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The Legislative Branch

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1 The Legislative Branch
Chapter 10/11/12 The Legislative Branch

2 Essential 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?

3 10.1 Facts Congress is Bicameral
In the House of Representatives, States are represented according to population Each state has 2 senators Congress meets for 2 year terms, divided into two 1 year sessions The constitution provides for a bicameral congress for historical, practical and theoretical reasons The bicameral structure is a compromise set up by the framers to accommodate large and small states

4 Congressional 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 2 Adjourn- suspend until the next session Recess- short periods during a session of rest Pro-rogue- presidential ability to end a session (no one has done this)

5 Special Session March 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

6 The House of Representatives
Section 10.2 The House of Representatives

7 10.2 Facts Members of the house represent districts of roughly equal population and serve 2 year terms After each census, the 435 seats in the House are redistributed among the States to reflect changes in population Elections are held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even numbered years Members 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 represents Congressional districts can be gerrymandered to provide an advantage to the dominant party in a state’s legislature The right combination of formal and informal qualifications helps members of the House get elected

8 Gerrymander From 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

9 Section 10.3 The Senate

10 10.3 Facts The Senate includes 100 members, 2 from each State, who are elected to 2 six year terms Senators 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 elected Only 1/3 of the Senate is up for election at any one time, so the Senate is a continuous body Senators 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 leaders Senators usually have more experience, power and prestige than their colleagues in the House Senators are protected from some political pressures because they serve for a long time

11 4 Options for voting in Congress
Delegate: agents of the people who elect them Trustee: each questions they face must be decided on its merits, and speak as to if the issue is valid or not Partisans: owe their first allegiance to their political party, they vote party line Politicos: try to combine delegate/trustee/partisan roles

12 Chapter 11 Congressional Powers

13 Facts Congress has expressed, implied and inherent powers
The Constitutions spells out 27 expressed powers of congress The commerce power allows Congress to regulate trade Congress levies taxes to meet public needs and to protect domestic industry and public health and safety The 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 laws Express power meaning is found in the ways in which these powers have been carried out The commerce power is the basis for many implied powers The taxing power is vital to the functioning of gov’t

14 Chapter 12 Bill to Law

15 Chapter 12.1Facts Speaker of the House controls the agenda in the House of Representatives The vice president is the president of the Senate, but votes only to break a tie The majority and minority leaders of each house carry out the decisions of their party’s caucus Party whips act as liaisons between members and leadership Committee chairmen are usually chosen by seniority The 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.

16 Deciding how a bill becomes a law
A Bill can be introduced in either chamber Before a bill is submitted: You must build support Word it right, make sure people want to vote for it

17 12.2 Facts Standing committees decide the fate of most bills
The powerful House Rules Committee can speed, delay or even prevent House action on a bill Both houses create temporary select committees to investigate current issues Joint committees are composed of members of both houses The majority party holds the majority in each committee Conference committees resolve differences in House and Senate versions of a bill to produce a single compromise bill Most bills never make it out of committee Bills must pass both houses in identical form to go to the president

18 Congressional approval
In the House : 1. introduced 2. Committee action 3. Rules committee action 4. Floor action (if passed goes to senate) In the Senate: Introduced Committee action Floor action *****then****** Conference committee Congressional approval Presidential action

19 Chapter 12.3 Making Law: The House

20 12.3 Facts Only a member can intro a bill in either house
Bills approved by the appropriate committee and the Rules Committee are given floor consideration Measures that win house approval are sent to the Senate All bills are scheduled on the appropriate calendar Only a small fraction of bills intro’ed become laws Bills are referred to standing committees and most to subcommittees Important 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

21 Clerk 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 title First reading: bill is entered in House Journal and Congressional Record Speaker refers bill to the appropriate standing committee Subcommittee may hold hearings or take informational junkets Committee reports bill Rules committee grants rule to permit floor consideration Bill is placed on appropriate calendar Bill receives second reading: may be debated and amended House votes on amendments, motions, and full bill Approved bill is engrossed Bill receives third reading by title only Final vote is taken

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