Presentation on theme: "Congress In addition to its lawmaking powers, Congress plays a critical role in American democracy as a representative institution. The members of Congress."— Presentation transcript:
2 CongressIn addition to its lawmaking powers, Congress plays a critical role in American democracy as a representative institution. The members of Congress —100 senators and 435 representatives—represent the voices of the people across America. Yet some observers worry that Congress does not represent all voices equally.
3 House & Senate: Differences in Representation Bicameral System: Two ChambersPart of the Connecticut CompromiseEach state has two senatorsRepresentation in the House determined by state populationPredicated on different models of representationSenate: states, with long termsHouse: districts, with short termsThis is a good time to remind students about why this system was established: the small states wanted equal representation and the large states wanted representation proportional to population. The idea of two equal chambers had never been tried before.
4 House & Senate: Differences in Representation Senate: 100 SenatorsOriginally selected by state legislaturesSix year termsHouse of Representatives: 435 MembersElected by districtsTwo year terms5 non-voting delegates: American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, U.W. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
5 House and Senate: Differences in Representation For its first 128 years, Congress was a decidedly masculine world. In 1917, three years before the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Jeanette Rankin (R-Mont.) (pictured back row, far right) became the first woman to serve in Congress.
6 House & Senate: Differences in Representation Congressional districts can be relatively homogeneousIdeal for organized interests claiming to represent constituentsMembers tend to specialize in one committeeStates are far more heterogeneousSenators have to be generalistsMore open to a wider array of interestsYou haven’t yet lectured about committees, but if this point isn’t clear, it may help to point out that 100 senators need to do the same amount of work as 435 representatives.
7 House & Senate: Differences in Representation How representatives “represent”:Sociological Representation: Representative shares characteristics, background and interests with constituentsAgency Representation: Representative has incentives to act in the constituents’ interestsStudents should immediately realize this was the debate between the anti-federalists and the federalists. The anti-federalists wanted elected officials who shared the same background and financial interests as their constituents. The federalists argued that frequent elections would keep the system representative.
8 House & Senate: Differences in Representation Sociological RepresentationFIGURE 12.1 Women, African Americans, and Latinos in the U.S. Congress, 1971–2010Congress has become much more socially diverse since the 1970s. After a gradual increase from 1971 to 1990, the number of women and African American members grew quickly during the first half of the 1990s. How does the pattern of growth for Latino representatives compare with that of women and African Americans?SOURCES: Harold W. Stanley and Richard G. Niemi, eds., Vital Statistics on American Politics 2003–2004 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2003), 207, Table 5–2; and Mildred Amer and Jennifer E. Manning, Membership of the 11th Congress: A Profile, Congressional Research Service , December 31, 2008, assets.opencrs.com (accessed 1/31/10).A good discussion question is whether, if citizens take these characteristics seriously, we should expect representatives with “minority” characteristics to be present in the legislature in proportion to the population at large? What if there were no majority-minority districts?
9 WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS? Chapter 12WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS?
10 Who are the Members of 111th Congress2009? GenderU.S. Pop.51%49%House15%85%Senate17%83%FemaleMaleAlthough the number of women, African Americans, and Latinos in Congress has increased in recent decades, Congress is still much less diverse than the American population. Members of Congress are predominantly male, white, Protestant Christian, and most commonly from a professional and educational background as lawyers. These data compare the 111th Congress, which took office in 2009, with the U.S. population as a whole.KeyU.S. PopulationSenateSOURCES: Mildred L. Amer, “Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile,” CRS Report R40086, February 4, U.S. Census Bureau, (accessed 3/5/10).House of Representatives
11 Who are the Members of 111th Congress? RaceU.S. Pop.65%13%16%5%1%House82%9%6%2%0.2%Senate96%1%2%0%WhiteBlackHispanicAsian/PacificNativeAmericanAlthough the number of women, African Americans, and Latinos in Congress has increased in recent decades, Congress is still much less diverse than the American population. Members of Congress are predominantly male, white, Protestant Christian, and most commonly from a professional and educational background as lawyers. These data compare the 111th Congress, which took office in 2009, with the U.S. population as a whole.KeyU.S. PopulationSenateSOURCES: Mildred L. Amer, “Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile,” CRS Report R40086, February 4, U.S. Census Bureau, (accessed 3/5/10).House of Representatives
