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Ch. 10 - Congress Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were elected to Congress… but I repeat myself. -Mark Twain.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch. 10 - Congress Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were elected to Congress… but I repeat myself. -Mark Twain."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Ch Congress Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were elected to Congress… but I repeat myself. -Mark Twain

3 Back to Chapter 1 for a sec… What kind of democracy do we live in? What kind of democracy do we live in? So the people rule, but they dont make public policy So the people rule, but they dont make public policy Who does make it? Who does make it?

4 Bicameral Congress Our Congress is bicameral, meaning it has two houses Our Congress is bicameral, meaning it has two houses The larger house, which is supposedly the common mans house, is the House of Representatives The larger house, which is supposedly the common mans house, is the House of Representatives The smaller house, which is forthe elite of America is the Senate The smaller house, which is forthe elite of America is the Senate

5 Members of the House of Representatives Official title is Representative So and So… Official title is Representative So and So… Also called congressman or congresswoman Also called congressman or congresswoman There are 435 congressmen There are 435 congressmen Congressmen are elected to a term of 2 years Congressmen are elected to a term of 2 years

6 The House of Representatives

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8 Members of the Senate Official title is Senator So and So Official title is Senator So and So There are 100 Senators (2 from each state) There are 100 Senators (2 from each state) Senators are elected to a term of 6 years Senators are elected to a term of 6 years

9 The Senate

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11 Basic Information Since you get new congressmen every 2 years, we call each 2 year period a term of Congress Since you get new congressmen every 2 years, we call each 2 year period a term of Congress The terms are numbered consecutively… the one that ended Dec was the 112 th Congress The terms are numbered consecutively… the one that ended Dec was the 112 th Congress The one that is in session now is called the 112 th Congress The one that is in session now is called the 112 th Congress

12 Basic Information A session of Congress is all the time it takes to finish their business for the year A session of Congress is all the time it takes to finish their business for the year So how many sessions are there in a term of Congress? So how many sessions are there in a term of Congress?

13 Seats in the House Seats are apportioned (given out) to each state based on population Seats are apportioned (given out) to each state based on population Every 10 years seats are reapportioned after the census, when a new count of the population is taken Every 10 years seats are reapportioned after the census, when a new count of the population is taken Ever since 1929, the number has been 435 (Reapportionment Act) Ever since 1929, the number has been 435 (Reapportionment Act)

14 Seats in the House Every state divides itself into districts based on the number of seats apportioned to the state Every state divides itself into districts based on the number of seats apportioned to the state For example, Arizona is given 8 seats based on our population. Upon the next apportionment, it will be 9… For example, Arizona is given 8 seats based on our population. Upon the next apportionment, it will be 9…

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16 What Does it Take to be in the House? 25 years old 25 years old U.S. citizen for at least 7 years U.S. citizen for at least 7 years Must live in the state you are elected in Must live in the state you are elected in I am in the house, and the things like that.

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18 1 Year from now… Mr. Toro Congress 2012 Pointing to a brighter tomorrow

19 Off-Year Elections In the election years where there is no presidential election (2002, 2006), the presidents party usually loses seats in Congress In the election years where there is no presidential election (2002, 2006), the presidents party usually loses seats in Congress That really stinks, yo.

20 Seats in the Senate There will always be 2 seats per state in the Senate There will always be 2 seats per state in the Senate 50 States = 100 Senators 50 States = 100 Senators

21 What Does it Take to be in the Senate? 30 Years Old 30 Years Old U.S. Citizen for 9 Years U.S. Citizen for 9 Years Must live in the state you are elected in Must live in the state you are elected in

22 5 Years from now… Mr. Toro Senate 2016 A Slam-Dunk for our State!

23 Foreign Perspectives Questions for President Bush from a Venezuelan Journalist Are artificial sweetners safe? Are you sure there are WMDs in Iraq? Did Anna Nicole marry for love?

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25 Comparing the House and the Senate Originally, congressmen were elected by the public, and Senators were elected by the state legislatures Originally, congressmen were elected by the public, and Senators were elected by the state legislatures Founding Fathers did not trust the public with all power Founding Fathers did not trust the public with all power 17 th Amendment has since changed Senate elections to a public vote 17 th Amendment has since changed Senate elections to a public vote

26 Comparing the House and the Senate Senators have a much longer term Senators have a much longer term Entire House is elected at once, while only 1/3 of Senate is chosen at a time Entire House is elected at once, while only 1/3 of Senate is chosen at a time House members appeal to one small district, Senators appeal to entire state House members appeal to one small district, Senators appeal to entire state

27 The Big Question?

28 Founding Fathers Intent The Founding Fathers wanted to have one house that would quickly respond to the desires of the public (House of Reps) The Founding Fathers wanted to have one house that would quickly respond to the desires of the public (House of Reps) And one house that would be moderate, and stop any crazy nonsense the House would try (Senate) And one house that would be moderate, and stop any crazy nonsense the House would try (Senate)

29 Demographics of Congress Congress is not at all demographically representative of the U.S. population Congress is not at all demographically representative of the U.S. population For example… For example…

30 Demographics of Congress U.S. U.S. Males – 49% Males – 49% Females – 51% Females – 51% Congress Congress Males – 86% Females – 14%

31 Demographics of Congress U.S. U.S. White – 75% White – 75% Black – 12% Black – 12% Hispanic – 13% Hispanic – 13% Asian – 4% Asian – 4% Native – 1% Native – 1% *Many people qualify as more than 1 race Congress Congress White – 87% Black – 7% Hispanic – 4% Asian – 1% Native – 0.6%

32 Demographics of Congress U.S. U.S. Millionaires – 0.7% Millionaires – 0.7% Non-Millionaires – 99.3% Non-Millionaires – 99.3% Congress Congress Millionaires – 29% Non-Millionaires – 71%


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