AP US Gov't - Windows- Congress Vocab

14th Amendment
Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
17th Amendment
Direct election of senators
27th Amendment
limits the power of congress to increase its own salaries
to find not guilty of a fault or crime
break from a meeting or gathering
planned distribution of representatives
money set aside (as by a legislature) for a specific purpose
At-Large Representation
Voters in a given geographical area can elect two or more individuals to represent them. Usually used for commissions, councils or other multi-member representative bodies, especially in local government.
the process of giving someone permission to do or have something
Baker v. Carr
Voters have standing(right to challenge) redistricting done by a state
a legislature consisting of two parts, or houses
a proposed law
to criticize harshly
population count
Christmas Tree Bill
A bill that has many riders to increase its chances of being passed
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
a procedure used in the senate to limit debate on a bill
Commerce Power
exclusive power of Congress to regulate interstate and foreign trade
Committee Chairperson
The leader of a congressional committee. A very powerful position. He/she controls the committee calendar, agenda, and hearings. He/she can pigeonhole a bill by refusing to schedule debate on the bill. Chosen by majority party caucus based on seniority. Subject to term-limits
Committee of the Whole
a device in which a legislative body is considered one large committee. All members of the legislative body are members of such a committee. This is usually done for the purposes of discussion and debate of the details of bills and other main motions.
Conference Committee
committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
general agreement
voters represented by an elected official; district so represented; group of supporters (or constituents)
Deficit Financing
government policy of spending more money than it is able to bring in through revenues
a person appointed or elected to represent others
Descriptive Representation
the idea that an elected body should mirror demographically the population it represents
Direct Tax
a tax an individual pays directly to the government
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.
Division Vote
a congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
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.
set aside (money or time) for a particular purpose
Easley v. Cromartie
Court said it was not an unconstitutional racial gerrymander -- race is not an illegitimate consideration in redistricting as long as it is not the dominant and controlling one.
Elastic Clause
the part of the Constitution that permits Congress to make any laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its powers
Eminent Domain
the right of government to take private property for public use
Expressed Powers
powers that congress has that are specifically listed in the constitution
a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
Franking Privilege
benefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-free
divide unfairly and to one's advantage
House Rules Committee
Determines the rules for debate of each bill, including whether the bill may be amended. This is the most powerful committee in the House.
legal process to formally charge the president with misconduct in office
Implied Powers
powers not specifically mentioned in the constitution
the official who holds an office
Indirect Tax
a tax levied on goods or services rather than on persons or organizations
Joint Committee
legislative committee composed of members of both houses
Joint Resolution
a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the chief executive (or passed over the executive's veto)
Line-Item Veto
an executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature
act of exchanging favors for mutual gain
Majority Leader
leader of the majority party in a legislature
Majority-Minority District
A congressional district created to include a majority of minority voters; ruled constitutional so long as race is not the main factor in redistricting.
drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
Marginal District
Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, usually less than 55% of the vote
Mark-up Session
A session held by a subcommittee to revise a bill.
Mid-year Election
every 2 years on even numbered years vote for everyone but pres/governor
Minority Leader
leader of the minority party in a legislature
Open Rule
an order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
Oversight Function
review by legislative committees of the policies and programs of the executive branch
devoted to a cause or party
Party Caucus
a meeting of the members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and to develop party policy. Called a conference by the republicans
lying under oath
Pocket Veto
indirect veto of legislation by refusing to sign it
lawmaker who attempts to balance the basic elements of the trustee, delegate, and partisan roles
Pork Barrel
a legislative appropriation designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents
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
Officer of the Senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president
to prolong or extend; to postpone or defer
Public Debt
the total of the nation's debts: debts of local and state and national governments
The minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
Reynolds v. Simms
ruled that state legislative districts must be roughly equal in population
a clause that is appended to a legislative bill
Roll-Call Vote
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names.
Safe District
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more
Select Committee
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.
Senatorial Courtesy
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
Seniority Rule
A legislative practice that assigns the chair of a committee or subcommittee to the member of the majority party with the longest continuous service on the committee.
a period of time during which a legislature meets to conduct business
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.
Single-Member District
An electoral district in which voters choose one representative or official.
Speaker of the House
the leader of the majority party who serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives
Special Session
a meeting to deal with some emergency situation
Standing Committee
a permanent committee
a subset of committee members organized for a specific purpose
a court order requiring appearance and/or testimony
Substantive Representation
the ability of a legislator to represent the agenda or interests of a group to which he or she does not personally belong.
Teller Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and the "nays" second.
An official who is expected to vote independently based on his or her judgment of the circumstances; one interpretation of the role of the legislator.
US Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton
Ruled that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of Congress stricter than those in the Constitution
rejection of a bill
Voice Vote
a voting method in which those in favor say "Yea" and those against say "Nay"
Wesberry v. Sanders
One person, one vote (in redistricting for federal elections, each congressional district was to be approximately the same) In Georgia, the 5th district had 3 to 4 times more people than did the other districts.
a legislator appointed by the party to enforce discipline