How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Congress PS1100

STUDY
PLAY
A person ordinarily becomes a candidate for representative or senator by
running in a primary election
Whereas the principal work of a parliament is debate, that of a congress is
representation and action
Contemporary critics of Congress disagree with the Framers' vision of Congress in that the critics
wish to end policy gridlock by making Congress capable of speedily adopting sweeping changes in national policies.
In the twentieth century, the trend in congressional decision-making has been toward
decentralization
Until 1913 senators were
picked by state legislatures
Which amendment changed the manner in which U.S. Senators are selected?
Seventeenth
Originally, filibusterers were sixteenth century
pirates
The typical representative or senator is
white, male, Protestant lawyer
In 1994, Native American Ben Nighthorse Campbell
was elected to the Senate
In 1860s, being a congressman was not regarded as a "career" because
the federal government was not very important, travel to Washington, D.C., was difficult, the job did not pay well, Washington was not generally considered a pleasant place to live.
Serving in Congress became a career by the
1950s
When a state attempted to impose term limits on its own members of Congress
the supreme Court struck down the effort
Political scientist define a "safe" district as one where the incumbent received ____ percent or more of the vote in the previous election
55%
A new Congress convenes every ___ years
2
The evidence that the electoral fortunes of members of Congress are shaped by the redrawing of congressional districts is
striking, but anecdotal
Today, few congressional votes feature the so-called "conservative coalition" because
almost all of the conservatives are now in the Republican party
Studies have found correlations between constituency opinion and congressional roll-call votes on bills related to
civil rights
When voting on matters where constituency interests or opinion are not vitally at stake, members of Congress respond primarily to voting cues provided by
their colleagues
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Senate was dominated by
southern senators
Beginning in the mid-1960s, ________ rose steadily in number, seniority and influence.
liberal senators
Beginning in the late 1970s, ________ began to regain seats in the Senate.
conservative Republicans
The increasingly ideological nature of the House means today's members are more likely to
investigate and denounce each other
The real leadership in the Senate rests with the
majority leader
In
the House, the most important position is the
speaker
In
recent years, the Senate has become more hospitable to
freshmen
An extreme example of party voting was the response to Clinton's 1993 budget plan in which every Republican in the
House and Senate voted against it
The text suggests ____________ are "a growing rival to the parties as a source of policy leadership."
congressional caucuses
The most important organizational feature of Congress is the
committee structure
Each
member of the House usually serves on ___ standing committees.
2
The text suggests that closed rules, proxy voting and strong committee chairmen
made it easier to get things done
Which of the following is signed by the president and has the force of law?
joint resolution
Which of the following is required in order to propose a constitutional amendment?
joint resolution
The Constitution requires that "all bills for raising revenue shall .
originate in the House of Representatives
In of the House, a stalled bill can be extracted from a committee and brought to the floor by means
a discharge petition
The "Committee of the Whole" refers to
members of the House who happen to be on the floor when a bill is discussed.
The practical advantage of the "Committee of the Whole" is that
it requires a much smaller number of members to hold quorum
In
recent years, the filibuster has occurred more frequently because
it is easier to stage one
Bills which contain a large number of "riders" are known as "__________ bills."
Christmas Tree
The process of "double tracking" allows
members of the Senate to focus on other business during a filibuster.
For years Congress defended the manner in which it exempted itself from many of its own laws by reference to
the separation of powers.
According to the text, most categories of pork spending have _______ in the last ten or fifteen years.
decreased
Congress derives from a Latin term that means
"a coming together"
The critical decision for a member of parliament is
whether or not to support the government
Political parties cannot discipline members of Congress who
fail to support the party leadership
Members of the British House of Commons are poorly paid and
have no offices of their own
Members are more concerned with
their own constituencies than
they are with the interest of any organized party
Congress was designed by the Founders in ways that almost made it
slow moving and unpopular
The House has how many members?
435
By the end of the 19th century, the House was known as the
"Millionaires' Club"
The Senate eventually agreed to a constitutional amendment that
changed the manner in which its members were elected
The tradition of unlimited debate remains
strong in the senate
Congress has become less
male and white
Serving in Congress had become a career by
the 1950s
The Supreme Court struck down and effort by a state to
impose term limits on its own members of Congress
Senators are more likely to lose bids for reelection
than members of the House
In every election from 1968 to 1992, Republicans have gathered a higher percentage of the popular vote than they have
the percentage of seats in the House of Representatives
Democrats tend to do exceptionally well in
low-turnout districts
Studies suggest the incumbency advantage is worth about
6 to 8 points in an election day
During the 1980's, about 40 members of Congress were charged with
misconduct
The conservative coalition consisted of
republicans and southern democrats
A members final vote on a bill may
conceal as much as it reveals
Senators are often less in tune with
public opinion than members of the House
The senate highlights the fact that the Democratic party is more
deeply divided than the republican party
Congress has become and increasingly
ideological organization
The votes of Republicans on the four impeachment articles against President Clinton
did not even represent the views of their districts
Most congressional districts are
not competitive
Members of the majority party could, in theory, occupy
all of the seats on all of the committees
The Democratic Caucus changed the rules of Congress so that
House chairmen were elected by secret ballot in party caucus
Republicans in Congress also implemented term limits for
committee chairmen
In 1995, Republicans _____ the number of committees in Congress.
