48 terms

Civics Article 1 - Legislative Branch

Civics Vocabulary - U.S. Constitution Article 1 Legislative Branch
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Census
A periodic and official count of a country's population.
House of Representatives
the lower legislative house of the United States Congress
Apportionment
Distribution of representatives among the states based on the population of each state
Gerrymandering
Drawing the boundaries of legislative districts in bizarre or unusual shapes to favor one party
Incumbent
Obligatory, required; one who holds a specific office at the time spoken of
Franking Privilege
Privilege that allows members of Congress to mail letters & other materials to constituents postage-free
Speaker of the House
An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
President Pro-tempore
Officer of the Senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president
Floor Leader
Members of the House and Senate picked by their parties to carry out party decisions and steer legislative action to meet party goals
Party Whip
the assistant to the floor leader in each house of congress who tries to persuade party members to vote for bills the party supports
Pork Barrel Projects
Special projects, buildings, and other public works in the district or state of a member of Congress that he or she supports because they provide jobs for constituents and enhance the member's reelection chances, rather than because the projects are necessarily wise.
Appropriations
funding that must be authorized by Congress for any federal spending
Bill
a statement of fundamental rights and privileges; has yet to officially become law
Law
A body of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society.
District
An area of a country or city usually because of characteristics
Constituents
a person whom a member of Congress has been elected to represent
Bills of Attainder
Laws that punish individuals or groups without a trial. These laws are unconstitutional.
Ex Post Facto Laws
A law which punishes people for a crime that was not a crime when it was committed. Congress cannot pass these laws.
Filibusters
the act or process of deliberately hindering the passage of a bill in a legislature by long speeches or other means of delay- may only be used in the Senate
Cloture
A procedure used in the senate to limit debate on a bill (end a filibuster); requires 60 votes.
Special Session
An extraordinary session of a legislative body, called to deal with an emergency situation
Joint Session
senate and house meet together; State of the Union
Term Length of the Senate
6 years
Term Length of the House
2 years
Leader of the Senate
Vice President; President Pro Tempore
Leader of the House
Speaker of the House
Members of the Senate
100 senators
Members of the House
435 representatives
Qualifications for a Senate
minimum 30 years old; 9 year citizen; live in the state
Qualifications for a Representative
minimum 25 years old; 7 year citizen; live in the state
Purpose of the Senate
stability, continuity, in depth deliberation
Purpose of the House
reflect the will of the average citizen
Congressional districts are controlled by...
State Legislatures
Each district must be...
equal in population
Each state receives...
at least 1 representative
Redistricting occurs...
after the census (every 10 years)
Majority Party
party with more than one-half the members
Vice President can only vote in...
ties
Who can hold impeachment trials?
Senate
Who can ratify a treaty with 2/3 votes?
House Representatives
Who can confirms presidential elections?
Senate
Who can bring charges of impeachment?
Senate
Who can appropriate bills?
House
Who can introduce a bill?
either house by senator or representatives
4 actions a committee can take on a bill are...
- release the bill without changes
- release the bill with changes
- kill bill by majority vote
- table bill and let it die
Number of votes required to pass a bill in the house
218 out of 435 (majority rules)
Number of votes required to pass a bill in the Senate
51 out of 100 (majority rules)
Conference Committee
A special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
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