Presentation on theme: "The Organization of Congress Congressional Membership."— Presentation transcript:
The Organization of Congress Congressional Membership
113 th U.S. Congress Jan. 3, 2013 – Jan Each term of Congress has 2 sessions (years) Bicameral
House of Representatives 435 members voting members 25 years of age At least 7 years a citizen Resident of the state 2 year term (no limit) Senate 100 members 30 years of age At least 9 years a citizen Resident of the state 6 year term (no limit)
House of Representatives Each state has a minimum of 1 elected Representative Additional seats for a state is based upon apportionment 1 seat= 711,000 in population on average across the nation OHIO HAS 16 SEATS Senate Each state has 2 elected Senators Each Senator represents the whole state in its entirety. Jim Renacci (OH 16 th R) Rob Portman (R)Sherrod Brown (D)
Non-voting members in HR Puerto Rico Puerto Rico District of Columbia – 1970 District of Columbia – 1970 Guam – 1972 Guam – 1972 U.S. Virgin Islands – 1972 U.S. Virgin Islands – 1972 American Samoan Islands – 1978 American Samoan Islands – 1978 Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands
House of Representatives Directly elected by popular vote All seats elected at the same time Special duties include: – Initiates all revenue bills $$$ – Charges for impeachment – Selects President if there is no majority winner or a tie in the electoral vote.
Senate Senate Originally selected by state legislatures; changed with 17 th amendment- direct election by popular vote (1913) 33% or 34% of seats elected every 2 yrs (staggered terms) Special duties include: – Ratifies treaties and Presidential appointments – Votes for removal of office in impeachment cases – Selects the Veep if there is no majority winner or a tie in the electoral vote.
Congressional Salaries $174,000 Current salary is $174,000 honoraria $$ No honoraria $$ allowed to be collected 27 th amendment after 27 th amendment added in 1992 prohibits a sitting Congress from giving itself an immediate pay raise. Any increase in salary will take effect after an intervening election.
Websites Members of Congress
Characteristics of Congress voting 535 voting members Occupations- lawyers, public service/politics, business, banking, education Typically white, middle-aged males Average age is over 50 Slowly beginning to reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of the nation (descriptive representation). Article from Ch 11 Packet…
Leadership of Congress House Senate *Speaker*Vice President *Majority Leader*Pres. Pro Tempore *Minority Leader *Majority Leader *Majority Whip*Minority Leader *Minority Whip*Majority Whip *Minority Whip
House of Representatives Presiding Officer is the Speaker of the House Selected by majority party members of HR & is after the VP in line of succession to the presidency Rep. John Boehner (R) OH Rep. John Boehner (R) OH Senate Presiding Officer is the VP (when in attendance). VP can only vote to break a tie! President Pro Tempore is the presiding officer when VP is absent & is selected by members of the Senate Pro Temp is after the Speaker in the succession to the presidency VP Joe Biden (D) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Speaker of the House Can influence proceedings by deciding which members to recognize first – Appoints the members of some committees – Schedules bills for action – Refers bills to the proper House committee
House Leaders Majority Leader The Speakers top assistant is the Majority Leader who helps plan the partys legislative program, steer important bills through the House, and make sure the chairpersons of the many committees finish work on bills important to the party. Eric Cantor (R) VA Majority Leader
Whips Majority/Minority Leaders have help from the Whips who serve as assistant floor leaders Whips try to know how party members intend to vote on bills, persuade them to vote as the party wishes and push for party members to be present to vote Nancy Pelosi (D) Minority Leader of HR Minority Party Leaders Minority Party Leaders exist in both chambers to organize the opposing partys positions and steer and negotiate legislation. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D) MD Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R) CA
Senate Majority Leader Minority Leader The Senate Majority Leader is responsible for guiding bills through the Senate; the Minority Leader develops the criticisms of majority party bills and tries to keep the opposition party members working together. Senate Leaders Senate Leaders Harry Reid (D) NEV Majority Leader of Senate Mitch McConnell (R) KY Minority Leader of Senate
Senate Whips Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D) IL Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R) AZ
Congressional Codes of Ethics Congress has a number of ways of dealing with the misconduct of its members… Reprimand Reprimand = a public statement of displeasure about a members behavior/action. This requires a simple majority vote (51%) by the members. Censure Censure = a written condemnation stating strong disapproval with the behavior/action. This requires a simple majority vote by the members. Expulsion Expulsion = to remove from office. This requires a 2/3rds vote by the members.
