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Bi-cameral legislature

A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts.


An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action to the bill.

Rule 22

provided that debate could be cut off by two thirds of the senators present and voting agreed to a closure motion

Marginal districts

Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically bu less than 55 percent.

Safe districts

Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more.

Conservative coalition

An alliance between Republican and conservative Democrats.

Majority leader

The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seas in the House or the Senate.

Minority leader

The legilative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or the Senate.


A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking.


An association of Congress members created to advance a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest.

party polarization

A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators.

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