CongressCongressSenate Upper House House of Representatives Lower House President of Senate VP of USA President Pro Tempore Senior Ranking Member Of the Majority Party 435 Representatives (+6 nonvoting delegates) Elected by Population Serves for 2 years House Minority Leader Speaker of House Majority Leader 100 Senators 2 from each State Serves for 6 Years
Capitol Tidbits Site chosen in 1791; British burned in 1814 300 feet to top of statue Freedom Statue is 19’ 6” Capitol sits on 3.5 acres; 168 acres around it are designated to the capitol Diameter of Rotunda is 95’ (whisper heard across the room) Original rule was that nothing could be higher than Freedom Statue; exception made for Washington monument
House of Representatives Must be 25 years of age (when seated, not when elected). Must have been a citizen of the United States for 7 years. Must be an inhabitant of the state from which elected. (NOTE: custom, but not the Constitution, requires that a representative live in the district that he or she represents.) Serve a two year term. https://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=P6LWHFVzjKY https://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=P6LWHFVzjKY
Senate Must be 30 years of age (when seated, not when elected). Must have been a citizen of the United States for 9 years. Must be an inhabitant of the state from which elected. Serve a six year term; 1/3 up for re-election at a time https://www.yo utube.com/watc h?v=Xj4aMGlf 6bA https://www.yo utube.com/watc h?v=Xj4aMGlf 6bA
Major Differences Between the Houses of Congress The House The Senate 435 members serving two-year terms Based on population Speaker refers bills to committee Committees almost always consider legislation first Rules Committee powerful; controls time of debate, admissibility of amendments Debate usually limited to one hour Non-germane amendments may not be introduced from floor Revenue bills, impeachment 100 members serving rotating six-year terms Equal number of members per state Committee consideration easily bypassed Rules Committee weak; few limits on debate or amendments Unlimited debate unless shortened by unanimous consent or by invoking cloture Non-germane amendments may be introduced (riders). Confirm nominations, ratify treaties, impeachment trials
Differences between the House and the Senate HouseSenate Larger - 435 members Smaller - 100 members Shorter term - 2 years Longer term - 6 years Four calendars (Union, House, Private, and Discharge) Two calendars (Legislative and Executive) Less procedural flexibility / more restraints More procedural flexibility / fewer restraints Stronger Leadership - power less evenly distributed Weaker Leadership - power more evenly distributed Role of Rules Committee and special rules to govern floor consideration Unanimous consent and complex unanimous consent time agreements to govern floor consideration Scheduling by Speaker and majority-party leadership, with limited consultation among members Scheduling by majority-party leadership, with broad consultation among all members Germaneness of amendments generally required Germaneness of amendments rarely required Presiding officer has considerable discretion in recognition; rulings rarely challenged Presiding officer has little discretion in recognition; rulings frequently challenged Debate always restricted Debate rarely restricted Debate-ending motions by majority vote (218 representatives) Cloture invoked by three-fifths vote (60 senators) Quorum calls permitted in connection with record votes Quorum calls permitted almost any time and used for constructive delay Narrower constituency - House District Larger constituency - entire state Elections generally less competitive Elections generally more competitive Specialists Generalists Less reliant on staff More reliant on staff Less media coverage More media coverage More partisan Less partisan Salary: 2009: $174,000 2008: $169,300 2006 and 2007: $165,200 (2005: $162,100)
Congressional Districts ● There are 435 seats in the US House of Representatives (#capped by federal law). Each US house member today represents approximately 650,000 constituents.
Determining Representatives CensusCensus Every 10 years to determine population ReapportionReapportion – Divide seats between states (Congress does this) Constitution – 1 rep per 30,000 citizens 1929 Reapportionment Act passed 1990 – 1 rep = 576,000 2009 – 1 rep = 709,000 10,280 = members in House if original numbers used
Determining Representatives CensusCensus Every 10 years to determine population ReapportionReapportion – Divide between states (Congress) RedistrictRedistrict within the states (state legislature) GerrymanderGerrymander state legislators drawing district lines based on some characteristic other than just population (can often be declared illegal) –Bans exist on discriminatory gerrymandering –Bans on misrepresentation in district
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUCnb5_ HZc0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUCnb5_ HZc0 Baker v. Carr (1962) the “equal protection clause” has been interpreted to mean that districts must be equal in size. Known as the one man, one vote ruling. Westbury v. Sanders (1964) requires that Congressional districts be “compact and contiguous”. Results: Oddly shaped districts Safe seats resulting in a more “partisan” Congress
Terms and Sessions Congressional Term for 2 yrs Session- 2 sessions Jan 3 rd – Dec., Jan - July 31 st Work day: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Working time: Noon to 5 – 6 o’clock. Recess = temporary break Special Session= Outside of regular hours Joint Session= Both House and Senate “State of the Union” Called by president
Leadership in the House of Representatives SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Selected by the majority party Job: Presiding Officer of the House Power: Decides which committee a bill goes to. John Boehner R – Ohio
Leadership in the House of Representatives SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Selected by the majority party Majority Leader Majority Leader Leads the Republican party Job: Support legislation for party and get it passed Kevin McCarthy R – CA Minority Leader Minority Leader Leads the Democratic party Job: Leads Opposition to control the majority party Nancy Pelosi D – California
Leadership in the House of Representatives SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Selected by the majority party Majority Leader Minority Leader Majority Whip Job:Assists the leader, rounds up votes, heads large group of deputy and assistant whips. Minority Whip Job: Assists the leader, rounds up votes, heads large group of deputy and assistant whips. Steve Scalise R – LA Steny Hoyer D - Maryland https://www.yo utube.com/watc h?v=Axr7apxO j9w https://www.yo utube.com/watc h?v=Axr7apxO j9w https://www. youtube.com /watch?v=r VndiPiu7_c https://www. youtube.com /watch?v=r VndiPiu7_c
Georgia’s Representation Georgia currently has 14 congressional districts. Kell’s current congressional district is the 6 th represented by: Congressman Tom Price
Georgia Delegation Jack Kingston, Sanford Bishop, Lynn Westmoreland, Hank Johnson, John Lewis, Tom Price Rob Woodall, Austin Scott, Doug Collins, Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, John Barrow, David Scott, Tom Graves
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE The Vice President of the United States Vice President Joseph Biden Job: President of the Senate Power: Breaks tie in legislation. Otherwise does not vote.
