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Legislative Politics POS 4424. Today’s topics Administrative Details Intro to the topic of congressional studies. Why it’s not so easy. Who’s who in Congress.

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Presentation on theme: "Legislative Politics POS 4424. Today’s topics Administrative Details Intro to the topic of congressional studies. Why it’s not so easy. Who’s who in Congress."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legislative Politics POS 4424

2 Today’s topics Administrative Details Intro to the topic of congressional studies. Why it’s not so easy. Who’s who in Congress and what they do.

3 Administrative Details Bill Radunovich Web site:

4 Administrative Details Again, the web site: Index cards: Name address Year and major Personal details (not too personal) Favorite band/musical artist

5 Administrative Details Again, the web site: Index cards:

6 Administrative Details Again, the web site: Index cards: Are you registered to vote somewhere?

7 Administrative Details Again, the web site: Index cards: Are you registered to vote somewhere? Did you vote in the last election (2000)?

8 Administrative Details And finally.... The listserv! Subscribe! There is a link on web page with instructions on how to subscribe.

9 Legislative Politics Two possible scenarios of how Congress could work. First, if there were no political parties (as the Framers intended), members would vote for what was best for the country as a whole. There would be no factions dividing members or influencing their vote.

10 Legislative Politics That, of course, is not the case. We have political parties. They organize the government for us. This leaves us with another scenario under which Congress might operate...

11 Voting by Party Way things should work: Republican members of Congress would agree on a set of issues, and support legislation that furthers their view. Democrats would do the same thing The party in the majority would outvote the other side, and bills representing their view of the world would be passed.

12 So what about these examples? Earlier this year, George Pataki, governor of New York, and Republican, had all 119 of his line- item vetoes overridden by the New York State Legislature, including the Republican-controlled Senate.

13 Examples... In Florida, with the Republicans dominating every facet of government, special sessions were needed to: Write a state budget Address the issue of medical malpractice insurance.

14 Examples... In Washington, DC, again with Republicans controlling all elective bodies (President, House, and Senate), George Bush had to lobby Republican members of the Congress to get them to pass his tax plan.

15 Examples... This included visiting the home states of Republican Senators (notably, George Voinovich of Ohio), and holding public events to get citizens to lobby their Senator to pass the President’s plan.

16 Examples... Also in the US Congress, a bill, favored by Democrats (the minority party in both houses) and hated by almost all Republicans, that changes campaign finance laws, passes and is signed into law by a Republican president.

17 So the question is... Why? Why is it that even when one party has a majority, the members can’t all agree on what bills need to be passed, and pass them, or why can’t the leadership pass the bills that they want to pass?

18 That’s what this class should help you understand: Why members don’t behave the way they “should” and how the institution of Congress helps facilitate the goals of individual members.

19 Leaders of the Congress Who’s who on Capitol Hill

20 Speaker of the House Dennis J. Hastert R from Illinois Former wrestling coach, state legislator.

21 House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) First woman to lead a party in Congress Worked as Dem party insider for 20 years First elected to Congress in 1987

22 Majority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt (R- MO) Elected to House in Former Chief Deputy Whip Job is “corralling the votes necessary to complete the Republican agenda.”

23 Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Youngest person to ever be elected President of the Maryland State Senate (35 in 1975).

24 Whip? The term is derived from the British term "whipper in", who was the person responsible for keeping the foxhounds from leaving the pack. First used in the British House of Commons in the late eighteenth century and then in the U.S. House in 1897, when Rep. James A. Tawney (R-Minn.) was appointed whip by Speaker Thomas Reed (R-Maine) to help keep track of party Members.

25 Job of the Maj. Whip Count heads by polling Member support of legislation in order to maintain support for the Republican leadership`s position. Responsible for “building coalitions to grow the vote and for working with other party leaders to craft bills that the majority of the party can support. As such, the Whip must be in constant touch with Members, listening to their concerns, and relaying their opinions to the House Leadership.”

26 President of the Senate Vice President (of the US) Dick Cheney (R) Mostly breaks ties in Senate Hands off day-to- day management of the Senate to..

27 Senate President Pro-Tem Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) Presides over the Senate when the President of the Senate is not around (which is most of the time, these days).

28 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) Elected to Senate in 1994 Took office this year after fall of Trent Lott First physician elected to Senate since 1928.

29 Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Elected in 1986 Youngest Lieutenant Gov. in history of Nevada (30 in 1970).

30 Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Elected to Senate in 1984 Strongly against any campaign finance reform. Wife is Elaine Chao, current Secretary of Labor.


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