30 terms

AP Gov Key Terms Unit 4a: Congress 2016-17

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Appropriation
money that Congress has allocated to be spent.
Appropriations Committee
congressional committee that deals with federal spending.
Casework
personal work done by a member of Congress for his constituents.
Closed rule
Rules Committee rule that bans amendments to a bill.
Cloture
Senate motion to end a filibuster that requires a 3/5 vote.
Conference committee
works out a compromise between differing House-Senate versions of a bill.
Constituents
the people who are represented by elected officials.
Discharge petition
a motion to force a bill to the House floor that has been bottled up in committee.
Filibuster
nonstop Senate debate that prevents a bill from coming to a vote.
Finance Committee
Senate committee that handles tax bills.
Franking privilege
allows members of Congress to send mail postage free.
Gerrymandering
redrawing district lines to favor one party at the expense of the other.
Hold
Senate maneuver that allows a Senator to stop or delay consideration of a bill or presidential appointment.
Impeachment
House action that formally charges an official with wrongdoing. Conviction requires 2/3 vote from the Senate.
Legislative oversight
ongoing process of congressional monitoring of the executive branch to ensure that the latter complies with the law.
Legislative veto
process in which Congress overturned rules and regulations proposed by executive branch agencies. Struck down in 1983.
Logrolling
when two members of Congress agree to vote for each other's bill.
Mark up
committee action to amend a proposed bill.
Open rule
House Rules Committee rule that allows amendments to a bill.
Pocket veto
presidential killing of a bill by inaction after Congress adjourns.
Pork barrel
wasteful congressional spending, e.g. funding for a Lawrence Welk museum in North Dakota.
Quorum
minimum number of members needed for the House or Senate to meet.
Reapportionment
reallocation of House seats to the states on the basis of changes in state populations, as determined by the census.
Redistricting
redrawing of congressional district boundaries by the party in power of the state legislature.
Rider
amendment to a bill that has little to do with that bill. Also known as a nongermane amendment.
Rules Committee
the "traffic cop" of the House that sets the legislative calendar and issues rules for debate on a bill.
Seniority system
tradition in which the Senator from the majority party with the most years of service on a committee becomes the chairman of that committee.
Standing committees
the permanent congressional committees that handle legislation.
Sunset laws
laws that automatically expire after a given time.
Ways and Means Committee
House committee that handles tax bills.