136 terms

Government Unit 4

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Appropriations
A legislative motion (bill) which authorizes the government to spend money
Authorization Bill
A proposed public law that permits the federal government to carry out various functions and programs
Bill
A proposed law, drafted in legal language. Only members of Congress can formally submit a bill but anyone may initiate or draft a bill.
Casework
Activities of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals; cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get people what they think they have a right to get.
Caucus (Congressional)
A group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristics. Most are composed of members from both parties and from both houses.
Christmas-Tree Bill
A bill with many riders or earmarks.
Closed Rule (Gag Rule)
Sets strict time limits on debates and forbids amendments from the floor on a bill.
Committee Chairs
The most important influencers of the congressional agenda. They play dominant roles in scheduling hearings, hiring staff, appointing subcommittees, and managing committee bills when they are brought before the full house.
Committee of the Whole
A Committee of 100 member of the House that review all revenue bills.
Concurrent Resolution
Comes from both houses and often settles housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses. Simple and concurrent resolutions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law.
Conference Committees
Congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Advises Congress on the possible economic effects of various spending programs and policies. It also analyzes the president's budget.
Constituency
The body of voters or the residents of a district represented by an elected legislator or official.
Discharge Petition
Must be signed by 218 members of the House to bring a bill to the floor without committee recommendation.
Earmarks
A provision in Congressional legislation that allocates a specified amount of money for a specific project, program, or organization.
Filibuster
A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate.
Franking Privilege
Free mailings.
General Accounting office (GAO)
Investigates agencies and policies to be sure that the legislative intent of laws is being followed.
Germane
Amendments that are relevant to the topic of the bill.
House Rules Committee
An institution unique to the House of Representatives that reviews all bills coming from a House Committee before they go to the full House.
Incumbents
Those who are already holding office.
Instructed Delegates
Representatives vote per instructions by constituents.
Joint Committees
Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses.
Joint Resolution
Requires approval of both houses and the signature of the president. Examples of joint resolutions may be territories becoming states and declarations of war.
Legislative Oversight
Congress's monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings.
Logrolling
When a member of Congress supports or reciprocates another member's pet project in return for support for his or her own project.
Majority Leader
The principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House or the party's manager in the Senate. He/she is responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments, and rounding up votes in behalf of the party's legislative positions.
Marked Up
When a bill is changed or rewritten.
Minority Leader
The principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate.
Multiple Referral
When a bill is considered by several groups or committees at once.
Partisan Delegates
Representatives vote per party.
Party Polarization
A growing distance between policy views of the average members of each party which makes the legislative process more cumbersome.
Pigeonholed
To put aside and ignore; shelve bills for later consideration and often times they never make it out of committee.
Politicos
Representatives vote based on their constituents, party, and own decisions.
Pork
Government funds, jobs, or favors distributed by politicians to gain political advantage.
Pork Barrel
The mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, colleges, and institutions available in a congressional district.
President of the Senate
The vice-president of the U.S. who can only vote in case of a tie and presides over the Senate.
President Pro-Tempore
The most senior member who is the official chair or presiding officer of the Senate.
Revenue Bills
Tax bills that must begin in the House of Representatives.
Select Committees
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
Seniority System
A simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. The member who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled the chamber became chair, regardless of party loyalty, mental state, or competence.
Sequential Referral
Bill is sent to another committee once one has completed its work. Parts of the bill may also be referred to separate committees.
Simple Resolution
Passed by either house, establishes rules, regulations, or practices that do not have the force of law.
Speaker of the House
An office mandated by the Constitution chosen by practice by the majority party. He/she has both formal and informal powers and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
Standing Committees
Separate subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
Trustee Delegates
Representatives vote based on their own decision.
Whips
Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waivers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party.
Advice and Consent
President can make treaties with a foreign nation but only with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate or can make appointments with the majority approval of the Senate.
Budget Reform and Impoundment Act of 1974
Required the president to spend all appropriated funds, unless Congress approved the impoundment.
Cabinet
A group of presidential advisers not mentioned in the Constitution, although every president has had one. Oldest traditional body of the executive branch. Today there are 15 major departments.