Leadership in the United States Senate PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE The Vice President of the United States Senator Orrin R - Utah PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE Selected by majority party. Usually most senior member of the Senate majority party Job: Presides over the Senate when the Vice President is absent.
Lizz – update! Leadership in the United States Senate Harry Reid D - Nevada Mitch McConnell R - Kentucky Majority Leader Majority Leader Leads the Democratic party Job: Guides legislation Minority Leader Minority Leader Leads the Republican party Job: Leads Opposition
Georgia’s Representation Senator Saxby Chambliss AND Senator Johnny Isakson
Other House & Senate Positions Clerk of House does administrative duties. Parliamentarian keeps rule on debate. Chaplain prays before debate. Sergeant at Arms keep order. Official Reporters writes every single word in meeting. Post Master sees that everything is distributed.
Congressional Expectations Loyalty to chamber Civility Seniority – the most senior members get more choice of assignments Specialization - become an expert in area Reciprocity (aka logrolling)-support for each others bill.
Theories on Congressional Representation Delegate –Follows advice & instruction of constituents Trustee –Counts on trust of constituents based on their vote of confidence Politico –Mix of what works politically (delegate sometimes, trustee sometimes)
Privileges and Penalties Congressional Immunity Freedom of Expression in Congressional Records Expel Members with 2/3 vote Codes of Ethics
Compensation and Benefits Salaries - $174,000 per year –Speaker $212,100 Leaders $183,500 Some outside income allowed Fringe Benefits (Perks) Offices Expense Accounts Stationary and Postage (Franking privilege)
Compensation and Benefits Computer service TV and radio broadcast Travel expense Foreign Trips Pension Plan and Retirement Income. Incumbency = helps in re-election
Commerce Powers ♦Coin and set standards on money ♦Post Office ♦Copy Rights and Patents
Power of the Courts ♦Establish Federal Courts ♦Set number of Supreme Court Justices
♦Advise and Consent (approval of items) ♦Presidential Appointments (V.P., Justices, and Cabinet) ♦Senatorial courtesy: process by which presidents, when selecting district court judges, defer to the senator in whose state the vacancy occurs ♦Formal Agreements with Foreign Nations (Treaties) ♦Impeachment (Majority in House) ♦Convict and Remove Federal Officials (2/3 vote in Senate) Non Legislative Powers
♦Admit New States to the Union ♦Amend the Constitution ♦Count Electoral Votes ♦If no majority: -the House will elect the Pres. -the Senate will elect the V.P. ♦Serve as a Gov. “Watchdog” – Congressional committees can hold hearings and investigations, call witnesses, and make recommendations. Non Legislative Congressional Powers
Legislative Powers Making a bill into law…. Watch “I’m Just a Bill”… –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFroMQlK iaghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFroMQlK iag The parody… –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhXxvT9 iakhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhXxvT9 iak –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf2q66G3l mMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf2q66G3l mM See other power point…
Committee Chairpersons They decide…. –When their committees will meet –Which bills they will consider –Whether they will hold public hearings –What witnesses to call Seniority Rule –Unwritten custom, most important posts are awarded according to length of service. –Criticisms of Seniority Rule – what do you think? –Defenders of Seniority Rule – ditto?
Standing Committees Permanent groups to which all similar bills are sent. 19 in the House, 17 in the Senate –House members can only serve on one, and Senate members can serve on two. The Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate is responsible for assigning bills to the appropriate standing committees.
