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The Legislative Branch CP Political Systems. Congress 101 Article I of the U.S. Constitution creates a bicameral (two house) legislature Result of Connecticut.

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Presentation on theme: "The Legislative Branch CP Political Systems. Congress 101 Article I of the U.S. Constitution creates a bicameral (two house) legislature Result of Connecticut."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legislative Branch CP Political Systems

2 Congress 101 Article I of the U.S. Constitution creates a bicameral (two house) legislature Result of Connecticut or Great Compromise Each house would serve as a check on the power of the other House of Representatives : represented the people; membership based on population; members chosen by popular vote (House of the People) Senate: represented the state; each state had same number of members; members chosen by state legislatures Each house chooses its own leadership and determines their own rules Congress meets in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC

3 House ChamberSenate Chamber Rotunda Old

4 Congress 101 A Comparison of the House and Senate House of RepresentativesSenate Membership 435 members Based on population 100 members Two from each state Terms of Office 2 years Entire House elected every 2 years 6 years Staggered terms w/ 1/3 elected every 2 years Qualifications At least 25 years old Citizen for 7 years Live in state represented At least 30 years old Citizen for 9 years Live in state represented Constituencies Smaller Only represent individual districts Larger Represent entire state Prestige Less prestigeMore prestige

5 Congress 101: A Comparison of the House and Senate House of RepresentativesSenate Floor Debate Limit on time allowed (Set by Rules Committee) Unlimited time Filibuster allowed (unlimited debate to stall passage of legislation) Staff Fewer staff Less reliance on staff More staff More reliance on staff Confirmation Powers and Impeachment Powers Only confirms VP appointment by President Brings Impeachment charges against official and investigates Confirms all presidential appointments (ambassadors, cabinet members, federal judges, etc…) with 2/3 majority Tries the Impeachment case and acts as jury Treaty Ratification PowersNo power to ratify treatiesMust ratify all treaties Most Powerful Leader Speaker of the HouseMajority Floor Leader

6 Congress 101 Congressional Sessions Each term of Congress begins on Jan. 3 of odd-numbered years and lasts for 2 years Ex. 104 th Congress began its term in January 1995; 105 th Congress began its term its term in January 1997 Each year of a Congressional term called a session 2 Congressional sessions = 1 Congressional term : Congress in session Dec.- March 1934-Present: Congress in session Jan.- Nov. or Dec. Why? Increased workload and 20 th Amendment Congress remains in sessions until both houses vote to adjourn House and Senate cannot adjourn for more than 3 days w/out approval of other house President can call Congress back for special session if adjourned Sometimes House and Senate meet together in joint session

7 Congress 101 Congressional Members 535 voting members ; 435 (House) 100 (Senate) 5 non-voting delegates in the House 1 each from D.C., Guam, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico Half of members are lawyers; many others are businessman, bankers, and educators; have experience in govt. and public service Typically white, middle aged males; avg. age over 50 Recent members have began to reflect diversity of population

8 109 th U.S. Congress Racial Composition of the 109th Congress U.S. House White African Am.- 42 Hispanic- 26 U.S. Senate White – 97 African Am. – 1 Hispanic -2

9 110 th U.S. Congress: Senate

10 110 th U.S. Congress: House

11 109 th U.S. Congress Partisan Composition There are currently 231 Republicans and 202 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is one Independent member of the House--Bernie Sanders (VT). In the Senate, there are 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one Independent--James Jeffords (VT). The Republicans have held the majority in the House since In terms of percentages, 53% of House members and 55% of Senators are Republicans. House Senate

12 111 th CongressRepublicanDemocratIndependentVacancies Senate House of Reps House Senate

13 109 th U.S. Congress Men and Women in Congress While the partisan composition of the Congress is fairly close to that of the electorate, there are larger disparities between the Congress and the general citizenry in terms of sex and race. In the House, there are currently 357 men and 68 women. In the Senate, there are 14 women and 86 men. House Senate

14 111 th Congress House of Representatives Senate

15 Congress 101 Salary, Benefits, and Privileges Set their own salary - $162,100/year Free office space Free trips to home states Budgets for assistants, office staff, and supplies Discounts on services like medical care Franking Privilege – free postage Immunity in certain situations (not felonies) Can face expulsion for conduct unbecoming (2/3 vote of either house) Can face censure for less serious offenses Congressman apologizes and offense is made public