12 Who are the Members of 111th Congress? ReligionU.S. Pop.51%24%3%2%17%House55%31%4%7%2%1%Senate54%26%6%13%0%ProtestantCatholicOther ChristianJewishOther FaithsUnaffiliatedAlthough the number of women, African Americans, and Latinos in Congress has increased in recent decades, Congress is still much less diverse than the American population. Members of Congress are predominantly male, white, Protestant Christian, and most commonly from a professional and educational background as lawyers. These data compare the 111th Congress, which took office in 2009, with the U.S. population as a whole.KeyU.S. PopulationSenateSOURCES: Mildred L. Amer, “Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile,” CRS Report R40086, February 4, U.S. Census Bureau, (accessed 3/5/10).House of Representatives
13 Who are the Members of 111th Congress? EducationU.S. Pop.13.5%57%19%1.5%9%House—8%29%39%25%Senate—1%20%57%22%< High schoolHigh schoolgrad.Bachelor’sdegreeProfessional/Law degreeOtheradvancedAlthough the number of women, African Americans, and Latinos in Congress has increased in recent decades, Congress is still much less diverse than the American population. Members of Congress are predominantly male, white, Protestant Christian, and most commonly from a professional and educational background as lawyers. These data compare the 111th Congress, which took office in 2009, with the U.S. population as a whole.KeyU.S. PopulationSenateSOURCES: Mildred L. Amer, “Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile,” CRS Report R40086, February 4, U.S. Census Bureau, (accessed 3/5/10).House of Representatives
14 Who are the Members of 111th Congress? Average AgeU.S. PopHouseAlthough the number of women, African Americans, and Latinos in Congress has increased in recent decades, Congress is still much less diverse than the American population. Members of Congress are predominantly male, white, Protestant Christian, and most commonly from a professional and educational background as lawyers. These data compare the 111th Congress, which took office in 2009, with the U.S. population as a whole.Questions for Classroom Discussion:Does it matter if the backgrounds of members of Congress reflect the population as a whole? Can members still represent their constituents effectively if they do not come from the same backgrounds?Visit and to identify your representatives in Congress and visit their Web pages. How similar are their backgrounds to yours? How closely do their policy positions, as expressed on their web pages, match your own?SenateSOURCES: Mildred L. Amer, “Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile,” CRS Report R40086, February 4, U.S. Census Bureau, (accessed 3/5/10).
15 House & Senate: Differences in Representation Representatives as Agents: Legislators learn about the interests of constituentsParties almost never ask a member of Congress to vote against constituent interestsThis slide ties into interest groups, as discussed in the previous chapter. Interest groups are expected to reach out to members of Congress, and those members are expected to actively reach out to constituents. However, this is not easy when a Representative can have over 600,000 constituents and a Senator can have millions.
16 The Electoral Connection Who gets elected?Who decides to runIncumbency advantageDistricting and gerrymandering issues
17 The Electoral Connection Who runs?Candidates must “self select” to run, but some are encouraged by parties more than othersA good candidate needs:Good name recognitionSuccess in prior elected officesAbility to raise fundsWillingness to campaignAbility to reach out to votersYou may wish to note that women tend to wait until their children are older before running for office, and this tends to delay when then enter the candidacy “pipeline” and hence limits their ability to move up in office, by having less time to do so. See, Mack Mariani “A Gendered Pipeline? The Advancement of State Legislators to Congress in Five States.” Politics and Gender, Vol. 4, No. 2 (June):
18 The Electoral Connection Incumbency AdvantageMembers of Congress have an array of tools to keep them in officeConstituency servicesFranking privilegeName recognition and titlePork barrel spending for districtAs David R. Mayhew has written in Congress: The Electoral Connection, if members of Congress tried to devise a system that would allow them to maximize their chances of re-election, the system would not look much different than it does today.
19 The Power of Incumbency FIGURE 12.2 The Power of IncumbencyMembers of Congress who run for re-election have a very good chance of winning. Senators have at times found it difficult to use the power of incumbency to protect their seats, as the sharp decline in Senate incumbency rates between 1974 and 1980 indicates. Has the incumbency advantage generally been greater in the House or in the Senate?SOURCES: Norman J. Ornstein et al., eds., Vital Statistics on Congress, 1999–2000 (Washington, DC: AEI Press, 2000), 57–58; and authors’ update.* Estimate
20 The Electoral Connection RedistrictingThe vast majority of incumbents in safe seats come from districts where the majority of voters are from the same party as they areThe critical election in these districts is the primaryAgain, a point to strike home is that there are a significant number of congressional seats where the incumbent is not even challenged by the other party, because the district has been drawn in such a manner that it is very unlikely that the out party would will. In districts like these where the seat is contested, the opponent is either hoping for some unforeseen scandal or accident to happen, is hoping to run well and draw attention for another race down the line, or has unrealistic expectations.
