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The Organization of Congress Institutions of Government #2.

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Presentation on theme: "The Organization of Congress Institutions of Government #2."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Organization of Congress Institutions of Government #2

2 Organization of Senate by Party Vice President of the United States Symbolic “President” of the Senate. Only votes in case of tie. Vice President of the United States President Pro Tempore Called the President Pro Temp. Really only starts and ends meetings. No real power. Most senior member of the majority party President Pro Tempore Senate Majority Leader Elected by their fellow party members. Schedules Senate business, often in consultation with Minority Leader. A skilled bargainer may have influence over the outcome of Senate business as well Senate Minority Leader Elected by their fellow party members. Is the leader of the party and keeps them focused on the agenda set by the party. Senate Majority LeaderSenate Minority Leader Senate Majority Whip Elected by their fellow party members. Charged with keeping count of votes and influencing members. Senate Minority Whip Elected by their fellow party members. Charged with keeping count of votes and influencing members. Senate Majority WhipSenate Minority Whip Republican Committee on Committees Committee in charge of organizing committee assignments Democratic Steering Committee Committee in charge of organizing committee assignments

3 Current Senate Leadership

4 Organization of the House by Party Speaker of the House Elected by the majority party. Has much more control over the House than the Senate leadership has. 1)Decides who gets a chance to speak on the floor 2)Rules on motions made from the floor 3)Influences which Committee a bill is referred to 4)Influences the calendar and which bills are voted upon 5)Appoints members of special and select committees Speaker of the House House Majority Leader Elected by their fellow party members. Has less power than the same position in the Senate due to Speaker’s role House Minority Leader Elected by their fellow party members. Is the leader of the party and keeps them focused on the agenda set by the party. Takes blame for defeats in the House House Majority LeaderHouse Minority Leader House Majority Whip Elected by their fellow party members. Charged with keeping count of votes and influencing members. House Minority Whip Elected by their fellow party members. Charged with keeping count of votes and influencing members. House Majority Whip House Minority Whip Democratic Steering and Policy Committee Chaired by party leadership. In charge of setting legislative agenda and committee assignments Republican Committee on Committees Committee in charge of organizing committee assignments Republican Committee on Committees Republican Policy Committee Sets legislative agenda and schedules.

5 Current House Leadership

6 Party Voting Measured by how often legislative votes fall along “party lines.” More evident since the 1990s than the 1960s- 1980s. Now more partisan for a different reason than pre-1960s – Then it was due to the greater influence of party leaders who focused on winning elections, keeping power, and dispensing patronage – Now it is due to the ideological splits between representatives.

7 Why so divided? Congressional Districts – Since the districts are drawn to favor a political party the general elections often don’t matter – In primary elections the more ideological voters turnout to vote. In addition voters may take cues now from representatives and become more partisan

8 The Committee System Take into account all the areas the Legislative Branch must act on….. Would it be possible for a person to have the depth of knowledge to make reasonable, intelligent decisions on all of these areas? Due to this the Legislative Branch has organized itself into Committees that specialize in different areas of policy Committees are mixed between both parties, with the majority party in the Legislative body having more members per committee

9 Roles of Committees Consider Bills/Legislative Proposals – Before bills are debated by the full body, they are studied and “marked up” in committee. The committee “reports” it out to the full House or Senate for a vote. – 94% of all bills DIE in committee Conduct Investigations – They look into areas of “concern” that fall under their area of expertise (MLB Steroid Hearings) Oversight of Executive Branch – They investigate the operations and actions of Executive Branch Agencies (“Fast and Furious”, “9/11 commission”)

10 Types of Committees 1)Standing Committees: Committees that are permanent parts of Congress. 2)Select Committees: Committees assembled for a specific period of time to accomplish a specific task (Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming) 3)Joint Committees: Committees put together that consist of members of both the House and Senate * Conference Committee: A special joint committee put together to hammer out differences between bills passed by the House and the Senate

