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The United States Congress The United States Congress The United States Constitution Article One.

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Presentation on theme: "The United States Congress The United States Congress The United States Constitution Article One."— Presentation transcript:


2 The United States Congress The United States Congress The United States Constitution Article One

3 The Two House Congress The Congress is bicameral. It is divided into two houses: –T–T–T–The House of Representatives Representation based on population –T–T–T–The United States Senate Representation based on equal votes per state (2) Each house must vote separately on all bills

4 Which Party Currently Holds the Majority of Seats in Both Houses of Congress?


6 Why must all Tax/Revenue Bill originate in the House of Representatives? Tax/Revenue bills originate in the H.O.R. because the framers designed the House to be the part of the Federal Government that is most responsive (closest) to the people. (Taxation WITH Representation) Representatives in the House are closest to the people because they have the smallest constituency, and face the voters most often. (every 2 years)

7 The Powers of Congress (Enumerated/Delegated Powers) THE POWER TO TAX –R–R–R–Raise the money needed to run the government and fund the treasury.

8 To Borrow Money –A–A–A–Additional money may be needed to fund money (if tax receipts are not enough)

9 Regulate Commerce –R–R–R–Responsible to make sure businesses are responsibly run, and trade is regulated.

10 To Coin Money –O–O–O–Only the federal government prints the currency (replacing the system under the Articles of Confederation)

11 Declare War, Raise & Support the Armed Forces –O–O–O–Only the Congress can Declare War, however, the President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces

12 Establish Naturalization Procedures –R–R–R–Regulate immigration and set procedures for people to become American citizens

13 Establish a Post Office –H–H–H–Help the nation communicate

14 The E L A S T I C Clause The Elastic Clause/Implied Powers: –C–Congress may make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its other powers. –T–The Elastic Clause allows the Congress to change with the times and regulate industries which were unforeseen when the Constitution was first written (airline, TV, Communications, Auto ECT…)

15 Limits of Congressional Power Congress CAN NOT: –T–T–T–Tax EXPORTS –G–G–G–Grant titles of nobility –F–F–F–Favor the ports of one state over those of another state –S–S–S–Suspend the writ of habeas corpus except in an emergency


17 Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. Otto von Bismark

18 Rep Introduces a bill, The Speaker refers the bill to committee Committee studies bill, hold hearings, Makes changes, Sends bill to rules committee Rules Committee places bill on calendar for entire House of Reps House debates bill, may make changes, vote on bill Bill is introduced to Senate, debated & voted on. If the Senate passes a different bill, the bill goes to a conference committee H&S members resolve differences, and send bill back to their respective chambers If bill passes both houses, it goes to the President for his signature

19 Influence of Pressure Groups Special Interest Groups, PACs (Political Action Committees), Lobbyists try to influence the law- making process. Businesses, Unions, farmers, Senior Citizens, and others all use their influence, and campaign contributions to influence the political system. Lobbying for a bill is a feature of the unwritten Constitution.

20 Why is the Law Making Process so Complicated? The law making process can involve thousands of people! The Framers created this process to allow for citizen input into the legal process, remember, they feared abuses of power by the government & wanted to prevent tyranny by high government officials Out of hundreds of bills that are introduced in Congress, only a few actually become laws.

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