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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.

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Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:

1 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 term of sex and race. In the House, there are currently 362 men and 76 women. In the Senate, there are 17 women and 83 men.

2  Outlines the structure, responsibilities, and powers (and their limits) of the legislative branch at the federal level.  Lists the EXPRESSED powers of the federal government

3  Historically – British parliament had 2 houses and most of the colonial assemblies  Practically – settled the conflict over the New Jersey and Virginia plan (small states vs. large states)  Theoretically – one house would act as a check on the other. Also seen as a way to prevent Congress from being too powerful.

4  The 113 th Congress began on Jan 3, 2013 and will end TBD (though probably in Jan 2014) Senate President: Joe Biden (D) Senate Pres. pro tem: Leahy Patrick (D) House Speaker: John Boehner (R)  Members: 100 Senators 435 Representatives 6 Non-voting members Senate Majority: Democratic Party House Majority: Republican Party

5  time each year when Congress conducts business.  2 Sessions = 1 term of Congress

6  The President may call a special session of Congress or of either the Senate or the House to deal with some emergency.  (Congress now meets nearly year round and the likelihood of special sessions has been reduced – not since 1948)

7  Both the House and the Senate can… Regulate interstate trade To borrow money Coin and print money Declare war Franking Privileges Create post offices Set naturalizations rules Monitor and regulate copyrights and patents Create federal courts below the Supreme Court Make all laws necessary and proper

8  Only Congress can make a formal declaration of war!  The president can ask Congress to declare war or invoke the WAR POWERS ACT Troops can only remain actively for 60 days unless a Congressional approval is made

9  The ability to send mail free (without postage) to constituents  Constituents: the people from their state/district

10  Veto: a way for the president to stop a bill from becoming a law  Overriding Veto: needs 2/3 of Congress as a whole to override a presidential veto

11  Protection from arrest while serving in Congress (Only in civil, non-criminal offenses)  Speech and Debate immunity: to protect the freedom of legislative debate. Protections includes floor debate, committee work, other work generally related to congressional business NOT Press Conferences, newsletter, etc.

12  2/3 rd of Congress (2/3 of each house) has to vote yes to propose the amendment  3/4 of the states must vote yes to ratify


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