11 House CommitteeChairpersonRanking Member AgricultureFrank LucasFrank Lucas (R-OK)Collin C. PetersonCollin C. Peterson (D-MN) AppropriationsHal RogersHal Rogers (R-KY)Nita LoweyNita Lowey (D-NY) Armed ServicesBuck McKeonBuck McKeon (R-CA)Adam SmithAdam Smith (D-WA) BudgetPaul RyanPaul Ryan (R-WI)Chris Van HollenChris Van Hollen (D-MD) Education and the WorkforceJohn KlineJohn Kline (R-MN)George MillerGeorge Miller (D-CA) Energy and CommerceFred UptonFred Upton (R-MI)Henry WaxmanHenry Waxman (D-CA) EthicsMichael ConawayMichael Conaway (R-TX)Linda SánchezLinda Sánchez (D-CA) Financial ServicesJeb HensarlingJeb Hensarling (R-TX)Maxine WatersMaxine Waters (D-CA) Foreign AffairsEd RoyceEd Royce (R-CA)Eliot EngelEliot Engel (D-NY) Homeland SecurityMichael McCaulMichael McCaul (R-TX)Bennie ThompsonBennie Thompson (D-MS) House AdministrationCandice MillerCandice Miller (R-MI)Bob BradyBob Brady (D-PA) JudiciaryBob GoodlatteBob Goodlatte (R-VA)John ConyersJohn Conyers (D-MI) Natural ResourcesDoc HastingsDoc Hastings (R-WA)Peter DeFazioPeter DeFazio (D-OR)

12 House CommitteeChairpersonRanking Member Oversight and Government ReformDarrell IssaDarrell Issa (R-CA) Elijah CummingsElijah Cummings (D- MD) RulesPete SessionsPete Sessions (R-TX) Louise SlaughterLouise Slaughter (D- NY) Science, Space and TechnologyLamar SmithLamar Smith (R-TX) Eddie Bernice JohnsonEddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) Small BusinessSam GravesSam Graves (R-MO) Nydia VelazquezNydia Velazquez (D- NY) Transportation and InfrastructureBill ShusterBill Shuster (R-PA)Nick RahallNick Rahall (D-WV) Veterans' AffairsJeff MillerJeff Miller (R-FL) Michael MichaudMichael Michaud (D- ME) Ways and MeansDave CampDave Camp (R-MI)Sander LevinSander Levin (D-MI)

13 Senate Committee ChairpersonRanking Member Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry (5) Debbie Stabenow (D- MI) Thad Cochran (R-MS) Appropriations (12) Barbara Mikulski (D- MD) Richard Shelby (R-AL) Armed Services (6)Carl Levin (D-MI)Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (5)Tim Johnson (D-SD)Mike Crapo (R-ID) BudgetPatty Murray (D-WA)Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Commerce, Science, and Transportation (7)Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)John Thune (R-SD) Energy and Natural Resources (4)Ron Wyden (D-OR)Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Environment and Public Works (6)Barbara Boxer (D-CA)David Vitter (R-LA) Finance (6)Max Baucus (D-MT)Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Foreign Relations (7) Robert Menendez (D- NJ) Bob Corker (R-TN) Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (3)Tom Harkin (D-IA) Lamar Alexander (R- TN) Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (4) Tom Carper {D-DE)Tom Coburn (R-OK) Judiciary (7)Patrick Leahy (D-VT)Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Rules and AdministrationChuck Schumer (D-NY)Pat Roberts (R-KS) Small Business and EntrepreneurshipMary Landrieu (D-LA)Jim Risch (R-ID) Veterans' AffairsBernie Sanders (I-VT)Richard Burr (R-NC)

14 Committee Practices Majority party has majority of seats on the committee and names the chair Assignments – House members serve of two standing committees or one exclusive committee – Senators serve on two “major” committees and one “minor” committee Chairs are elected – Usually the most senior member is elected by the majority party but not always

15 Committee Practices Changes in Rules over time – 1970s House committee chairs are elected by secret ballot in the party caucus No House member or Senator may chair more than one committee Committee meeting open to public unless a vote was taken to close them – 1995 House gave Chairs ability to select staff members, banned proxy voting, and established term limits Senate imposed term limits and chairmen to be selected by secret ballot.

16 Organization of Staff and Specialized Offices Jobs of Congressional Staffers – Constituency Service About 1/3 of Staff Members work in the district All members have one full time district office – Legislative Functions Devising proposals Negotiating Agreements Organizing Hearings Meeting with Lobbyists – Serve as advocates for the Congress member Results of Larger staff – More legislative work in the chamber – More individualistic Congress

17 Specialized Offices Work for Congress as a whole to provide specialized knowledge – Congressional Research Service (CRS) – General Accounting Office (GAO) – Congressional Budget Office (CBO)


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