Presentation on theme: "Congress The Roots of the Legislative Branch Colonial Assemblies Bicameral legislative bodies One popularly elected house One Crown-appointed council."— Presentation transcript:
The Roots of the Legislative Branch Colonial Assemblies Bicameral legislative bodies One popularly elected house One Crown-appointed council Served as Advisory Council To the King-appointed governors Power Limited Increasingly over taxation & spending Legislation on religious matters Regulate production of goods in colonies
The Roots of the Legislative Branch 1st Continental Congress (1774) 1st National Legislature To respond to the Coercive Acts Advised building of colonial militia Organized colonial boycott of British goods 2nd Continental Congress (1775) Prepared the colonies for war with Britain Raised a colonial army Adopted Declaration of Independence Directed the war & run a national government
The Roots of the Legislative Branch Congress Under the Articles of Confederation Unicameral legislature Each state represented by 2 to 7 delegates Each state had one vote (“ equal representation”) Congress = National government No President & National Court created Members of Congress sent by state legislatures Limited Powers Maintaining an army and navy Supervising trade with Indians Coining money
The Roots of the Legislative Branch Limitations of Congress under the Articles Weak national government vs states Missing link btwn people & nat’l government Low standing in international affairs Foreign relations conducted by states Foreign trade regulated by states individually Financially incapacitated No taxation power Reliance on state for financial resources
Congress & Constitution (1789) Constitutional convention of 1787 Structure of Congress Unicameral or Bicameral New Jersey Plan “equal representation” One state, one vote Virginia Plan “proportionate representation” # of seats proportional to population
Congress & Constitution (1789) Constitutional convention of 1787 Unicameral or Bicameral Great Compromise Bicameral Congress Proportional representation (House) Equal representation (Senate)
Congress & Constitution (1789) Sources of Power: How Should Congress Be Elected? Lower house: popularly elected Upper house: sent by state legislatures Powers of Congress Does Congress elect President? No, Electoral College does Yes, when no candidate receives a majority votes in the College
Congress & Constitution (1789) Powers of Congress “Power of the Purse” Appropriation of money Authorization of borrowing taxation Regulatory Power Regulation of currency Punishment of counterfeiting Regulation of inter-state & int’l trade
Congress & Constitution (1789) Powers of Congress Law-making Power Establishing rules of naturalization Making patent & copy-right laws Making bankruptcy laws Making amendments to Constitution War-making & Military Power War declaration Raising & supporting armed forces Providing for militia
Congress & Constitution (1789) Powers of Congress Power of Personnel Appointment Confirmation of executive appointments Secretary of State US ambassador to the UN Confirmation of federal judge nomination Federal court judges US Supreme Court justices Power of Impeachment Bringing impeachment charges (House) Trying impeachments (Senate)
Congress & Constitution (1789) Powers of Congress Other Powers Establishing post office & post roads Fixing weights and measures Providing for the government of D.C. Admitting new states Establishing lower federal courts
Senate vs. the House Size 435 members in the House (since 1911) 106 members in 1791 representing 3.5 million residents 100 Senators in the Senate Qualifications House 25 years of age Citizenship for at least 7 years Residency in district: 1 year Term of service: 2 years 1 member per 550,000 people How often is Congressional election? How many Members face election each time?
Senate vs. House Congress & Constituency House of Representatives Closer to the voters More reflective of voter preferences More answerable to constituents Senate More remote to the voters Allows for political stability & policy continuity Less responsive to temporal changes in popular sentiments Can act as a dispassionate counter-weight to the more popular & radical House
Qualifications Senate 30 years of age 9 years of citizenship Residency requirement in state: 1 year Term: 6 years 2 seats per state in Senate How often is Senatorial election? How many Senators face election each time? Senate vs. House
Legislative role differences Senate More deliberative Why? Less structured House of Representatives More centralized & organized Why? More routine & structured Senate vs. House
Does Congress mirror the American society? In religious belief ( ) Protestant 341 Catholics149 Jewish37 Mormon16 Policy implications Abortion Same sex marriage Congress vs. US Society
Minorities in Congress Women
Congress vs. US Society Minorities in Congress Race
Congress vs. US Society Professional background
A typical member of Congress Middle-aged Male White Lawyer Whose father is of the professional or managerial class Native born or from northwestern or central Europe, Canada Congress vs. US Society
2000 Senatorial Race of New York To run for Congress…
Three success factors #1: Who the person to run Candidate characteristics have an edge over others A record of prior public service National name recognition Hillary Clinton versus Rep. Rick Lazzio Fund-raising capability To run for Congress…
Why members of Congress easily win re- election?