16 The House of Representatives

17 Who do they represent? Constituents: YOU! ; People being represented in House or Senate oRepresentation based on population oState has 1 representative per 588,000 people oEach congressional district in the state elects 1 representative to the House (Constitution guarantees each state at least 1) o90% of Reps. are re-elected (incumbents) oNo limit on # of terms..Henry C. Hank Johnson, Jr U.S. Representative (GA) District 4

18 The House of Representatives: Georgia Congressional Districts

19 Georgia U.S. Representatives John Linder Nathan Deal David Scott Barrow, JohnBarrow, John, Georgia, 12th Bishop Jr., Sanford D.Bishop Jr., Sanford D., Georgia, 2nd Deal, NathanDeal, Nathan, Georgia, 9th Gingrey, PhilGingrey, Phil, Georgia, 11th Johnson, Henry C. "Hank" Jr.Johnson, Henry C. "Hank" Jr., Georgia, 4th Kingston, JackKingston, Jack, Georgia, 1st Lewis, JohnLewis, John, Georgia, 5th Linder, JohnLinder, John, Georgia, 7th Marshall, JimMarshall, Jim, Georgia, 8th Broun, Paul C.Broun, Paul C., Georgia, 10th Price, TomPrice, Tom, Georgia, 6th Scott, DavidScott, David, Georgia, 13th Westmoreland, Lynn A.Westmoreland, Lynn A., Georgia, 3rd

20 The House of Representatives: Getting Elected Practices related to determining congressional representation in the House : Reapportionment: redistribution of Congressional seats after the census if there are changes in population Congressional Re-districting: the re-drawing by state legislatures of congressional districts after reapportionment Gerrymandering: drawing congressional districts to favor one political party over another

21 House of Representatives: Gerrymandering Gerrymandering Term traced to Eldridge Gerry (D-R Governor of Mass.) Signed a re-districting plan that gave his party a big political advantage One district shaped like salamander Artist Gilbert Stuart added a head, wings and claw (next slide) **Only restriction is that all Congressional districts must be approximately equal in population**

22 The House of Representatives: Gerrymandering Gerrymander

23 House of Representatives: Leadership Facts about leadership: Majority party in each house controls the leadership positions Speaker of the House Majority Party Leader (Floor Leader) Majority Party Whip (Assistant Floor Leader) Minority Party Leader (Floor Leader) Committee Chairs Minority Party Whip (Assistant Floor Leader)

24 House of Representatives Chamber

25 The House of Representatives: Leadership Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA ) Presiding officer in the House and its most most powerful leader Chosen at beginning of each session by closed meeting of majority party members Always belongs to majority party Decides who gets to debate first Appoints majority party members of committees Schedules bills for action Refers bills to proper committee

26 The House of Representatives Majority Party Leader (Floor Leader) Steny Hoyar (D) Speakers top assistant Elected by majority party Steers important bills through the House Makes sure committee chairpersons finish work on bills important to party

27 The House of Representatives Minority Party Leader John Boehner Chosen by minority party Carries out same duties as Majority Party Leader among the minority party Organizes opposition to the majority party

28 The House of Representatives Majority Whip James E Clyburn (D) Term whip comes from whipper in (british term; person who keeps the foxhounds in a pack during a hunt) Assistant Floor Leader for majority party Job is keep track of how majority party members intend to vote and persuade them to vote as the party wishes

29 House of Representatives Minority Party Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) Assistant Floor Leader for minority party Carries out same duties as Majority Party Whip among the minority party

30 House of Representatives – House Committees Committee on Agriculture Committee on Appropriations Committee on Armed Services Committee on the Budget Committee on Education and the Workforce Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee on Financial Services Committee on Government Reform Committee on Homeland Security Committee on House Administration Committee on International Relations Committee on the Judiciary Committee on Resources Committee on Rules Committee on Science Committee on Small Business Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Veterans' Affairs Committee on Ways and Means Joint Economic Committee Joint Committee on Printing and Library Joint Committee on Taxation House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina

31 House of Representatives 3 Major Committees House Rules Committee Regulates the time of floor debate in the House of Rep. for each bill and sets limitations on floor amendments (additions to the bills) Open Rule: Amendments will be accepted from all members of House Closed Rule: Amendments not allowed or only allowed from members of committee that worked on bill

32 House of Representatives: 3 Major Committees House Ways and Means Committee Oldest standing committee in Congress (1789) Deals with matters and legislation concerning economic policy, international trade, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and health care policy

33 The House of Representatives 3 Major Committees House Appropriations Committee In charge of deciding how to spend U.S. government money **These 3 Committees are seen as the most influential and have the most sought after membership** ** Members of these committees cannot be on any other House Standing Committee**

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