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Chapter 10: Congress “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 10: Congress “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 10: Congress “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”

2 Legislative Branch What is the major function of the Legislative Branch?

3 Bicameral Legislature
“In a republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconvenience is to divide the legislature into different branches.” The Federalist No. 51 Why bicameral?

4 Special Session of Congress
When might a special session of Congress meet? Who calls it?

5 Discussion Questions: Section 1
1. Why do you think some people think that the Senate is undemocratic? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? 2. See map p.263. What are the pros and cons of the current bicameral system including a Senate and House of Representatives? 3. Does it matter that the States are not equally represented in the Senate? Read p. 264


7 Health Care Reform Read Health Care Reform on p. 266
Be prepared to discuss.

8 Approval Ratings The conventional wisdom in Washington is that while voters don’t think much of Congress as a whole, they still like their own representatives. Public opinion polls often give Congress low approval ratings; since 1974, when Gallup polls first asked the question, the highest approval ratings for Congress has been 56%. Nevertheless, since 1948, incumbents in the House have been reelected at a rate of over 90%, leading many analysts to conclude that contributions from PACs and other sources have made incumbents nearly impossible to beat.

9 Lazy Congress? “There are two periods when Congress does no business; one is before the holidays, and the other after.” George D. Prentice What does Prentice mean by this joke?

10 Congressional Apportionment
What is apportionment? Look at the map on p. 268 What general trend in population growth around the country does this map show?

11 House of Representatives
How determined? Term length? How many terms? How many? Minimum possible?

12 Congressional Elections
When do Congressional Elections occur? First Tuesday after the First Monday in November of Even Numbered Years (every 2 years)

13 Off Year Elections Look at the Timeline
In which two election years, did the President’s party lose the most seats in the House?

14 Reapportionment Look at the map on p. 270.
Why does the redrawing of district lines regularly produce sharp political conflicts in a state?

15 Primary Source Read Redistricting and Race on p. 274
Answer the three questions on separate sheet of paper.

16 What are the two types of gerrymandering?

17 Wesberry v. Sanders “While it may not be possible to draw Congressional districts with mathematical precision, that is no excuse for ignoring our Constitution’s plain objective of making equal representation for equal numbers of people the fundamental goal of the House or Representatives. That is the high standard of justice and common sense which the Founders set for us.” - Justice Black, Opinion of the Court What is the significance of the case? How do you think this case changed the makeup of Congress?

18 Who is my Representative?
District 1: Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) – if you live in the north side of city District 2: Todd Akin (R-MO) if you live in West St. Louis County

19 Qualifications for House of Representatives
25 years of age Citizen for 7 years Resident of State & District

20 House Leadership Speaker of the House House Majority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R- VA)


22 Senate Which of these two colleges is more prestigious: a large college that is fairly easy to get into or small college with high entrance standards? How does this question relate to the Senate?

23 Senate How many members? How is membership determined?
What was the framers vision of the Senate? How were they originally elected? What is the 17th Amendment? Terms? How many? Why do think they set the terms longer than the Representatives?

24 Constituency

25 Important Issues for Senators
Bigger Issues Social Security Health Care National Security Immigration

26 Qualifications for Senate
30 Years of Age Citizen for 9 Years Resident of State

27 Who are our Senators? Senior Senator Junior Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)
Claire McCaskill (D-Mo)

28 Senate Leadership Positions
President of the Senate Richard Cheney (R-WY) President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd (D-WV) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)


30 Comparing House and Senate
Look at the table on p. 272 Why do House members debate most bills in committees before bringing them to the House floor?

31 Get Involved Read How to Write Your Lawmaker on p. 276.
Why is important to write your letter while a bill is still in committee?

32 Priorities? Write a paragraph about the following:
The first priority of members of Congress should be… Given reasons to support your position

33 Roles of Congress Legislators
Representatives & Servants of their constituents Committee Members

34 Profile of the 110th Congress
How does the racial and ethnic diversity differ between the House and the Senate?

35 111th US Senate

36 111th US House of Representatives

37 Partisan

38 Congressional Committees

39 Congressional Pay Analyze the Political Cartoon on p. 283
Why are voters reluctant to see members of Congress increase their benefits and pay? What is their salary? What are their other benefits?

40 Suits for Free Speech? Read May Congresspersons Be Sued for Their Statements? Be prepared to discuss.


42 Chapter 11: Powers of Congress
The Constitution grants to Congress a number of powers but also places strict limits on what it can and cannot do (Remember that we are in a limited government).

43 Types of Congressional Powers
1. Expressed Powers – explicit in specific wording in the Constitution 2. Implied Powers – reasonably deducted from the expressed powers 3. Inherent Powers – powers of a national gov’t because it is sovereign

44 What message is the artist trying to convey about government?

45 Construction of the Constitution
Strict Liberal Definition Narrow, literal interpretation of the Constitution Broad interpretation of the Constitution Major proponent Jefferson Hamilton Attitude toward implied powers Use only when necessary Use often Attitude toward national power Should be restrained and limited Should be allowed to grow Attitude toward State power Should remain strong Should be restrained

46 What has caused the growth of the national government?

47 Declare War How does this picture imply one of the
Expressed powers of Congress?

48 Expressed Powers Declare war
Raise and support army (president may send troops for 60 days with 30 day extension Power to tax, borrow money, deal w/ bankruptcy Create courts Regulate interstate and foreign trade

49 Expressed Powers (con’t)
Coin money and regulate the value of it Regulate foreign affairs Naturalization Postal service Set copyright and patent laws Fix standard weights of measure (The ability of Congress to regulate commerce and to tax have been key to the growth of the nation)