The House of Reps has only expelled 5 members; the most recent was in 2002 with James Traficant (D-OH) The Senate has expelled 15 members (14 of them removed during the Civil War because they sided with the Confederacy).
Congressional Apportionment 2012
Congressional Redistricting One congressional district for each Representative of the House. Redistricting- the process of setting up new district lines after reapportionment has been completed State legislatures are responsible for the redistricting. Can become a problem if redrawn to benefit an incumbent of one or both parties (gerrymandering).
Timeline for Redistricting Census begins April 1, 2020 President receives population counts from Census Bureau by December 31, 2020 and informs Congress (Census Bureau in Executive Branch) Congress determines which states gain/lose seats based on census counts by the first week of January 2021 The House of Reps informs the states by the end of January 2021 State Legislatures receive Census Bureau info by April 1, 2021 States redistrict in time for the November 2022 elections November 2022 all seats of the House of Representatives are on the ballot January 2023 each district per state sends their Reps to D.C. to begin the new term of Congress
Census 2010: What is reapportionment? - USATODAY.com data/
Gerrymandering State legislatures have abused their power when they divide the state into districts unfairly Gerrymandering!! Unethical and illegal! The political party controlling the state government draws the district boundaries to gain an advantage Gerry-Meander 1812 political cartoon
2 Ways Gerrymandering Can Occur The essence of a partisan gerrymander is manipulating district lines around a set of voters that will elect your party's candidate. The two tactics used in gerrymandering are "cracking" and "packing. Cracking: Cracking: Spreading like-minded voters apart across multiple districts to dilute their voting power in each. This denies the group representation in multiple districts. Packing: Concentrating like-minded voters together in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts. This gives the group representation in a single district while denying them representation across districts Packing: Concentrating like-minded voters together in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts. This gives the group representation in a single district while denying them representation across districts.
Gerrymandering Cracking Spreading like-minded voters apart across multiple districts to dilute their voting power in each Packing Concentrating like-minded voters together in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts
The rabbit on a skateboard district…. Drawn in Illinois 2011 Is it a contiguous and compact district????
Supreme Court Cases Baker v. Carr (1962) – US Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can rule on disputes over the drawing of district boundaries (it is not just the states power!) Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) – Ruled that the Constitution intended that a vote in one district should be worth just as much as a vote in another district (one person, one vote) – Malapportionment is not democratic 2012 maps = 711,000 people per district please!!!
Racial Gerrymandering The concept of favoring descriptive representation was evident in a series of cases ruled upon by SCOTUS to allow for some racial districting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was amended in 1982 by Congress to encourage the states to draw districts that concentrated minorities together for a better chance to win seats. Shaw v. Reno (1993) says states can take race into account… as long as it was not the dominant and controlling factor.
Reelection to Congress Since 1950 more than 90% of all incumbents in the House won reelection. Senate elections have been more competitive but still have high reelection rates In some elections, many seats go unchallenged because opponents know that they would have little or no chance of winning. Ralph Regula had 18 terms!!
Incumbency Effect Incumbents remain protected by the redistricting process; gerrymandering may protect them or the dominant party. Name recognition, largely through media exposure, contributes to voters familiarity with the incumbent. Business mailings using the franking privilege also helps. Casework for constituents also provides for electoral advantage for the incumbent Incumbents have an advantage with PACs and interest groups who raise campaign funds for them because they are familiar with what the incumbent supports
All members of Congress live in two worlds… In Washington, D.C. they spend time dealing with the great issues of national concern. But they also spend much of their time traveling back to their district or state, where they meet with constituents and deal with local concerns.