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Homework: Assignment 4 for tomorrow

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1 Homework: Assignment 4 for tomorrow
Consider: Where are “power centers” in Congress? Homework: Assignment 4 for tomorrow

2 Congressional Organization:
Leadership, Committees and Caucuses Chapter 6 Unit 4: AP Government and Politics Homework for Tuesday: Assignment 4

3 The Organization of Congress
Organization is closely tied to parties; Basic division – majority vs. minority parties Not a single organization or institution, really, but a complex collection of organizations In Congress, party is just one of many elements of power Leadership, Caucuses and Committees also factor in Be able to identify key “power centers” in Congress Party leaders Committees Caucuses

4 Leadership How are the following positions influential (or not so much)? Speaker of the House House is more rule-oriented, gives Speaker more power than counterpart in Senate Elected by whole house; but really by majority Great influence on legislation; power has changed over US history Next in line after VP for the presidency Minority leader, whips Majority Leader of the Senate Less formal, fewer members = less power for leadership Harder to “whip” President of the Senate (VP, or Pro Tempore) Contrast with Speaker; how/why are they different?


6 Committees Why are standing committees such a significant source of power in Congress? Other types of committees? Select, joint, conference, sub… Committees that choose committee assignments: Committee on Committees, Steering Committees Why are these powerful? Chairperson How is the chairperson chosen? Why is the chairperson influential? Membership Usually divided to the same ratio as party membership in the particular house 60/40 Republican in the House, 60/40 in House committees Getting on the right committee is very important for members


8 Caucuses – Cmo’s The term “congressional Member organization” refers to a group of Members who join together in pursuit of common legislative objectives and register the organization with the Committee on House Administration. In many instances, Members assign personal staff (including shared employees) under the Member’s control to assist the CMO in carrying out its legislative objectives. Any informal group of House Members who wish to use personal staff to work on behalf of an informal Member group, discuss their membership in the group in official communications, or mention their membership on their official House website must register the group with the Committee on House Administration as a CMO. There are no registration requirements in the Senate. **from the Congressional Research Service (CRS)

9 Types of caucuses Party – still the largest
Intraparty – share a similar ideology (e.g., Democratic Study Group, Blue Dogs) Personal Interest – common interest in an issue (environment, social issues, etc.) Constituency – to represent certain groups (African-Americans, women), regions or both Congressional Black Caucus; most members have been liberal; JC watts refused to join as a conservative Caucuses continue because of their ability to help members achieve personal goals of policy, representation and power.

10 What type are each of these Caucuses?
House Afterschool Caucus Tea Party caucus New Democrat Congressional caucus on Uganda Unexploded Ordinance Caucus Delaware River Basin Task Force Friends of Switzerland Caucus


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