A rule granted by the House Rules Committee that prohibits amendments to a particular bill during House floor action. Under a "closed rule" the House must either accept or reject the bill as recommended by the sponsoring committee.
A coalition in American politics bringing together Republicans (most of whom were conservatives ) and the minority of conservative Democrats, most of them from the South. The coalition largely controlled Congress from 1937 to 1964 and continued as a potent force until the mid-1980s, when reforms designed at strengthening the Democratic party leadership in the United States House of Representatives came to fruition. American Republicans conservatives Democrats Congress United States House of Representatives
Descriptive representation, sometimes called passive representation or symbolic representation, is the idea that candidates in democratic elections should be elected to represent ethnic and gender constituencies, as well as other minority interest groups, rather than the population at large. According to this idea, an elected body should resemble a representative sample of the voters they are meant to represent concerning outward characteristics - a constituency of 50% women and 20% blacks, for example, should have 50% female and 20% black legislators. democratic ethnic gender minority interest groups representative sample women
Requires members of the House or Senate to stand or raise their hand to be counted, the chair counts the ayes then the nays, names are not recorded. A division vote is used when the results of a voice vote are in doubt.
A process in which a voting district is broken up or the physical boundaries of a voting district are changed in order to make it easier for one political party to win future elections. The term gerrymander was coined in 1812 when a county in Massachusetts was redistricted into a salamander- like shape by Gov. Elbridge Gerry for political purposes. His last name was combined with the word salamander to get "gerrymander."
JOINT RESOLUTIONS are used to pose constitutional amendments, to fix technical errors, or to appropriate. They become public law if adopted by both the House and Senate and, where relevant, approved by the president. In terms of Constitutional amendments, they must be approved by 3/4 of the states.
An official elected by the majority party members in the House or Senate to lead them, to promote passage of the party's issue priorities, and to coordinate legislative efforts with the Minority Leader, the other chamber, and the White House. The Majority Leader also seeks unity among Members on the policy positions taken by the party, and works to put together coalitions to create voting majorities.
The creation of congressional districts in a state which are of unequal size. The Supreme Court in 1964 eliminated the practice by requiring that all districts in a state contain about the same number of people.
A meeting of a Committee held to review the text of a bill before reporting it out. Committee members offer and vote on proposed changes to the bill's language, known as amendments. Most mark-ups end with a vote to send the new version of the bill to the floor for final approval.
Minority leader An official elected by the minority party members in the House or Senate to lead them, to promote passage of the party's issue priorities, and to coordinate legislative efforts with the Minority Leader, the other chamber, and the White House. The Majority Leader also seeks unity among Members on the policy positions taken by the party, and works to put together coalitions to create voting majorities.
The theory of congressional voting behavior which assumes that members make voting decisions to please fellow members and obtain their goodwill. Such behavior is possible since constituents seldom know how their representatives vote. Members vote by following cues provided by colleagues.
It comes from the plantation practice of distributing rations of salt pork to slaves from wooden barrels. When used to describe a bill, it implies the legislation is loaded with special projects for Members of Congress to distribute to their constituents back home as an act of largesse, courtesy of the federal taxpayer.
The senator who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice Preisdent. The position is usually given to the most senior senator of the majority party.
Private bill A bill introduced on behalf of an individual citizen for a limited and unique purpose. If enacted by both the House & Senate and approved by the president, they become private, not public, law
The number of members who must be present before business may be conducted. A quorum in the House requires the presence of 218, while 100 are needed in Committee of the Whole. A quorum in the Senate requires the prescence of 51 senators. Unless challenged by a point of order, the Senate conducts daily business without a quorum present.
A Rider is an amendment attached to a bill, usually unrelated to the subject of the underlying bill. Its sponsor tries to "ride" it to passage on the strength of the original bill. Riders are permitted in the Senate and are routine. House rules ban riders unless an exception is made.
The Committee on Rules, or (more commonly) Rules Committee, is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. Rather than being responsible for a specific area of policy, as most other committees are, it is in charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. As such, it is one of the most powerful committees, and often described as "an arm of the leadership".
The practice of sending a bill to more than one congressional committee for consideration and doing so in an ordered sequence. Sometimes a date is attached to a sequential referral. This obligates the first committee designated to finish its consideration by that date or the bill will be automatically discharged and sent to the second, and subsequent committees, if named in the original referral.
Clause 1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. Clause 2. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. Clause 3. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.