To run for Congress… #2: Incumbency Advantages Visibility Advertise thru contacts with constituents Stay visible thru trips to home districts
#2: Incumbency Advantages Visibility Campaign contributions Donations go to those in office Donations to challengers offend incumbents Credit claiming thru services to individuals & district Casework Attend to voter concerns, requests and problems Help cut thru bureaucratic red tape to get what one believes he has a right to get Pork barrel List of federal projects, grants & contracts Help obtain or make known such projects to district To run for Congress…
#2: Incumbency Advantages Visibility Campaign contributions Credit claiming thru services to individuals & district Incumbent resources Institutional connections and access to channels of communications “franking privilege” (free use of the US mails) Tax-funded travel allowance to stay visible in one’s own district Incumbents scaring challengers away *calls for “term limits” aim to eliminate incumbency advantage To run for Congress…
Congressional Districts District 23 (Texas) and District 3 (Florida in ’92 and ’96) To run for Congress…
#3: Redistricting Congressional districts redrawn every 10 years To avoid under- or over-representation Re-drawing districts is highly political Can create open seats Can pit incumbents of the same district against one another, ensuring one of them to lose Can create advantage for one Party Putting people of the same party in one district Or separating them into two or more districts. To run for Congress…
Cost to Get Elected Congressional elections are getting more costly Jon Corzine (NJ-D), $63 million own money on Senate race $928 million spent on Congressional election Incumbents outspend their opponents E.g., $7.5 million spent by Newt Gingrich’s reelection in 1998 Candidates of major states spend more $85 million attracted in Hillary-Lassio race, 2000 Cost of Congressional Race…
Cost to Get Elected Spending on House race Winners: $800,000 Losers: at least $300,000 Spending on Senate race Winners: $7 million up to $40 million or more Rising Cost Senate Average winner spent $5,227,761 $7,266,576 Average loser spent $2,839,813 $3,864,638 Most expensive campaign $27,159,681 $63,000,000 (Jon Corzine, D-NJ) House Average winner spent $650,428 $840,300 Average loser spent $210,614 $307,121 Most expensive campaign $7,578,716 $6,900,000 (James E. Humphrey, D- WV)
Cost of Congressional Race… Rising Cost
Congress not only represents, it also legislates. Internal complexity makes it hard to conduct business without organization. Congress is organized around: Political parties A committee system Parliamentary rules of the House & Senate And others… Organization of Congress
Political Parties House leader election every two years Majority party leader = House Speaker Every party has a Committee on Committees ( Democrats call theirs: the Steering & Policy Committee ) Assign new legislators to committees Transfer incumbents to new committees on request Majority & minority leaders jointly control Senate calendars (agenda) Organization of Congress
Party leaders & legislative agenda Leaders are enthusiastic for agenda To create consensus within party (when Congress not controlled by President’s party)
Committee System Standing Committees Important policy-making bodies Existing from Congress to Congress Paralleling executive agencies Foreign Affairs Committee - State Department Intelligence Committee – CIA & others Having power to report legislation Organization of Congress
Select Committee Temporary committees No power to report legislation Set up to handle specific issues that fall btwn the jurisdiction of existing committees A special committee for investigating the Watergate scandal (1973) Organization of Congress
Joint Committee With members from both parties Permanent No power to report legislation Four types of joint committees Economic Taxation Library printing Organization of Congress
Conference Committee Temporary Members appointed by Speaker & Senate presiding officer For reconciling any differences on legislation once it has been passed by House & Senate The Committee System
A number of staff members for every legislator Staff members ( 7,216 in House alone, 1999 ): Handle constituency requests Take care of legislative details Formulate & draft proposals Organize hearing, deal with administrative agencies, reporters and lobbyists… The Staff System
What is a caucus? Informal group or committee composed of Senators or Representatives who share opinions, interests or social characteristics. Ideological causes Liberal Democratic Study Group Issue-oriented caucuses Travel & Tourism Caucuses Congressional Friends of Animals Common background caucuses The Congressional Black Caucus The caucuses
What is a caucus? Objectives of the Caucuses To advance interests of the groups they represent by promoting legislation, encouraging Congress to hold hearing, and pressing administrative agencies for favorable treatment The caucuses
How a Bill Becomes Law Some facts: For a bill to become law, there are many routine hurdles It is easier for opponents to kill a bill than to pass it The law-making process is highly political
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 1. Introducing legislation Who can introduce legislative proposals? Members of Congress Executive branch Interest groups Constituents
