Gov test #2
Terms in this set (79)
under our bicameral (tw-chamber) system of congress, seats in the house of representatives are distributed based on state population, while the senate is based off equal representation. This allowed for a fair and equal representation of the states at the national level.
Connecticut (Great) Compromise
The Framers created a bicameral (two-chamber) body of Congress to settle the conflict between the Virginia and New Jersey Plans at Philadelphia in 1787. The House would be based on population and the senate would be based on equal representation.
Formal qualifications for House
Constitutional qualifications for members of the House os Representatives include: at least 25 years if age, been a citizen for at least seven years and live in the state from which they are chosen. They do not need to live in the sidtrict they represent.
Every state is represented by at least one member in the house. States with only one member in the House use the at-large system to elect their representatuve, Members mostly represent a smaller consntintuency and are consdiered "closer" to the people
Article I of the constitution directs Congress to reapportion (redistribute) the seats in the House after each decennial census (every 10 years)
Reapportionment Act of 1929
Provides the permanent size of the House of Representatives at 435
Members of the House of Representatives are elected to serve two year terms
Single Member Districts
Voters choose among candidates running exclusively in their districts. Single-member districts have been persistent in the development of a two-party system.
The government institution responsible for the drawing of Congressional district lines is the state legislature
At times, Congressional districts have been drawn in odd shapes to the advantage of one political party that controls the state legislature. Gerrymandering creates districts that favor one political party over another.
Wesberry v. Sanders and Baker v. Carr
Congressional districts in a state must have about the same number of people so that one person's vote is equal to another (one person one vote). Although these Supreme Court cases limit gerrymandering, gerrymandering is still possible and prevalent in the US
Pork Barrel Spending
Money within spending bills that benefit constituents back home in districts and states, Also known as earmarks. A big part of the incumbent advantage- pork barrel legislation will help incumbents win re-election
Formal Qualifications for Senate
Constitutional qualifications for senate include: at least 30 years of age, been a citizen for at least nine years, and live in the state from which they are chosen
Senate terms are staggered, Only 1/3 of the seats are up every teo years (33 or 34). With just a fraction of its seats up for election at any time, the senate is a continuous body in Congress.
All treaties must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Senate. This is a major check on the President's foreign policy.
President pro temp: Senior member and fills in for Vice President/ Majority leader (the boss).
2nd boss determines how many votes to count on
Originally senators were chosen by state legislatures. After the passing of the 17th amendment, registered voters directly elect members of the Senate.
Senate Prestige (upper house)
Senate terms are long (6 years). More "mature" chamber. More responsibility: approve treaties, judges, and cabinet members
The Senate is a much smaller body than the House. Thus, individual senators can exercise substantial influence over the legislative process
Bills are introduced by individual Senators in the Senate.
No time for debate on bills in the senate so filibuster can be used to prevent action on a bill. Important tool for the minority party in the senate.
The main way to end a filibuster is by invoking the Cloture Rule with 3/5 vote (60/100)
Incumbency is the single most important factor in predicting whether a candidate will be elected. The incumbent wins the majority of the time. Incumbents, no matter what office, recieve the most money in campaign contribution (bet on the winning horse)
specifically written out in the constitution. Also referred to as enumerated. Includes:
-raise armies and navies
-propose constitutinal amendments
Based on the Necessary and Proper clause, giving Congress the ability to carry out its expressed powers. Are NOT specifically written out in the constitution (McCulloch v. Maryland)
Authorizes Congress to regulate all commercial interactions between the states.
Power of the Purse
Congress holds the "power of the purse". This gives Congress power over the NAtion's fiscal policy of taxing and spending. Revenue bills must originate in the House.
In order to remove the President from office through the full impeachment process, the House first votes for impeachment (majority vote), and the senate conducts a trial and reaches a guilty verdict (teo-thirds majority vote needed)
A right reserved for members of Congress to sent mail to their constituents at the governments expense. Helps with the incumbent advantage.
At times legislators will need to get support from other members of Congress. They will trade votes in order to pass legislation.
Congress establishes committees to divide the workload in order to properly screen bills for floor consideration.
- each committee will have a subcommittee underneath them. Thus, details of the legislation are worked out in subcommittees.
- Most measures introduced will die in committee (or be tabled)
- Committees of expertise may be made to deal with specific problems or types of laws
-the committee system is more important in the House because its so large
Permanent committees that deal with broad areas of public policy. These committees are considered more prominent. Examples standing committees include the House Rules Committee, the House Ways Committee, or the Senate Judiciary Committee.
If a bill is passed in both the House and the Senate but each version of the bill is slightly different, a conference committee will be assembled to negotiate the bill.
House Rules Committee
How and when bills reach the floor of the House is decided by the House rules Committee. Exists only in the House
House Ways and Means
This committeee plays a major role in the shaping of fiscal policy of taxing and spending.
chairperson usually chosen on the basis of seniority and will always be a member of the majority party in the chamber
A way of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee. Need a majority vote for a discharge petition.
Strong networks of congressional committees, bureaucratic agencies, and interest groups that strongly influence the policy process.
Congress willl usually vote along [arty lines. The voting patterns for members of Congress correlate most strongly with their political party affiliation.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
Laws are difficult to pass and the framers wanted it that way. The legislative process at the national level reflects the intent of the framers of the Constitution to create a legislature that would be cautious and deliberate
A situation in which the House, Senate, and Presidency are not controlled by the same party (for example there is a Republican President but Democrats hold the majority of the seats in the House and Senate)
Decisions made by an elected official using their open personal views of what they believe to be the best for the overall public. Under the trustee model members of Congress may vote for a bill even if their constintuencies back home don't agree with it.