21 Results of Congressional Reapportionment, 2000 [Tx +4 in 2010] FIGURE 12.4 Results of Congressional Reapportionment, 2000States in the West and parts of the South were the big winners in the reapportionment of House seats following the 2000 census. The old manufacturing states in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions were the biggest losers. Which states have the greatest number of House seats?
22 The Electoral Connection, 1910 vs 2000 Apportionment and DistrictingFIGURE 12.3 Apportionment of House Seats by Region, 1910 and 2000During the twentieth century, population movements greatly increased the number of congressional seats in the West and the South. Which areas have lost the most congressional representation over time?SOURCE: Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann, and Michael J. Malbin, eds., Vital Statistics on Congress, 2001–2002 (Washington, DC: AEI Press, 2002), 59.Every ten years the 435 Congressional seats are allocated among the states after the census. This is one reason why many states work so hard to get residents to fill out census forms, since a lower count may lead to the loss of a congressional seat.
23 The Electoral Connection Direct PatronagePork barrel spendingEarmarksPatronageSome local and state elected officials have jobs to offer to constituentsConstituent servicesPrivate billsThis topic will be discussed later, but a point to make is that key committee spots are typically reserved for more senior members, who use those positions to bring spending to their districts. This is also one reason why it is so hard for Congress to cut spending: Members will work to prevent cuts to their districts.
24 How Members of Congress Represent Their Districts FIGURE 12.5 How Members of Congress Represent Their Districts
25 The Organization of Congress Building blocks of CongressPartiesCommitteesStaffCaucusesParliamentary rules
26 The Organization of Congress Speaker of the House is the leader of majority partyBoth parties also elect a majority and minority leader and whipParties determine which of their members sit on various committeesActually, both parties have numerous deputy whips who often specialize in various policy areas, but each party has one person with the title of whip.
27 The Organization of Congress The Vice President officially chairs the Senate, but only takes the gavel at ceremonial events and in the case of a tie voteThe President Pro Tempore usually chairs the Senate, but often hands off to another member for routine businessThe textbook mentions this, but you may want to stress at this point that party leaders are far more powerful in the House than the in Senate. In the latter, more business is conducted through consensus, with party leaders having less leverage over members than in the House.
28 Majority Party Structure in the House of Representatives FIGURE 12.6 Majority Party Structure in the House of Representatives*Includes Speaker, majority leader, chief and deputy whips, caucus chair, chairs of five major committees, members elected by regional caucuses, members elected by recently elected representatives, and at-large members appointed by the Speaker.
29 Majority Party Structure in the Senate FIGURE 12.7 Majority Party Structure in the Senate
30 The Organization of Congress Committee SystemStanding committeesSelect committeesJoint committeesConference committees
31 The Organization of Congress Standing committees are permanent and are where the majority of legislation is writtenA point to make is that members try to get on committees that have jurisdiction over key elements of their districts. Members representing Connecticut and New York may want to get on Financial Services, for example, while a member from Kansas may want to obtain a seat on Agriculture.
34 The Organization of Congress Select CommitteesFormed temporarily to focus on a specific issueCannot present bills to the chamberBring attention to a specific subjectThe issues for which Select committees are formed are often those that span many committees or that are so rare or novel that the standing committees cannot easily address them.
35 The Organization of Congress Joint CommitteesFormed from members of both ChambersGather informationCover issues internal to Congress
36 The Organization of Congress Conference CommitteesFor a bill to become a law, the same wording of the bill must be passed by both chambersConference committees are formed to write the final wording when both chambers pass similar bills that need to be reconciled
37 The Organization of Congress The number of seats the minority party has on a committee is roughly proportionate to the seats it has in the House, but at an unfavorable rate.Seniority determines committee assignmentsChairs can be removed by the party caucusChairs are term-limitedThe Republican changes in 1995 were truly revolutionary. Quite a number of senior members were skipped over for chair assignments because their political leanings were not close enough to those of the new leadership.
38 The Organization of Congress Congressional StaffersMembers of Congress need staff who are experts in specific fields, and also staff to help constituentsOver 11,500 staff in DC and district officesAnother 2,000 staff for committeesEach Representative is allocated a staffing budget, which they can spend as they wish. Senators are allocated budgets according to the population of their state. Staffing is typically allocated on a lifecycle pattern, in which newer members typically focus more heavily on constituent services, with a large percentage of their staff back working in their districts. As they rise in seniority and feel safer in their seats, they typically pull more staff into DC to focus on policy work.
