Congress

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Constituents
The people represented by a legislator or other elected or appointed official
Homestyle
The actions and behaviors of a member of Congress aimed at the constituents and intended to win the support and trust of the voters at home
Hillstyle
The actions and behaviors of a member of Congress in Washington, D.C., intended to promote policies and the member's own career aspirations
Bicameralism
The division of a legislature into two separate assemblies
Lawmaking
The process of establishing the legal rules that govern society
Logrolling
An arrangement in which two or more members of Congress agree in advance to sign each other's bills
Representation
The function of members of Congress as elected officials representing the views of their constituents
Trustee
A legislator who acts according to his or her conscience and the broad interests of the entire society
Instructed Delegate
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
Casework
Personal work for constituents by members of Congress
Oversight
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
Enumerated Powers
Powers specifically granted to the national government by the Constitution
House Rules Committee
A standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considers by the House
Rule
The proposal that states the conditions for debate for one piece of legislation
Filibuster
The use of the Senate's tradition of unlimited debate as a delaying tactic to block a bill
Direct Primary
An intraparty election in which the voters select the candidates who will run on a party's ticket in the subsequent general election
Incumbent
An officeholder who runs for re-election
Reapportionment
The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state after each census
Redistricting
The redrawing of the boundaries of the congressional districts within each state
Justiciable Question
A question that may be raised and reviewed in court
Gerrymandering
The drawing of legislative district boundary lines to obtain partisan or factional advantage
Franking Privilege
A policy that enables members of Congress to send material through the mail by substituting their signature for postage
Standing Committee
A permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area
Select Committee
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose
Joint Committee
A legislative committee composed of members from both chambers of Congress
Conference Committee
A special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when two bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms
Seniority System
A custom followed in both houses of Congress specifying that the member of the majority party with the longest term of continuous service will be given preference when committee chairperson is selected
Speaker of the House
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives
Majority Leader of the House
The leader selected by the majority party in the House of Representatives to act as spokesperson and foster cohesion among party members
Minority Leader of the House
The party leader elected by the minority party in the House
Whip
Member of Congress who aids the majority or minority leader of the House of Representatives by ensuring party members vote on important legislation
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 of his or her party
Polarization
Strong divisions between groups of people over beliefs
Divided Government
The situation when the presidency and one or more houses of Congress are controlled by different political parties
Earmark
Funding appropriations that are specifically dedicated for a named project in a member's state or district
Pork
Special projects or appropriations that are intended to benefit a member's district or state; slang term for earmarks
Budget Authorization
A formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency
Appropriation
The passage, by Congress, of a spending bill specifying the amount of authorized funds that actually will be allocated for an agency's use
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