The House Rules Committee The “Traffic Cop” in the House. This committee manages the flow of bills for action by the full House by scheduling their consideration. Why is there not one in the Senate? –Who does it then?
Select Committees Special groups set up for specific purposes and for a limited period –Members are appointed by the Speaker or the president of the Senate. Usually formed to conduct especially important investigations, –Ex: The Senate Watergate Committee of 1973.
Joint Committees Composed of members from both houses. –Appropriations, Budget, Judiciary, Small Business, Veteran’s Affairs. Usually permanent groups that serve on a regular basis. –So, joint committees are usually standing.
Conference Committees Before a bill is sent to the President, it must be passed in identical form by each house. –Do you think they’ll pass the exact same bill each time verbatim??? Conference Committees are created to iron out the differences on the bills. Must produce a compromise bill both houses will accept.
The Legislative Process Impact of Bicameralism ● House ● Speaker of the House ● Rules Committee ● Majority/minority leaders ● Whip ● Rules Committee ● Ways and Means ● Open/Closed Rule ● Senate ● Majority/minority Leaders ● President Pro Tempore ● Whip ● Filibuster ● Rider (aka Pork Barrel)
Fewer Moderates in House http://www.c bsnews.com /video/watch /?id=739350 0n&tag=mnc ol;lst;2 http://www.c bsnews.com /video/watch /?id=739350 0n&tag=mnc ol;lst;2 Eric Cantor Eric Cantor House Maj. Leader House Maj. Leader
Pork Barrel Projects – the “bridge to nowhere” ● This bridge in Alaska was paid for via an earmark. ● Why does this anger Americans? ● Why do Senators use this method of securing funding?
The Healthcare Bill of 2009 Key Terms Health insurance – a private plan that individuals/businesses pay into that guarantees medical care. Medicare- a government run health insurance plan for the retired/elderly. Medicaid- A government run health insurance program for the poor/disabled (paid to states in the form of a block grant. single payer system- Health insurance provided by the government – this is not used in the United States but is used in many developed countries.
What problems with health care prompted Congress/President to act? ● Uninsured in USA = 40+ million. ● Medicaid covers the poor, many who work are too rich to qualify for Medicaid but their jobs don’t provide insurance. ● Rising health care costs. ● Bankruptcies. ● No law to prevent an insurance company from dropping a client. ● No law to prevent an insurance company from denying an individual coverage based on a “preexisting condition”.
Problems with health care in U.S.A. A comparison of health Spending as a percentage of GDP.
Let’s learn about the new law & how it passed. ● President Obama outlined his goals before a joint session of Congress in Sept. 2009. ● His plan was proposed to a Democratic controlled Congress. ● Clinton had proposed a single payer system to a Democratic Congress in 92 but the plan failed.
Let’s learn about the new law & how it passed. Obamacare links on YouTube Part 1: President’s Speech/news clips http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2U18 4wRN6Pw Part 2: House Debate/news clips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ljfkgKzYL4&feature=relmfu Part 3: Senate Debate/news clips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyxdofZjHcw&feature=relmfu
Health Care Bill chronology ● House passes Bill / Senate passes Bill with 60 votes ● Bill goes to conference committee ● Senator Brown (R) is elected to fill Sen Kennedy’s place. Senate has lost it’s filibuster proof majority as Brown promises to vote against the health care bill ● House votes on Senate version of the bill (not the bill that comes out of the conference committee. This bill is not as strong on forbidding abortion and has no public option) ● Obama/Pelosi lobby progressive caucus to vote in favor of Senate bill, Obama promises blue dog democrats to sign executive order forbidding abortion ● House passes Senate version of bill, passes changes to bill via “reconciliation” which only require 51 votes
House & Senate Versions of the Bill House Version ● Expands Medicaid ● Insurance Mandate ● New rules for insurance ● Strict Language banning abortion funding ● Public option Insurance Program Senate Version ● Expands Medicaid ● Insurance Mandate ● New rules for insurance
The Health Care Bill that passed ● Extends coverage to 96% of Americans by 2014 ● Increase in taxes on families making $250,000/yr ● Requires more employers to provide health ins. ● Raises eligibility for Medicaid/provides subsidies to buy insurance for low income ● Mandates middle income purchase Health Insurance ● Establishes state run insurance exchange program (which can not cover abortion) ● Bans discrimination based on preexisting conditions/forbids dropping the sick ● Kids can stay on parents health insurance until age 26
How would you vote? Attacks from the right: http://graney.topcities.com/10healthrally.htm Attacks from the left: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full- episodes/wed-october-27-2010-barack- obama ● If your answer is yes, would you change your mind if you were representing a conservative district with many families making over $250,00/year? Or a district with many residents who would be subjected to the insurance mandate?
Affordable Health Care for America Act National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012) Attorneys General argued congress exceeded its power under the Commerce Clause when enacting the insurance mandate ● Obama administration argued the bill falls within the scope of federal power due to the necessary and proper clause and the power to tax. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organiz ations/s/supreme_court/affordable_care_act/index.html