Clinton v City of New York (1998)
Court ruled that a line-item veto is not permitted without a constitutional amendment.
Clinton v Jones (1997)
Executive privilege does not cover civil suits against a chief executive that distract him from presidential duties.
Council of Economic Advisers
A three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy.
Diplomatic Recognition
The power to recognize foreign governments such as when Nixon recognized the government of China in 1971.
Executive Agreements
Informal agreements between the President and foreign heads of state without the consent of the Senate.
Executive Orders
Administrative rules that have the force of law.
Executive Privilege
Right of the president to withhold information especially in matters of national security.
Impeachment
The political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the Constitution done by the House of Representatives with a majority vote for "treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and misdemeanors". After impeachment, the Senate tries and convicts the individual and he/she is removed from office.
Legislative Veto
The ability of Congress to override a presidential decision asserted by the War Powers Resolution. Has not been argued before the Supreme Court but if it were argued the belief is that it would be unconstitutional based on the separation of powers.
Line-Item Veto
Permits executives to veto sections of a bill that are objectionable to them.
National Security Council
Advises the president on American military affairs and foreign policy. An office created in 1947 to coordinate the president's foreign and military policy advisers.
Office of Management and Budget
Has the job of preparing the national budget that the president proposes to Congress every year. An office that grew out of the bureau of the Budget, created in 1921, consisting of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals.
Pocket Veto
A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
Presidential Coattails
These occur when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they support the president.
Presidential Succession Act of 1947
Sets the line of succession after the vice-president. It includes the Speaker of the House, the Senate Pro Tempore, and the cabinet officers beginning with the oldest cabinet - secretary of state.
Twenty-Second Amendment
Passed in 1951, the amendment that limits presidents to two terms of office or ten years.
Twenty-Fifth Amendment
Passed in 1967, this amendment permits the vice president to become acting president if both the vice president and the president's cabinet determine that the president is disabled. Congress must be notified by either the president of a majority of the cabinet or the vice president.
U.S. v Nixon (1974)
The Supreme Court rejected Nixon's claim to "an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances."
Veto
The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it.
War Powers Resolution
A law passed in 1973 in reaction to American fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia that requires presidents to (1) consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force, preferably within 48 hours of sending troops abroad; (2) to withdraw forces after 60 days unless (3) Congress declares war or grants an extension. Presidents view the resolution as unconstitutional.
Watergate
The events and scandal surrounding a break-in at the Democratic National committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent cover-up of White House involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President Nixon under the threat of impeachment.
Administrative Discretion
The exercise of professional expertise and judgment, as opposed to strict adherence to regulations or statutes, in making a decision or performing official acts or duties.
Bureaucracy
Administration of a government chiefly through bureaus or departments staffed with non-elected officials. It has a hierarchical authority structure, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality so that all clients are treated impartially.
Civil Service
A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle.
Command-and-Control Policy
Specific guidelines, prescribed by a government or its agency to the affected parties, on how to comply with its mandatory requirements such as environmental regulations.
Deregulation
Lifting of restrictions on business, industry, and professional activities for which government rules had been established and that bureaucracies had been created to administer.
Executive Orders
Regulations originating from the executive branch to control agencies.
Government Corporation
Provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services such as the U.S. Postal Service.
GS (General Schedule) Rating
A schedule for federal employees, ranging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.
Hatch Act
A federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics.
Incentive System
Market like strategies are used to manage public policy.
Independent Executive Agency
The part of the government not accounted for in the cabinet, regulatory commissions, and corporations. An example would be NASA.
Independent Regulatory Commission
A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules to protect the public interest. Also sometimes known as the alphabet soup of American government.
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (2004)
Called for the most sweeping overhaul of the nation's intelligence-gathering apparatus in a half-century.
Iron Triangles
A mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees that dominate some area of domestic policymaking. Sometimes known as subgovernments.
Issue Networks
An alliance of various interest groups and individuals who unite in order to promote a single issue in government policy. Unlike iron triangles which may deal primarily with the private business sector, issue networks involve the general public such as environmental or consumer groups.
