Branches of Government Vocab

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Terms in this set (58)
Logrollingvote trading; voting to support a colleague's bill in return for a promise of future supportmajority leaderThe legislative leader selected by the majority party who helps plan party strategy, confers with other party leaders, and tries to keep members of the party in line.minority leaderthe legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or the SenateCaucusA meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform.pork-barrel legislationlegislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in returnPresident Pro TemporeThe official chair of the Senate; usually the most senior member of the majority party.RedistrictingThe redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in committeeA temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.special committeeA congressional committee created for a specific purpose, sometimes to conduct an investigation.senatorial courtesyPresidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.Seniorityyears of service, which is used as a consideration for assigning committee membersSpeaker of the HouseAn 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.standing committeea permanent committee that meets regularly.VetoChief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislatureWar Powers Act1973. A resolution of Congress that stated the President can only send troops into action abroad by authorization of Congress or if America is already under attack or serious threat.WhipsParty leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party.Iron TriangleA close relationship between an agency, a congressional committee, and an interest groupdelegate model of representationa model of representation in which representatives feel compelled to act on the specific stated wishes of their constituentsfranking privilegeBenefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-freeHouse Rules CommitteeThe committee in the House of Representatives that reviews most bills coming from a House committee before they go to the full House.House Ways and MeansThe House of Representatives committee that, along with the Senate Finance Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.earmarkFunds that an appropriations bill designates for a particular purpose within a state or congressional districttrustee model of representationthe type of representation by which representatives are elected to do what they think is best for their constituentsRiderA provision attached to a bill - to which it may or may not be related - in order to secure its passage or defeat.Baker v. Carrcase that est. one man one vote. this decision created guidelines for drawing up congressional districts and guaranteed a more equitable system of representation to the citizens of each stateCongressional Oversighta committee's investigation of the executive and of government agencies to ensure they are acting as Congress intendsdeficitAn excess of federal expenditures over federal revenues.discharge petitiona device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had the bill for 30 days, may petition to have it brought to the floordiscretionary spendingFederal spending on programs that are controlled through the regular budget processenumerated powersThe powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.germane amendmentsan amendment to a bill must be strictly relevant to the billGridlockthe inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the governmentHouse Judiciary CommitteeConsiders legislation dealing with civil liberties, constitutional amendments, federal courts and judges, immigration, civil and criminal lawsimplied powersPowers not specifically mentioned in the constitutionmandatory spendingFederal spending required by law that continues without the need for annual approvals by Congress.marginal seatA seat or constituency with a small majority, which is therefore 'winnable' by more than one partymarkup sessionA meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.non-germane amendmentsformal changes to a bill that do not have any direct relation to the subject of the bill itself. The Senate permits such amendments.politico model of representationa model of representation in which members of Congress act as either trustee or delegate, based on rational political calculations about who is best served, the constituency or the nationPresident of the SenateVice PresidentRules CommitteeA standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considered by the seatAn elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of that party's candidate is almost taken for granted.Shaw v. RenoNO racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.swing districta district where no single candidate or party has overwhelming supportunanimous consentan agreement by every senator to the terms of debate on a given piece of legislationAdvise and Consentthe power of the senate to approve or disapprove of any of the president's appointments or treatiesOmnibus BillOne very large bill that encompasses many separate sponsor a billa member of Congress who introduces a bill