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 2. Assignment to Committee Given a number in House preceded by “H. R.” and by “S” in Senate Bill referred to a committee Most bills assigned to the appropriate committees Complex bills referred to several committees Controversial bills are sometimes handled by temporary or ad hoc committees set up for that purpose
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 2. Assignment to Committee Often, nothing happens to the bills in committee. Neglect leads to death of many bills Bills to be acted on are often referred to the appropriate sub-committees.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 3. Hearing Once the sub-committee or full committee decides to act, hearings are held participated by: Executive agency representatives Academia Interest groups Other interested persons In a typical two-year Congress Senate: 1200 hearings House: 2300 hearings
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 4. Reporting a Bill When a sub-committee decides to act on a bill, it drafts it line by line It reports it to the full committee The full committee accepts, rejects or amends the bill.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 5. Schedule Debate When a committee agrees to submit a bill to the two houses, it is put on the House & Senate calendar, a list bills for action Each house has different calendars for different bills In House, non-controversial bills are put on the Consent Calendar or Private Calendar to be passed without debate
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 5. Schedule Debate Each house has different calendars for different bills Controversial or important bills are placed on the Union Calendar or house Calendar. Rules & procedures (length of debate) are requested from the Rules Committee. Define the following: filibuster, cloture, open rule, closed rule.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 6. Debate & Amendment Opponents & proponents have equal debate time Relevant amendments, if allowed, can be added Floor debate seldom change views of others In Senate, debate can last long time In Senate, filibuster can be used Senators can propose amendments irrelevant to the bill.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 7. The Vote How do members vote? What impact their voting behavior? Personal views Opinions of the constituents Advice of knowledgeable & trusted colleagues Occasionally, President can win over wavering members of their Party to stick with the team or by cutting deals with pivotal members. It is important for members to cast an explainable vote, one that is defendable in public when challenged.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 7. The Vote How do members vote? What impact their voting behavior? It is important for members to cast an explainable vote, one that is defendable in public when challenged. Not every vote has to please the constituents. But, too many “bad” votes are costly and show distance with one’s folks at home.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 8. In Conference Committee Once passed, a bill is sent to the other chamber for consideration If the 2nd chamber passes the bill, it is then sent to the White House for action. But, controversial bills need to go to a Conference Committee to reconcile the differences in the two versions of the bills After Conference, details of the bill are reported back to each chamber before sending to the President.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 7. To the President Approve the bill into law Ignore it, with the result it becomes law in 10 days (not including weekend & when Congress is still in session) Veto it (& facing override in Congress) Pocket veto it (if Congress adjourns before the 10 days are up) When President vetoes a bill, he usually explains why he does so.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 7. Congressional Override of Veto A two-thirds majority is required in each chamber to override the Presidential veto
There are two major forces impacting Congressional law-making External influences Constituency Interest groups Internal/governmental influences Party leadership Congressional colleagues President/executive branch Influences on Law-making
Influence from the Constituency Members of Congress comply with views of constituents due to re-election need They voluntarily anticipate or find out constituents’ positions 1998, 31 House democrats crossed the party line and voted in favor of an impeachment inquiry (e.g., Congressman Gary Condit) Influences on Law-making
Mobilize followers in a member’s congressional districts “Astroturf lobbying” Provide information Influences from Interest Groups
Party leaders in Congress have influence over members Party organizations have resources: Leadership PACs PACs (1) raise funds and then (2) distribute to members for running for election PACs enhance party power PACs create bond between leaders & members who receive money Committee Assignments Access to Floor The whip system communication network, with info on member intentions in voting Logrolling Influences from Party Org
Since 1940s, President submitted yearly legislative proposals to Congress Since mid-1950s, Congress has looked to the President for legislative proposals Influences from the President