39 The Organization of Congress Congressional Research ServiceResearch arm of CongressCongressional Budget Office (CBO)Assesses costs of programs and income from tax plansGeneral Accounting OfficeAudits federal agencies and programsThe key point about these programs is that they are nonpartisan and their work is generally highly regarded. The cost estimations from the CBO can make or break a bill, for example.
40 The Organization of Congress Congressional CaucusesGroups of Senators or Representatives who share common goals or interestsSome have large budgets and significant staffs, and are capable of pressuring Congress and the Executive branchThe Congressional Black Caucus is officially non-discriminatory, but only admits black members of Congress. In the 111th Congress there was one Senator and 41 House members in the CBC. It receives some funding—as many other caucuses do—from the federal government, and has an office in the Capitol.
41 How a Bill Becomes a Law FIGURE 12.8 How a Bill Becomes a Law *Points at which a bill can be amended.†Points at which a bill can die.‡ If the president neither signs nor vetoes a bill within ten days, it automatically becomes law.
42 How a Bill Becomes a LawA bill is a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of Congress and submitted to the Clerk of the House or SenateThe bill is given a number and assigned to a committee, which typically refers it to a subcommitteeBills taken seriously are given a hearingApproximately 95 percent of bills do not advance past the committee level. The idea that many bills are known in advance to be non-starters may strike the students as odd. They may not be familiar with “symbolic politics,” where the goal is to make a statement rather than achieve a policy goal.
43 How a Bill Becomes a LawThe subcommittee and/or full committee writes the language of the billThe full committee sends the bill to the floorBill must pass through the Rules Committee in the House firstRules committee gives bill an open or closed ruleSenate requires a consent agreementThe House also has a Germaness rule that says that any amendment to a bill must pertain to that bill, so members cannot attach military spending to a farm bill, for example. The Senate does not have this rule.
44 How a Bill Becomes a LawThe House rule determines how much time is allocated for floor debate; powerful com’tee!The debate time is divided equally between those for and against the billThe Senate allows for unlimited discussion, requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster via cloture
45 How a Bill Becomes a LawOnce a bill clears in one chamber, it is sent to the other where the process starts overIf both chambers pass the same wording, the bill is sent to the presidentIf not, both chambers create a conference committee
46 How a Bill Becomes a Law The President is given ten days and 4 options Veto bill -- Vetoes can be overridden by a two-thirds vote in each chamberPocket veto: If there are less than tens days left in the Congressional calendar and the president does not sign the bill into law, it dies and must begin again from scratch in the next sessionSign bill into law!Do nothing. After 10 days, bill automatically becomes lawThe number of vetoes by a president varies quite dramatically. It largely depends on whether Congress is controlled by the same party as the President.
47 How Congress DecidesMembers of Congress often spend a great deal of time in their electoral districts meeting with constituents. Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland is shown here greeting constituents at an event in Baltimore.
48 How Congress DecidesThere are a number of influences on members of CongressConstituentsLegislators take constituents seriously if they believe it will affect their support at the next election
49 How Congress Decides Interest Groups Can supply legislators with information about pending billsCan make donationsDo they represent the interests of constituents?
50 Party DisciplineAs Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi ensured that freshman Democrats—such as Steve Driehaus of Ohio, pictured here—had opportunities to speak on the floor. Despite this increased visibility, many Democratic freshmen, including Driehaus, lost their bids for re-election in 2010.
51 How Congress Decides Party Discipline Congress has become bitterly partisan since the 1990sFIGURE 12.9 Party Unity Votes by ChamberParty unity votes are roll-call votes in which a majority of one party lines up against a majority of the other party. Party unity votes increase when the parties are polarized and when the party leadership can enforce discipline. Why did the percentage of party unity votes decline in the 1970s? Why has it risen in recent years?SOURCE: Richard, Rubin “Party Unity: An Ever Thicker Dividing Line,” CQ Weekly Online (January 11, 2010), 122–31, library.cqpress.com (accessed 2/5/10).Students may not realize that not all votes are partisan in nature. There are many ceremonial votes commending citizens and groups (that are usually unanimous), and spending bills tend to generate majorities from both parties, because they often benefit everyone. However, when it comes to important legislation, we have seen increases in partisanship over the middle of the twentieth century.
52 How Congress Decides Party leaders have some tools at their disposal: Leadership PACsCommittee assignmentsAccess to the floorThe whip systemLogrollingPresidencyThere are two other points you might want to discuss. The first is that members want to rise in their chamber, and they do so not only through seniority but also by supporting powerful members of their party who can do them favors in return. This means that leads junior members are often influenced by more senior members. On other hand, there are times when members really do believe in certain policy goals, and are not be willing to sacrifice them. There are times when party leaders simply have to accept this.
