democracy
Form of democracy in which people decide on voting matters directly, not through legislators
divided gov't
Inability to act because rival parties control separate parts of the gov't (Democratic pres. and Republican Congress)
electoral college
The electoral college is composed of 538 members. Representation is equal to the number of representatives (HR) for each state, and they decide the presidency.
executive agencies
An executive agency is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate, to carry-out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government
executive agreements
An international agreement made by the executive branch of the gov't without ratification by the Senate
executive treaties
Requires a two-thirds ratification by the Senate
Executive Office of the President
Organization established to help the President carry out his major duties
executive orders
Rule of regulation issued by the President that has the effect of law
executive privilege
Constitutional privilege that allows the President and other high-ranking members of the executive branch to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and the public.
faithless electors
Members of the electoral college who do not vote for their party's chose representative
An action by the House of Representatives accusing the president, vice president, or any other high-ranking officials of "Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors".
"imperial presidency"
A U.S. presidency that is characterized as having powers outside of those given in the US constitution (term became popular in the 1970s)
independent agencies
Agencies that exist outside of the federal executive department
"lame duck" period
The period between the election of a new president and the succession of the new president (Nov-Jan)
line-item veto
Power of an executive to veto parts of a bill but not veto the entire bill.
National Security Council (NSC)
President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Produces the President's budget for the year, under the Executive Branch
pocket veto
Bills not signed by the executive a certain number of days after Congress has gone out session die "in the pocket"
presidential honeymoon
Tendency to give the president an easy start in the first few months of the Presidency
pyramid structure
A president's subordinates report to him from a clear chain of command, ending with the chief of staff (who reports directly to the president)
representative democracy
Founded on the principal of elected officials voting for the people they represent (citizens)
unified gov't
Gov't where the presidency and Congressional majority are held by the same political party
United States V. Nixon (1973)
Decided that the president had rights to withhold information about national security matters but not about the goings-on of his own cabinet (Watergate Scandal). Resulted in a unanimous ruling against Nixon
Ability to reject a piece of legislation held by the executive branch
War Powers Act (1973)
Meant to limit the power of the President in matters of war; the President must notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops, and Congress has to give their approval for them to stay more than 90 days