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Politics of the United States
Terms in this set (40)
What is redistricting and when does it happen?
-Redistricting is the process of re-drawing district boundaries when a state has more representatives than districts
-It happens every 10 years with the Census
2. What are the minimum requirements for a bill to become a law—what has to happen to it?
Each congressional chamber must approve of and pass a bill with identical language before it moves before it moves to the executive level for where it will either be passed into legislation or be vetoed.
3. In the Constitutional Convention of 1787, what (briefly) was the content of the New Jersey Plan?
The New Jersey Plan was proposed in opposition to the Virginia Plan. It called for equal representation in the national legislature regardless of population
4. Distinguish between social insurance and means-tested welfare programs, providing an example of each type.
-Social Insurance programs are any government sponsored program that follows these four characteristics:
1) the benefit/eligibility requirements of the programs are
defined by statute
2) explicit provisions are made to account for income and
3) is funded by taxes or premiums paid by the participants
4) the program serves a defined population
-Means tested welfare programs consist of programs that provide cash, food, housing, social services, training, and target education aid to poor/ low income Americans
5. What do political scientists mean by political socialization?
Political Socialization is the induction of individuals into the political culture; learning the underlying beliefs and values on which the political system is based
6. What was James Madison's argument in Federalist #10?
He argues that the ratification of a large republic would address the problems of factions; it would limit their power and not let one single faction rise in power without having to ban factions
7. What is meant by an "iron triangle" in relation to making public policy?
The Iron Triangle is a close, mutually beneficial relationship between interest groups, government agencies, and congressional committees in which, with public policy, interest groups and government provide monies and services to congressional committees so they will support their interests
8. Name the Supreme Court justices appointed by Presidents George W. Bush and Obama.
-Bush appointed chief justice John Roberts and justice Samuel Alito
-Obama appointed justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor
9. What is the Congressional counterpart of the Executive's Office of Management and Budget (OMB)?
The Congressional Budget Office
10. Who are (a) the current Secretary of State, and (b) the current Attorney General?
-Secretary of State: John Kerry
-Attorney General: Loretta Lynch
11. What is the role of the Federal Reserve Board?
The Federal Reserve Board serves as the central bank, controlling monetary supply, setting interest rates, etc.
12. Distinguish between block grants and categorical grants.
-Block Grants are federal grants-in-aid that allow states considerable discretion in how the funds are spent
-Categorical grants are congressional grants given to states and localities on the condition that expenditures be limited to a group or problem specified by law
13. What is pork barrel legislation?
Pork Barrel legislation is legislation where items are specifically included to benefit a members district (esp. money)
14. Describe the Medicaid program.
Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal and state governments to provide medical services to children, the elderly, disabled, low income, and others who are eligible to receive federally assisted income payments
15. What is the AFL-CIO?
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is a trade union center and the largest federation of unions in the United States; they engage in a substantial amount of political spending/campaignig
16. How is the property right upheld in the Constitution?
Through the 5th amendment taking or just compensation clause, "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation". "no person shall be deprived of life liberty, or property."......14th amendment) expressly applies to the states
17. How do Maine and Nebraska award Electoral College votes?
BY allocating 2 electoral votes to the popular vote winner, then 1 each to the winner in each congressional district in their state.
18. When he argues against the "privileged" position of business, Hudson embraces the "market as prison" position. Please explain briefly.
19. What is meant by the term, divided government?
The condition in American government wherein the presidency is controlled by one party while the opposite party controls one or both houses of Congress
20. What did the Citizens United v FEC case (2010) decide?
Corporations and Unions have the same freedom of speech rights as individuals and the government may not keep them from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections
21. How was welfare policy reformed in the 1990s?
States were given more discretion to limit welfare programs
22. What is proportional representation?
An electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them
23. What has happened to "party unity scores" in Congress since the late 1960s?
They've gone up
24. Presidents negotiate treaties but the Senate needs to ratify a treaty by a two-thirds majority for it to become effective in the U.S. Please give an example of a treaty
Treaty of Versailles 1919
25. What does the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives do?
The Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing committee (revenue/tariffs/trade agreements/debt)
26. How does the Constitution protect religion? Identify the three constitutional references to it.
-The first amendment protects our freedom of religion
-"Congress shall make no law (1) respecting an establishment of religion, or (2) prohibiting the free exercise thereof
-Also called the "Establishment Clause" and the "Free Exercise Clause"
27. The method of appointing civil servants (bureaucrats) changed in the 1880s. How did it change—from what to what?
The method changed from a "spoils system" (government jobs given out due to political connections) to a "merit system" (government jobs be awarded based upon merit and qualification)
28. Interest groups provide members various kinds of benefits, including solidary ones. What are solidary benefits?
Solidary benefits are selective benefits of group memberships that emphasize friendship, networking, and consciousness raising
29. Under what constitutional power of Congress did the Court find the mandate to purchase health insurance constitutional in summer 2012? (The Act in question was the Affordable Care Act.)
Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce, and it was also argued that the act could be considered a type of tax, which falls under congressional taxation power
30. What was the War Powers Resolution (1973)?
A resolution of Congress that says the president can send troops into action abroad only by authorization of Congress, or if American troops are already under attack or serious threat
31. Who are the current a) Speaker of the House of Representatives and b) Majority Leader of the Senate? Please include name and party affiliation.
-Speaker of the House of Representatives: Paul Ryan, rep
-Majority Leader of the Senate: Kevin McCarthy, rep
32. Which are the Civil War Amendments?
The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments are know collectively as the Civil War Amendments
33. Created in 1939, what is the Executive Office of the President?
The Executive Office consists of immediate staff of the current President and multiple levels of support staff that report to the president
34. In 1914, a Constitutional amendment changed the way U.S. Senators were elected. What was the old method? What is the new?
The 17th amendment changed senator elections from being elected by state legislatures to popular election of the people
35. What doctrine did Plessy v Ferguson announce in 1897 and what was the case that overturned that doctrine?
Plessy v Ferguson announced the "seperate but equal" clause, but was overturned by Brown v The Board of Education
36. What does a Conference Committee do?
Conference Committees work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation (bill draft)
37. Which act, passed in 1947, declared the U.S. government's commitment to full employment as a goal and what executive institution did it create?
-The Employment Act
-It created the Council of Economic Advisors
38. What were the core provisions of the immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013 (but not acted on by the House)?
This bill would make it possible for thousands of undocumented immigrants to gain legal status in the states and would also add 40,000 border patrol agents
39. What does the legal term stare decisis mean and what is its relevance?
-Means "to stand by that which is decided"
-The courts must uphold prior decisions
40. The Federal Income Tax is structured as a progressive tax. Explain what that term means.
A progressive tax is a tax in which the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases
Recommended textbook explanations
United States Government: Principles in Practice
Luis Ricardo Fraga
United States Government: Democracy In Action
Richard C. Remy
Magruder's American Government
William A. McClenaghan
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