47 terms

AP Government Unit 4: Congress

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Reapportionment
The redistribution of congressional seats among the states among the states every ten years, following the census.
Redistricting
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population
Malapportionment
drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
Gerrymandering
the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent
Cracking
redistricting to break up a certain group; takes away power from the group
Packing
redistricting in which partisan voters are concentrated in a single district to minimize the number of elections they can influence in other districts
Wesberry v. Sanders
The 1964 case in which the Supreme Court invalidated unequal congressional districts, saying that all legislative districts must contain about equal numbers of people. The ruling is popularly known as the principle of one person, one vote.
Baker v. Carr
Gave federal courts the right to intervene in the appropriations of federal congressional districts, citizens could challenge constitutionality of voting districts in court.
Shaw v. Reno
The Court ruled that although it was a legitimate goal for state legislatures to take race into account when they draw electoral districts in order ot increase the voting strength of minorities, they may not make race the sole reason for drawing district lines.
expressed powers
Powers specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution. For example, the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money, impose taxes, and regulate interstate commerce. Expressed powers are also called enumerated powers.
implied powers
Not expressed, but may be considerered through the use of the Necessary and Proper (elastic) Clause
revenue bills
Tax bills (must originate in the House) to raise money for the government
appropriations bills
bills that authorize the spending of money
impeachment
An action by the House of Representatives to accuse the president, vice president, or other civil officers of the United States of committing "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
advise and consent
the power of the senate to approve or disapprove of any of the president's appointments or treaties
oversight
the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies
17th amendment
Passed in 1913, this amendment to the Constitution calls for the direct election of senators by the voters instead of their election by state legislatures.
Speaker of the House
The leader of the majority party and presiding officer of the House of Representatives. Key role in assigning bills to committee and members to committees & setting party's legislative agenda
Senate Majority Leader
First-ranking party position, held by a distinguished senior member of the majority party in the Senate. Schedules floor actions on bills, and helps guide the majority party's legislative program through the Senate.
President Pro Tempore
a high-ranking senator of the majority party who presides over the US Senate in the absence of the vice president.
Whips
assistant to the floor leaders, keeps a head count of votes, rounds up members for important votes
delegate
A representative who votes according to the preferences of his or her constituency
trustee
A legislator who acts according to her or his conscience and the broad interests of the entire society.
joint resolution
a proposal for action that has the force of law when passed; usually deals with special circumstances or temporary matters
simple resolution
an expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body
conference committee
A special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
standing committee
A permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area.
select committee
Committee selected for a specific purpose-investigation-hearing
joint committee
a committee with members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives who join together and meet to discuss issues
Rules committee
A standing committee in the House that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considered by the house
Ways and Means
a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives that makes recommendations to the House on all bills that would raise revenue
Seniority System
a system that gives the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee
franking privilege
Benefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-free
pigeonhole
to not act on a bill in a committee so that it will die
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.
supermajority
A larger than fifty-one percent majority, required for extraordinary actions such as amending the Constitution or certain congressional actions. For example, in the Senate sixty votes required to stop a filibuster.
filibuster
A procedural practice in the Senate whereby a senator refuses to relinquish the floor and thereby delays proceedings and prevents a vote.
cloture
A procedure used in the senate to limit debate on a bill (end a filibuster); requires 60 votes.
quorum
The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress (simple majority)
discharge petition
Petition that, if signed by majority of the House of Representatives' members, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.
open rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that permits floor amendments within the overall time allocated to the bill.
closed rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that prohibits any amendments to bills or provides that only members of the committee reporting the bill may offer amendments.
germane
Relevant
markup
Rewrite of a bill after hearings have been held on it (happens in sub-committee)
rider
An addition of amendment added to a bill that often has no relation to the bill but that may not pass on its own merits (senate only)
logrolling
An agreement by two or more lawmakers to support each other's bills
earmark
Funds that an appropriations bill designates for a particular purpose within a state or congressional district
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