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Congress The 535.

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Presentation on theme: "Congress The 535."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congress The 535

2 Section 1: How Congress is Organized
Chapter 6 Section 1: How Congress is Organized

3 Bicameral: Two Houses


5 Requirements (From Article I of Constitution)
Representative At least 25 Resident of US for 7 years Senator At least 30 Resident of US for 9 years *Both must reside in the state

6 Congressional Terms One Term=Two Sessions (years)
January through November or December 113th Congress began January 2013 1st session=Jan Dec. 2013 2nd session=Jan Dec.2014 Joint Session: both Senate & House meet; usually happens for president’s State of the Union address

7 House of Representatives (lower house)
The number of representatives each state is allowed is based on population (from the census) Census: population count every 10 years Congressional District: areas with one representative elected from each district Constituents: people represented 435 people (7 from AL) Two-year terms

8 Gerrymandering: oddly shaped districts designed to increase voting strength for a particular group
Named for Elbridge Gerry 1812 created new voting district in Andover, Massachusetts Still happening today!



11 More Gerrymandering

12 Representative’s Relationship with Constituents
They focus on concerns of the people of their district HOR is considered closest to the people & most democratic of the two houses of Congress

13 Senate (upper house) 100 members (2 per state)
Term: 6 years (staggered): Class I: expires 2019 Class II: expires 2015 Class III: expires 2017 Staggered Terms: Approx. 1/3 of Senators are up for reelection every 2 years Reason: Ensures stability (able to continue working on time-consuming legislation)

14 Majority/Minority Party
Majority Party: political party in which more than ½ of the members of the house (HoR or Senate) belong Minority Party: other party (has less control because they have fewer people in the house) *Currently, the Republicans are the Majority Party in the HOR & Democrats are the Minority Party

15 US Senate 2011 BLUE: Democrats RED: Republicans

16 US House of Representatives 2011 BLUE: Democrats RED: Republicans



19 Major Personalities HOUSE SENATE President Speaker of the House
Joe Biden (vice president) President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D, VT) Speaker of the House John Boehner(R, OH)

20 Congressional Leadership
House of Representatives Speaker of the House: Level of Power: has more power than any other in Congress (Nominated by majority party, but wins through vote by entire House.) Responsibilities: Presides over House *Decides what bills will be debated and when “The power of the speaker of the House is the power of scheduling.” –Tip O’Neill (former speaker) Assigns bills to committees Appoints members to committees

21 Congressional Leadership
Senate President Pro Tempore: usually acts as chairperson; not as powerful as Speaker (usually the senior senator for majority party) “Pro Tempore” means for the time being because this position substitutes for the Vice President if he is unable to be there President: (Vice President) presiding officer; usually only appears for ceremonies or to break tie votes

22 Floor Leaders (in both houses)
Also called: Majority Leader/Minority Leader Main Responsibility: Make sure laws passed are in the best interest of the party Job Descriptions: Speak for party on issues Try to sway votes Push bills through to be passed

23 Whips (in both houses) Job Description: Stand in for floor leaders; keep track of where party leaders stand on certain issues & round up fellow senators/representatives for key votes

24 Senate Party Leaders Democratic Whip Majority Leader Richard Durbin
(D), Illinois Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), Nevada Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Kentucky Republican Whip John Kyl (R), Arizona

25 House Party Leaders Republican Whip Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
(R), California Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R), Virginia Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R), Ohio Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D), Maryland

26 Committees: “Little Legislatures”
Turn to PAGE 142 Senate Judiciary Committee

27 Types of Committees Standing Committee vs. Select Committee
Standing Committee: permanent committees that continue to work from session to session Select Committee: created to do a special job for a limited time # of standing committees in House: 19 # of standing committees in Senate: 16

28 Other types of committees
Joint Committee: include members of both houses Examples? Conference Committee: temporary committees that help House & Senate agree on a bill (come up with compromise)

29 Committee Assignments
Factors influencing committee assignments Made by leaders of political parties Seniority: the longer a congressman has been in office, the better assignment he/she will receive

30 Section 2: Powers of Congress
Chapter 6 Section 2: Powers of Congress

31 Powers of Congress (From Article I of Constitution)
To levy and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises. To borrow money. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with Indian tribes. To establish rules for naturalization (that is, becoming a citizen) and bankruptcy. To coin money, set its value, and punish counterfeiting. To fix the standard of weights and measures. To establish a post office and post roads. To issue patents and copyrights to inventors and authors. To create courts inferior to (that is, below) the Supreme Court.