decreased
Members of Congress are more likely to deal with one another through staff intermediaries than
personally
Bills which feature the spending of a lot of money tend to move
through Congress slower than others.
Pending legislation does not carry over from
one Congress to the next
Most bills die in committee and they are
often introduced only to get publicity for a member of Congress.
Today, most bills are considered under strict time limits and
no possibility of amendment from the floor.
What the filibuster means in practice is that neither
political party can control the Senate unless it has at least sixty votes
Conferences tend to report bills that
favor the Senate version
In most instances, the conference report on a bill is accepted by the
respective chambers
The text suggests that the only way to get rid of congressional "pork"
is to eliminate Congress altogether and replace it with a tightly controlled parliament
bicameral legislature
a lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
filibuster
an attempt to defat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action on the bill
marginal districts
political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55 percent of the vote.
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 seats in the House or the Senate
minority leader
the legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or the Senate
whip
a senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking
party polarization
a vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of republican legislators
caucus
an association of congress members created to advance a political ideology or regional, ethnic, or economic interest
standing committees
permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area
select committees
congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose
joint committees
committees on which both senators and representatives serve
conference committees
a joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill
public bill
a legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern
private bill
a legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters
simple resolution
an expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body
concurrent resolution
an expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate but not the president
joint resolution
a formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president; constitutional amendments need not be signed by the president.
divided government
one party controls the white house and another party controls one or both houses of congress
unified government
the same party controls the White House and both houses of congress
earmarks
"hidden" congressional provisions that direct the federal government to fund specific projects or that exempt exempt specific persons or groups from paying specific federal taxes or fees
multiple referral
a congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several important committees
sequential referral
a congressional process by which a Speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting
discharge petition
a 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 floor
closed rule
an order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor.
open rule
an order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
restrictive rule
an order form the House Rules committee that permits certain kind of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the floor.
quorum
the minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress
quorum call
a roll call in either house of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present
cloture rule
a rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate
double-tracking
a procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business
voice vote
a congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval, permitting members to vote quickly or anonymously on bills
division vote
a congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
teller vote
a congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and the "nays" second
roll-call vote
a congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names
pork-barrel legislation
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
franking privilege
the ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage
Senate has how many members
100
Parliamentary candidates are selected by
the party
Vote is for the man or woman not the
party
Centralization is needed
for quick and decisive action
Decentralization is needed if
congressional constituency interests are to be dominant
Senators were not elected by voters till the ____ and were chosen by _____
20th century; state legislators
Filibuster was restricted by
Rule 22-through tradition of unlimited debate remains
organizational view
assumes members of Congress vote to please colleagues. ex.) Party, Ideology.
attitudinal view
assumes that ideology affects a legislator's vote
Members of congress are more
ideological and more polarized than voters
Democrats are more
liberal
Republicans are more
conservative
Speaker of the House
leader of majority party; presides over House. Decided who to recognize to speak on the floor, rules of germaneness of motions, decided which committee bills go to, appoints members of special and select committees, has patronage power
_____ did not reflect public opinion
Impeachment
Congressional Democrats and Republicans are more sharply divided on
abortion
Caucuses
rapid growth; about 290 today
legislative committee
most important organizational feature of Congress
Subcommittee "bill of rights" of 1970
opened more meetings to the public, allowed TV coverage of meetings, effort to reduce number of committees in 1995-1996
Staff Agencies
CRS, GAO, OTA, CBO
Bill is
introduced in Congress, hopper in House, recognized in Senate
Bill is referred to a committee for consideration by either
Speaker or presiding officer
Revenue bills must
originate in the House
Most bills die in
committee
If the bill is not reported out,
the House can use the discharge petition
If the bill is not reported out the Senate
can pass a discharge motion
1995 Act
Created the Office of Compliance, Established and employee grievance procedure, Obliged Congress to obey eleven major laws