Merit Principle
Idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill.
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
In charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government.
Patronage
A government job, promotion, or contract given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence.
Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883)
Created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit.
Plum Book
A list of the top federal jobs available for direct presidential appointment and often with Senate approval.
Policy Implementation
Translating of the goals and objectives of a law, directive, or court decision into an operating, ongoing program.
"Red Tape"
Maze of government rules, regulations, and paperwork that makes government so overwhelming to citizens that many people try to avoid any contact.
Regulation
Use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. Regulations pervade the daily lives of people and institutions.
Senior Executive Service
An elite cadre of about 9,000 federal government managers, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. They are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Procedures used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations.
Street-Level Bureaucrats
Bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion.
Adversarial System
A neutral arena in which two parties present opposing points of view before an impartial arbiter.
Amicus Curiae Briefs
Legal briefs submitted by a "friend of the court" for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties.
Appellate Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction of the courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lover courts. These courts do not review the factual record, only the legal issues involved.
Civil Law
Cases in which no charge of criminality is made, but one person accuses another of violating his or her rights.
Class Action Suits
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
Common Law
A collection of judge-made laws that developed over centuries and are based on decisions made by previous judges.
Concurring Opinion
Those written not only to support a majority decision but also to stress a different constitutional or legal basis for the judgment.
Consumer Population
General population who are affected by the Court's decision. For example, women who want abortions or criminal defendants who need attorneys.
Courts of Appeal
Appellate courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts, except in rare cases.
Criminal Law
Cases in which an individual is charged with violating a specific law and the government prosecutes
Defendant
Person being charged
Dissenting Opinion
Those opinions that are written by justices opposed to all or part of the majority's decision.
District Courts
The 91 federal courts of original jurisdiction.
Implementing Population
Legislatures, executives, lower courts, state officials, local officials who carry out the decision of the Supreme Court.
Interpreting Population
Lawyers and judges who reflect the intent of the original decision in a case.
Judicial Activism
A judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground.
Judicial Implementation
How and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy, thereby affecting the behavior of others. The courts rely on other units of government to enforce their decisions.
Judicial Restraint
A judicial philosophy in which judges play minimal policymaking roles, leaving that duty strictly to the legislature.
Justiciable Disputes
Requirement that to be heard a case must be capable of being settled as a matter of law rather than on other grounds as is commonly the case in legislative bodies.
Litmus Test
The belief that a federal judiciary nominee should pass a test of ideological purity.
Marbury v Madison
Judicial review.
"Nine Old Men"
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's description of the Court that kept overturning his New Deal program.
Opinion
A statement of legal reasoning behind a judicial decision.
Original Intent
A view that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers. Many conservatives support this view.
Original Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of the courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case.
Plaintiff
Person bringing the charges.
Political Questions
A doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, principally those involving conflicts between the president and Congress.
Precedents
How similar cases have been decided in the past.
Rule of Four
Four justices agree to grant review of a case.
Senatorial Courtesy
An unwritten tradition whereby nominations for state-level federal judicial posts are not confirmed if they are opposed by a senator of the president's party from the state in which the nominee will serve.
Solicitor General
A presidential appointee and the third-ranking office in the Department of Justice who is in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government.
Standing to Sue
The requirement that plaintiffs have a serious interest in a case, which depends on whether they have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct and substantial injury from a party or an action of government.
Stare Decisis
"Let the decision stand". This is how a majority of cases reaching appellate courts are settled.
Statutory Construction
Judicial interpretation of an act of Congress.
Supreme Court
Ensures uniformity in interpreting national laws, resolves conflicts among states, and maintains national supremacy in law. The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction. It is considered the highest court in the U.S.
United States v Nixon
1974 case in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that the doctrine of executive privilege was implicit in the Constitution but could not be extended to protect documents relevant to criminal prosecution.
Warren Court
Most active court in U.S. history.
Writ of Certiorari
Formal document that calls up a case from a lower court to a higher court.
Writ of Mandamus
An order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.
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