53 OversightIn 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee responded to concerns about President Bush’s authorization of secret domestic surveillance by holding hearings on the program. Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales was called to testify and explain the administration’s actions.In 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee responded to concerns about President Bush’s authorization of secret domestic surveillance by holding hearings on the program. Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales was called to testify and explain the administration’s actions.
54 Beyond Legislation Oversight Congress is expected to oversee the activities of the Executive Branch in order to ensure funding is spent and laws are enforced properlyIt is also the case, sadly, that just as Congress often abuses its oversight powers for partisan purposes, many witnesses simply refuse to cooperate, either by pleading they have forgotten or simply evading the questions.
55 Beyond Legislation Advice and Consent The Senate must confirm top-level executive appointments, ambassadors and federal judgesMust also approve all treatiesYou may also want to note that if the Senate is not in session, the president can appoint people into positions as “recess appointments” who can hold office until the end of the next session. This is usually done to avoid the need for Senate approval, and is not usually taken kindly.
56 ImpeachmentThe Senate possesses the power to impeach federal officials. In American history, sixteen federal officials have been impeached, including two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. During Clinton’s trial in the House, Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), argued that lying under oath was sufficient grounds for removing Clinton from office.
57 Beyond Legislation Impeachment If high officials are thought to have committed “Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” they can be impeachedThe House acts as a grand jury and makes the formal charge or indictment (majority vote required)The Senate conducts the actual trial and with 2/3 vote can convict and remove a President from officeChief Justice of Supreme Court presides over Presidential impeachment trialIf the Senate conducts a trial, the Chief Justice conducts it.
58 Debate, After the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on the disaster. Executives from BP America, Transocean Limited, and Halliburton were called to testify on their companies’ roles in the spill.After the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held hearings on the disaster. Executives from BP America, Transocean Limited, and Halliburton were called to testify on their companies’ roles in the spill.
59 The Legislator’s Dilemma Delegate or Trustee?What should a legislator do when she disagrees with her constituents about an important issue?She may know more about the issue than her constituents, and if they knew as much, they may also think differentlyThe classic articulation of the trustee model is Edmund Burke’s “Speech to the Electors of Bristol.” He was not reelected.
60 Public Opinion PollDo you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?Strongly approveApproveDisapproveStrongly disapprove60
61 Public Opinion PollDo you approve or disapprove of the way your member of Congress is handling his or her job?Strongly approveApproveDisapproveStrongly disapprove61
62 Public Opinion PollDo you believe we should have term limits for Members of Congress?YesNo62
63 Public Opinion PollDo you believe state legislatures should consider the racial makeup of a district when redistricting?YesNo63
64 Public Opinion PollDo you think it is important that the demographics of Congress represent the social, racial and economic demographics of the country?YesNo64
65 Public Opinion PollWhen members of Congress cast a vote, which of the following factors should typically most influence their decision?The interests of the country as a wholeThe interests of their district or state65
66 Public Opinion PollWhich of the following do you believe should be the most influential factor in the voting decisions of members of congress?The preferences of their constituentsThe preferences of the PresidentThe preferences of the Members’ Party LeadershipThe members’ own ideology66
69 Following this slide, you will find additional images, figures, and tables from the textbook.
70 Differences between the House and the Senate TABLE Differences between the House and the Senate
71 The Social Composition of the U.S. Congress The increase in the number of African Americans in Congress in the last forty years is shown by the membership of the Congressional Black Caucus, which had forty-two members in Caucus members are shown here at a press conference about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which was especially devastating to the African American community in the Gulf states.
72 Party Leadership in the Senate In 2006, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who handed her the gavel that year, took over as Speaker in 2011 after Republicans won a majority in the House in the 2010 elections.
73 The Staff System: Staffers and Agencies Members of Congress rely heavily on their personal staffs and on committee staffs, who often play an important role in the legislative process. Here, Senator Orrin Hatch (right) talks with two aides during a Judiciary Committee meeting.
74 Party DisciplineAlthough party discipline in Congress has declined in the past century, recent years have seen a new increase in party unity. In 2008, House and Senate Republicans appeared together to show that they were united in their support of a proposal for property tax cuts.
75 Celebrities, Capitol Hill, and the 2009 Health Care Debate
77 Get Your Representatives in Congress Working for You
78 IncumbencyIn 2010, Senator Arlen Specter (pictured below) lost the Pennsylvania Democratic primary to a challenger, ending Specter’s thirty-year career in the Senate. It is typically difficult for challengers to defeat incumbents who have held office for a long time, but as a former Republican who joined the Democrats only the year before, Specter was vulnerable to rising anti-incumbent sentiment.
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