2Essential Questions What makes a successful Congress? In what ways should people participate in public affairs?Can citizens keep the government from falling into error by voting alone?Are interest groups vital to democratic government?
310.1 Facts Congress is Bicameral In the House of Representatives, States are represented according to populationEach state has 2 senatorsCongress meets for 2 year terms, divided into two 1 year sessionsThe constitution provides for a bicameral congress for historical, practical and theoretical reasonsThe bicameral structure is a compromise set up by the framers to accommodate large and small states
4Congressional sessions The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3rd day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.-20th Amendment, section 2Adjourn- suspend until the next sessionRecess- short periods during a session of restPro-rogue- presidential ability to end a session (no one has done this)
5Special SessionMarch 1933: FDR was president during the Great Depression. He did not wait for Congress to enter session in December, but immediately called a special session to address the economic crisis. He passed several important legislations , one was the cash and carry law to lift the ban on sale of arms and allow us to supply arms to allies without formally declaring war
6The House of Representatives Section 10.2The House of Representatives
710.2 FactsMembers of the house represent districts of roughly equal population and serve 2 year termsAfter each census, the 435 seats in the House are redistributed among the States to reflect changes in populationElections are held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even numbered yearsMembers of the house must be at least 25 years old, must have been a US citizen for at least 7 years, and must live in the state he/she representsCongressional districts can be gerrymandered to provide an advantage to the dominant party in a state’s legislatureThe right combination of formal and informal qualifications helps members of the House get elected
8GerrymanderFrom Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812, drew the State’s legislative districts to favor his party. A noted painter added a head, wings and claws to a district map hanging over the desk of a newspaper editor. “that will do for a salamander” said the artist “better say Gerrymander "said the editor
1010.3 FactsThe Senate includes 100 members, 2 from each State, who are elected to 2 six year termsSenators must be at least 30 years old, must have been citizens of the U.S. for a least 9 years, and must live in the State from which they are electedOnly 1/3 of the Senate is up for election at any one time, so the Senate is a continuous bodySenators represent a larger group of people, and therefore a broader range of interest, than members of the House, and are more often viewed as national political leadersSenators usually have more experience, power and prestige than their colleagues in the HouseSenators are protected from some political pressures because they serve for a long time
114 Options for voting in Congress Delegate: agents of the people who elect themTrustee: each questions they face must be decided on its merits, and speak as to if the issue is valid or notPartisans: owe their first allegiance to their political party, they vote party linePoliticos: try to combine delegate/trustee/partisan roles
13Facts Congress has expressed, implied and inherent powers The Constitutions spells out 27 expressed powers of congressThe commerce power allows Congress to regulate tradeCongress levies taxes to meet public needs and to protect domestic industry and public health and safetyThe currency power allows federal gov’t to coin money and regulate its value. Congress may borrow on the credit of the U.S. and establish uniform bankruptcy lawsExpress power meaning is found in the ways in which these powers have been carried outThe commerce power is the basis for many implied powersThe taxing power is vital to the functioning of gov’t
15Chapter 12.1FactsSpeaker of the House controls the agenda in the House of RepresentativesThe vice president is the president of the Senate, but votes only to break a tieThe majority and minority leaders of each house carry out the decisions of their party’s caucusParty whips act as liaisons between members and leadershipCommittee chairmen are usually chosen by seniorityThe speaker of the house and the majority leaders and committee chairmen in both houses are members of the majority party, and wield the most power in Congress.
16Deciding how a bill becomes a law A Bill can be introduced in either chamberBefore a bill is submitted:You must build supportWord it right, make sure people want to vote for it
1712.2 Facts Standing committees decide the fate of most bills The powerful House Rules Committee can speed, delay or even prevent House action on a billBoth houses create temporary select committees to investigate current issuesJoint committees are composed of members of both housesThe majority party holds the majority in each committeeConference committees resolve differences in House and Senate versions of a bill to produce a single compromise billMost bills never make it out of committeeBills must pass both houses in identical form to go to the president
18Congressional approval In the House : 1. introduced 2. Committee action 3. Rules committee action 4. Floor action (if passed goes to senate)In the Senate:IntroducedCommittee actionFloor action*****then******Conference committeeCongressional approvalPresidential action
2012.3 Facts Only a member can intro a bill in either house Bills approved by the appropriate committee and the Rules Committee are given floor considerationMeasures that win house approval are sent to the SenateAll bills are scheduled on the appropriate calendarOnly a small fraction of bills intro’ed become lawsBills are referred to standing committees and most to subcommitteesImportant bills are referred to the Committee of the Whole to speed business on the floor with Rules that are less strict than those of the House itself
21Clerk gives Bill a number and title After a Bill is introduced, there are 12 Steps a successful bill follows:Clerk gives Bill a number and titleFirst reading: bill is entered in House Journal and Congressional RecordSpeaker refers bill to the appropriate standing committeeSubcommittee may hold hearings or take informational junketsCommittee reports billRules committee grants rule to permit floor considerationBill is placed on appropriate calendarBill receives second reading: may be debated and amendedHouse votes on amendments, motions, and full billApproved bill is engrossedBill receives third reading by title onlyFinal vote is taken