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an elected representative who acts in perfect accord with the wishes of his or her constituents


an elected representative who believes that his or her own best judgment, rather than instructions from constituents, should be used in making legislative decisions.


The process, occurring after every decennial census, that allocates congressional seats among the states.


The process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives


Drawing maps to give political parties an advantage


Members of Congress are expected to avoid expressions of anger, personal attacks on character, etc.


The system of committees and subcommittee encourages members of Congress to specialize in a particular policy areas.


Favors rendered should be rapaid in kind. A type of bargaining process


A form of reciprocity in which by mutual agreement, members support projects that are primarily beneficial to the individual members and their constituencies


The appointments and opportunities a representative can dole out to supporters

Pork Barrel

Appropriations made by legislative bodies for local projects that are often not needed but that are created so that local representatives can win re election in their home districts


Practice of inserting pork legislation into a relatively pork free bill

Private Bills

A bill that seeks to secure either a special privilegem relief, or an exemption to the person named in the bill

Standing Committee

A temporary legislative committee set up to highlight or investigate a particular issue or address a issue not within the jurisdiction of existing committees

Joint Committee

A legislative committee formed of members of both the House and Senate

Conference Committee

A joint committee created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a particular piece of legislation


Ranking given to an individual on the basis of length on continuous service on a committee in Congress

Congressional Staffers

keep the Congress running and functional

Staff Agencies

A legislative support agency responsible for policy analysis; provide resources and expertise to the legislative branch

Congressional Caucus

An association of members of Congress based on party, interest, or social group, such as gender or race

Closed Rule

HRC limits or prohibits amendements to the bill

Open Rule

HRC permits floor debate and allows for new amendments during the floor debate


Lengthly continuous speech by a Senator that can defeat a bill by forcing the majority to pul the bill off the Floor


3/5 Vote by the Senate for a Filibuster to stop

Signing Statements

Can be used to make substantive administrative, legal, or constitutional pronouncements abou the nature of the bill they are signing into law

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