Decisions made by the elected official mirror their constituencies' views. Under the delegate model members of Congress will do whatever voters tell them to do.
270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Each state has the same number of electoral votes equal to members of Congress. The lowest amount of votes a state may have is three.
Presidential candidates often choose a running mate who can balance-the-ticket by virtue of certain characteristics. The VP is basically a "President-in-waiting" however, the Constitution gives two important jobs to the position
1) determine presidential disability
2)preside over the senate
Formal Qualifications for President
Be at least 35 years of age, lived in the US for at least 14 years, be a "Natural born Citizen" of the US
The electoral system broke down in the election of 1800 because of the rise of political parties. As a result, the 12th Amendment was passed the eliminated possibility of a tie for the presidency.
Once the 22nd Amendment was passed; a president may serve two terms with a maximum of 10 years in office
Presidential Disability. If the President is disabled, the VP and a majority of the cabinet informs Congress in writing that the Pres. can no longer perform their duties.
Presidential of Succession Act of 1947
Line of succession
2) Speaker of the House
3) President Pro Term of the Senate
4) Secretary of State
White House Staff
This includes everyone from the national security advisor to the press secretary. In selecting members of the white house staff, Presidents primarily seek people who are personally loyal to the president. This can also be described as the executive office of the President (EOP)
An emergency may prompt the President to call a special session of Congress
A directive, rule, or regulation made by the President that has the ffect of law. Do not need to be passed by Congress.
1) sign the bill (making it a law)
2) veto the bill (thus preventing the bill from being passed)
3) decide to neither sign nor veto the bill (allowing it to become a law after 10 days)
4) a pocket veto may be used at the end of a session (if the bill is received with less than 10 days in the session the president may choose to do nothing thus allowing the bill to die)
5) Congress can override a veto by a 2/3 vote in both chambers of Congress.
6) the veto power is very influential for the president, the mere threat of vetoing a bill will influence Congress to adjust how the bill is written even if it gets passed.
The ability to cancel specific dollar amounts in spending bills enacted by Congress. Presidents feel it would help against wasteful federal spending. NOT allowed by presidents, but allowed by many state governors.
Presidential Expressed Powers
Command the armed forces, veto acts of Congress, grant pardons, and reprieves, negotiate treaties, nominate federal judges, and give the State of the Union address. Although the president is the clear leader of the political party, this is not expressed in the Constitution.
An agreement between the president and a foreign nation. The difference between a treaty and an executive agreement is that the president needs senate approval for a treaty but not for an executive agreement.
The President holds the power to appoint federal judges and major cabinet positions. When appointments are made a majority vote in the Senate is required for approval. An example of someone who is appointed by the President would be the attorney general who serves as the chief executive officer of the Department of Justice.
War Powers Resolution of 1973
A federal law designed to check the President's power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the president must notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops
The unwritten rule that Presidents may remove whomever the president appoints with the exception of federal judges.
The president has a clear chacks and balances advantage in foeign policy. Generally, a president is more likely to get congressional approval in areas of foreign policy than in areas of domestic policy.
Pardons and reprieves
The President's power to grant pardons can be used before a person is charged with a crime. The president may also grant amnesty to a group of law violators, reduce the length of a sentence, or postpone a sentence, but the president cannot grant pardons in cases of impeachment.
The federal bureaucracy (executive agencies) is composed of civil servants and political appointees who work within a variety of agencies across the nation. The role of the bureaucracy is to implement policies or laws established by congress or the president.
Bureaucrats will be considered the experts in implementing policies passed by Congress. Because of their expertise Congress will delegate "rule-making" authority to them.
Bureaucrats have the ability to shape the implementation of policy.
Rules and regulations created by an executive agency such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Employees of Bureaucratic agencies within the government. They are hired based on merit and seniority. Originally civil servants were hired under the spoils system, or as reward for loyalty to the presidents. (This came after the Pendleton Civil Service Act)
At times bureaucrats will implement policies in ways that favor their own political views rather than following the original intentions of the legislation.
A rule that allows the government to exercise control over individuals and corporations by restricting certain behaviors. setting emission standards for automobiles is an example.
The process by which Congress checks to see if the various agencies in the bureaucracy are working effectively and in line with the policies that Congress has set.
-authorization of spending or controlling an agency's budget
Independent Regulatory Agencies
Federal agencies that are considered independent. Although part of the executive branch, these agencies are meant to impose and enforce regulations free from political influence. An example is NASA
Government decisions about how to influence the economy using control of the money supply and interest rates
Government decisions about how to influence the economy by taxing and spending
Expidentures that are required by law, such as fuding of entitlements aand interest on the national debt.
Expidentures that can be cut from the budget without changing the law. An example of dicretionary spending would be spending on National parks.
Federal Reserve System (The FED)
An independent agency that serves as the central bank of the U.S. It controls the national interest rate and monetary policy. By controlling the interest rate, the FED will influence the money supply or the actual currency in circulation.
The largest source of federal revenue is the income tax
The amount by which federal spending exceeds revenues in a given year
An economic theory that government should not regulate or interfere with commerce
The US runs under an economic philosophy based on capitalism. Therefore, economic equality is NOT a core value of the US political culture
Federal benefits that must be funded by Congress and must be paid to all citizens who meet eligibility requirements. Social Security or Medicare.
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