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a term referring to legislation that funds a special project for a particular locale, such as a new highway or hospital
Whether a constituent is seeking information about a government program expressing an opinion about pending legislation, or looking for help in obtaining a federal benefit, the representative's staff is ready to assist.
Each member of Congress is also permitted several free mailings annually to constituent households
Every ten years, after each population census, the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are reallocated among the states in proportion to their population.
The responsibility of state governments for redrawing House election districts after a reapportionment
the party in power in the state legislature will draw the new district boundaries in ways that favor candidates of its party
Pitfalls of Incumbency
Disruptive Issues, Personal Misconduct, Turnout Variation (The Midterm Election Problem), and Strong Challengers
members of Congress from each party meet periodically to plan strategy and discuss their legislative goals
votes on which each member's vote is officially recorded, as opposed to voice votes, where the members simply say "aye" or "nay" in unison and the presiding officer indicates which side prevails without tallying individual member's positions
Joint committees formed temporarily to work out differences in House and Senate versions of a particular bill
1946 Legislative Reorganization Act
required that each bill introduced in Congress be referred by the party leaders to the proper committee.
the authority to make the laws necessary to carry out the powers granted to the national government
Three Congressional Agencies
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)-created as part of the Budget Impoundment and Control Act of 1974, provide Congress with general economic projections, overall estimates of government expenditures an drevenues, and specific estimates of the costs of proposed programs; Government Accountability Office (GAO); Congressional Research Service (CRS)
Fragmented Policy Making
small narrowly defined problems, fits into broader policy concerns, easier to pass
Integrated Policy Making
focused on large public policy questions, developed with careful consideration of the overall policy impact
Congress has the responsibility to see that the executive branch carries out the laws faithfully and spends the money properly, a supervisory activity
the presidency was a limited or constrained office whose occupant was confined to the exercise of expressly granted constitutional authority...."is to execute the laws...and not my individual opinions" - Buchanan
Assertive presidency that is confined only at points specifically prohibited by law..."to do any aything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws" -Roosevelt
Four Systems of Presidential Selection
Oringinal (1788-1828), Party Convention (1832-1900), Party convention, primary (1904-1968), Party primary, open caucus (1972-present)
all the states except Maine and Nebraska grant all their electoral votes as a unit to the candidate who wins the state's popular vote
The Executive Office of the President- includes the president's closest advisor, Office of Management and Budget, National Security Council; The Vice President; The White House Office-serves president most directly and personally, Communications Office, Office of the Press Secretary, the Office of the Counsel to the President, and the Office of Legislative Affairs; Policy Experts, the Presidents Cabinet (15), Other Presidential Appointees
A president's need to move quickly on priority items in order to take advantage of the policy momentum gained from the election
A system of organization and control that is based on three principles: hierarchical authority, job specialization, and formalized rules
A chain of command whereby the officials and units at the top of a bureaucracy have authority over those in the middle, who in turn control those at the bottom
Explicitly defined duties for each job position and to a precise division of labor within the organization
The standardized procedures and established regulations by which a bureaucracy conducts its operations
Five General Forms of Bureaucracy
Cabinet department, independent agency, regulatory agency, government corporation, presidential commission
resemble the cabinet departments but typically have a narrower area of responsibility (CIA, NASA)
Created when Congress recognizes the need for ongoing regulation of a particular economic activity ( Securities and Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency)
Similar to private corporations in that they charge clients for their services and are governed by a board of directors. However, government corporations receive federal funding to help defray operating expenses, and their directors are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate (U.S. Postal Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak))
Taft-Hartley Act of 1947
Prohibit strikes by federal employees and permit the firing of striking workers
establishing how a law will work in practice- is the chief way administrative agencies exercise power over policy
Jackson's system that was popular with the general public by opposed by the elites who labeled it the spoils system
Merit (civil service) system
certain federal employees were hired through competitive examinations or by virtue of having special qualifications, such as training in a particular field
Executive leadership system
a means of coordinating the bureaucracy's activities to increase its efficiency and responsiveness
Restrictive device which establishes a specific date when a law will expire unless it is reenacted by Congress. Congress's way of constraining the bureaucracy before it acts.
the act of reporting instances of official mismanagement, is a potentially effective internal check
the authority to be the first court to hear a case (legal disputes involving foreign diplomats and cases in which the opposing parties are state governments)
the authority to review cases that have already been heard in lower courts and are appealed to a higher court by the losing party
The Supreme Court's power is most apparent when it declares another institution;s action to be unconstitutional
a judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature
Writ of Cetiorari
an effect of at least four of the nine justices's agreement to hear a cases, whereby the lower court is asked to submit a transcript of the case for the Supreme Court to review
Justices on the losing side's explanation for their reasons for disagreeing with the majority position
Judge Jerome Frank's "upper-court-myth"
the view that appellate courts, and in particular the Supreme Court, are the only truly significant judicial arena and that the lower courts just dutifully follow the rulings handed down by the courts at the appellate level (the reality is different)
A tradition that dates back to the 1840s, holds that a senator from the state in which a vacancy has arisen should be consulated on the choice of the nominee if the senator is of the same party as the president.
Governs relations with and between private parties (marriage, divorce, business contracts, and property ownership)
Acts that government defines as illegal and that can result in a fine, imprisonment, or other sanction (murder, assault, shoplifting, and drunk driving)
Three Sources of Law the Constrain the Courts
the Constitution, Legislative Statutes, & Precedents established by previous court rulings
a law based on statutory law but is set by government agencies rather than by legislatures
"friend of the court" brief in which it presents its views on a case in which it is not one of the parties directly involved
the proper authority of the judiciary in a governing system based on the principle of majority rule
holds that judges should broadly defer to precedent and to decisions made by legislatures
judges should actively interpret the Constitution, statutes, and precedents in light of established principles when elected representatives fail to act in clear accord with these principles
a prominent philosophy of conservatives, hold that the Constitution should be interpreted in th way that a reasonable person would have viewed it at the time it was written
Living Constitution Theory
the Framers, by inserting essential principles and general propositions into the Constitution, intended it to be an adaptable instrument
Washington (stabilized office), Jefferson (expanded to full political system, Louisiana Purchase, Anti-federalists), Jackson (Popular presidency), Lincoln (Preserved union, expanded role of president especially during wartime), T. Roosevelt (mobilized public opinion, 1st environmentalist, trust buster) Wilson (Power concentrated), FDR (Government became economy manager, world leader, U.S. = #1)
When did the government become such an economic actor?
During the Great Depression, duties of Federal gov. to control the economy fell under the commerce clause
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