51 Implied Powers (according to the Necessary and Proper Clause
Establish Federal Reserve Punish tax evasion Set educational grants Have a draft Set a minimum wage McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) – the Constitution does not have to specify state powers

52 Non-Legislative Powers
Propose amendments In certain unusual circumstances the House may be called upon to select a President and the Senate to choose a VP Impeachment Process House has the power to impeach federal officers (could be Pres. And V.P.) Senate holds the trial

53 What are taxes and why are they imposed?

54 Types of Taxes? Direct Taxes Indirect Taxes
Cost of good + Profit + Tax =Your Cost

55 What are the four limitations of taxing powers?
1. Congress may only tax for public purposes 2. Congress may not tax exports 3. direct taxes must be apportioned among the states 4. all indirect taxes levied by the Fed. Gov’t must be levied at the same rate in in every part of the country

56 What is the implied problem with taxes
From this cartoon? Do you Agree or Disagree? Why?

57 How do you think this illustration applies to Deficit Spending?

58 What is deficit spending?
How does government make up the difference?

59 Non-Legislative Powers (con’t)
Senate has power to confirm or reject major appointments or treaties made by the President (treaties must Investigate – can investigate matters of concern to Congress (ex. Steroids Investigation)

60 Commerce Clause Importance: regulated commerce w/ foreign nations, states, and Indian tribes Gibbons V. Ogden Gave the federal gov’t broad commerce powers- expanding the powers of the fed. Gov’t Responsible for building a strong U.S. out of a weak confederation Limits of Congregational Commerce Powers Can’t tax exports Can’t favor ports of one state over another Can’t require vessels bound to or from one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties to another

61 Congress - War Expressed power- Only congress can declare WAR
Has power to raise and support an army, maintain a navy and make rules pertaining to the governing of such forces War Powers Resolution of Congress claimed the power to restrict the use of Am. Forces in combat where a state of war does not exist Has power to call forth the militia, organizing an army and disciplining it

62 What is impeachment? House brings the charges Senate tries the case
-2/3 needed for conviction of guilt or innocence. (Senate serves as the jury and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides

63 Congress in Action

64 Congress Organizes When does Congress convene?
Jan. 3rd of every odd numbered year; following the general election in November.

65 Congress Organizes How does the House reorganize?
Each new term Elect their leaders Swear in all members Adopt their work rules Appoint members to permanent committees How does the Senate reorganize? Does not reorganize because 2/3 if members stay the same from term to term

66 Leadership in Congress
What role does the Speaker of the House play? -presides over the House -leader of the majority Party -controls the agenda of the House -may debate or vote on any matter What role does the V.P. play in the Senate? -oversees the sessions -cannot debate -votes only to break a tie


68 Leadership in Congress
What is the role of the President Pro Tempore: -presides over the senate in the Vice President’s absence

69 Who are the Congressional Party Officers and what are their roles?
Floor Leaders: do not hold official positions in either chamber legislative strategists steer floor actions to their parties’ benefit chief spokesperson for his/her party Whips: majority and minority whips are assistant floor leaders serve as liaisons between the party leadership & the rank-and-file members checks with party members to determine # of votes that can be counted regarding an issue

70 Party Strength in Congress over recent years
Party Strength in Congress over recent years. Which party controlled the House of Representatives for most of the 1980s? Which party controlled the House for the second half of the 1900’s?

71 What are the roles of the committee chairmen
What are the roles of the committee chairmen? -chosen according to seniority rule -head the standing committees that do most of Congresses’ work

72 Committees in Congress
What is a joint committee? -composed of members from both houses from select or standing committees What is a standing committee and why are they called subject matter committees? –permanent panels; deal only w/ bills that concern a particular subject matter What is a select committee? -investigates specific current matters for a limited amount of time; new laws and determines the adequacy of old laws What is a conference committee? -composed of members from both houses; temporary committees that deal only w/ resolving differences between House and Senate versions of a bill

73 Permanent Committees of Congress


75 Committee Chairs have great power over bills referred to their committee.
What does the data in this table tell you about the post each of these members hold?

76 Critics complain that the seniority system discourages younger members of Congress.
How does this table demonstrate the importance of seniority in the United States Senate?

77 What is the difference between a bill and a resolution?
Is a proposed law that applies to the nation as a whole or to certain people or places Resolution: Is a measure that one house passes but does not have the force of a law; does not require the president’s signature

78 Two types of Bills: 1. Public Bills- apply to the nation as a whole (i.e. taxes, copy right laws) 2. Private Bills- apply to certain persons or places

79 Why do members of Congress attach riders to bills that are almost certain to pass?
Will attach a rider if they know the rider would not pass on its own It will “ride through the Legislative Process”.

80 Committee Actions on a Bill
Report the bill with a “do pass” recommendation and steer it through debate on the floor Refuse to report the bill, pigeon hole it Report it in an amended form (changed in committee) Report the bill w/ unfavorable recommendation (does not happen often) Report a committee bill (new bill the committee subs for another)

81 How a Bill becomes a Law Complete the flow chart exercise
(use text pg.345)


83 What is a quorum? The smallest number of members required to do business

84 Filibusters- delaying method used in the Senate to “talk a bill to death”.


86 Cloture- used to stop a filibuster
Limits debate Requires 3/5 of the Senate to vote for cloture Senators are reluctant to use it because filibusters are traditional and useful

87 Options once a bill reaches the President’s desk
Sign the bill Become law w/o Pres. signature w/in 10 days Veto the bill (Congress may override the Pres. veto by 2/3 vote of the full membership Pocket Veto

88 Can a bill pass without a president’s signature?
The President may allow the bill to become law without signing it by not acting on it within 10 day, not counting Sundays, of receiving it.

89 Pocket Veto If Congress adjourns before the end of the 10 days and the President has not signed the bill it dies.

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