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26 terms

Ch.12 Vocab

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Speaker of the House
The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, chosen by and from the majoirty party in the House
president of the Senate
the presiding officer of a senate; in Congress, the Vice President of the United States; in a State's legislature, either the lieutenant governor or a senator
president pro tempore
The member of the United States Senate, or of the upper house of a State's legislature, chosen to preside in the absence of the president of the Senate
party caucus
A closed meeting of party's House or Senate members; also called a party conference
floor leader
Members of the House and Senate picked by their parties to carry out party decisions and steer legislative action to meet party goals
whip
Assistants to the floor leaders in the House and Senate, responsible for monitoring and marshalling votes
committee chairman
Member who heads a standing committee in a legislative body
seniority rule
Unwritten rule in both houses of Congress reserving the top posts in each chamber, particularly committee chairmanships, for members with the longest records of service
standing committee
permanent committee in a legislative body to which bills in a specified subject- matter area are referred
select committee
legislative committee created for a limited time and for some specific purposel also known as a special committee
joint committee
legislative committee composed of members of both houses
conference committee
temporary joint committee created to reconcile any differences between the two houses' versions of a bill
bill
a proposed law presented to a legislative body for consideration
joint resolution
a proposal for actoin that has the force of law when passed; usually deals with special circumstances or temporary matters
concurrent resolution
a statement of positoin on an issue used by the House and Senate acting jointly; does not have the force of law and does not require the president's signature
resolution
a measure relating to the business of either house, or expressing an opinionl doe snot have the force of law and does not require the president's signature
rider
unpopular provision added to an important bill certain to pass so that it will "rider" through the legislative process
discharge petition
A procedure enabling members to force a bill that has been pigeonholed in committee onto th efloor for consideration
subcommittee
Division of existing committee tha tis formed to address specific issues
Committee of the Whole
A committee tha tconsists of an entire legislative body; used for a procedure in which a legislative body expedites its business by resolving itself into a committee of itself
quorum
least number of members who must be present for legislative body to conduct business; majority
engrossed
to print a bill in its final form
filibuster
Various tactics (usually long speeches) aimed at defeating a bill in a legislative body by preventing a final vote; associated with the U.S. Senate
cloture
procedure that may be used to limit or end floor debate in a legislative body
veto
chief executive's power to reject a bill passed by a legislative, literally (Latin) "I forbid"
pocket veto
type of veto a chief executive may use after a lefislature has adjournedl when the chief executive does not sign or reject a bill within the time allowed to do so