32 To define and punish piracies, felonies on the high seas, and crimes against the law of nations. To declare war. To raise and support an army and navy and make rules for their governance. To provide for a militia (reserving to the states the right to appoint militia officers and to train the militia under congressional rule). To exercise exclusive legislative powers over the seat of government (that is, the District of Columbia) and over places purchased to be federal facilities (forts, arsenals, dockyards, and "other needful buildings.") To "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for the carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States."

33 Powers of Congress Expressed vs. Implied Example of Implied Power:
Expressed/Enumerated: Powers listed specifically in the Constitution Implied: Powers not listed in the Constitution specifically, but guaranteed by the “Elastic” or “Necessary & Proper” Clause Example of Implied Power: Section 8, Clause 18 “Elastic Clause” “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution...powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States." Ex. Law to limit air/water pollution based on power to regulate interstate commerce Ex. that was challenged by SC: Violence Against Women Act gave women right to sue attackers in federal court was declared unconstitutional in US v. Morrison, 2000

34 Selected Legislative Powers of Congress
Money Powers Levy and collect taxes Borrow money Coin, or create money Commerce Powers Regulate foreign & interstate (between states) trade Military & Foreign Powers Declare war Raise, support and regulate an army & navy Other Legislative Powers Establish laws of naturalization Establish post offices Provide for laws necessary and proper for carrying out other listed powers (necessary and proper clause)

35 Declaring War Congress has power to declare war, but President often sends troops into action without this declaration Examples: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq In 1973 Congress passed War Powers Act during Vietnam War which required approval of Congress for any overseas troop deployment longer than 90 days Afterward, Congress can issue joint resolution, an official statement from both houses, to authorize military action Example: Oct Congress used joint resolution to authorize use of troops in Iraq

36 Non-Legislative Powers of Congress (Checks Other Branches)
Oversight: oversees other agencies to make sure they carry out laws Confirmation: Senate confirms key officials appointed by president Impeachment: Remove from office Ratification: Senate must ratify all treaties Override: can override president’s veto Amendment: can propose an amendment to Constitution; can use this power to change Constitution, even if it means reversing a ruling made by Supreme Court

37 Section 3: Representing the People
Chapter 6 Section 3: Representing the People

38 Requirements (From Article I of Constitution)
Representative At least 25 Resident of US for 7 years Senator At least 30 Resident of US for 9 years Reside in the state

39 How much do they get paid?
$6.00 per diem $1,500 per annum $8.00 per diem $158,100 per annum $162,100 per annum $165,200 per annum

40 PERKS! Franking Privileges- free postage Low-cost Insurance
Use of gyms, special restaurants and medical clinic Congressional Staff (assist congressmen/women) Arrange meetings Deal with reporters & lobbyists: people hired by special groups to influence government decision makers Reelection support

41 Congressional Supports
Committee Staff (assist committees) Draft bills, gather information, organize hearings, negotiate with lobbyists, etc. Support Services Examples: Congressional Research Service, General Accounting Office, etc.

42 Three Major Roles of Congressmen
Lawmaking Casework (80,000 s/day!) Representing District/State Pork-barrel projects: projects that only benefit the congressman’s state or district

43 Section 4: How a Bill Becomes Law
Chapter 6 Section 4: How a Bill Becomes Law

44 Resolutions Formal statements expressing opinions or decisions; many don’t become laws. Joint Resolutions: may become laws if signed by the president; used to propose amendments, designate money to special purposes, correct errors in bills previously passed

45 Categories of Bills Private: dealing with people/usually people’s claims against the government Public: dealing with entire nation/general matters such as taxation, civil rights, terrorism, etc. May be debated for months and receive a lot of media coverage

46 Types of Bills Authorization-creates the program
Example: Creation of Space Program Appropriation-provides the money for the bill Example: Funds for Space Program Bottom line: Must have $!

47 Enacting Laws A law begins as a bill introduced either in the Senate or the House If the bill deals with money/taxes, it must begin in the House. This gives the House the “power of the purse.” Bills must be passed in the same format by both houses before going to the President to be passed into law

48 How a bill becomes law Go to page 160
All money bills must begin in HOUSE

49 Rep/Sen introduces (in House or Senate)
Given House or Senate bill number Referred to committee/subcommittee If passed, reported to House/Senate by committee (If in HOR, House Rules Committee sets rules for debate) Floor Debate If passed, sent to House/Senate (second house) (May be revised by Conference Committee if not passed by one or both houses) If passed by both, sent to President to sign If vetoed by President, must be passed by 2/3 majority in both houses to become a law


51 A few more terms… Riders: completely unrelated amendments tacked onto a bill sent to floor Filibuster: talking a bill to death (only possible in Senate) Cloture: ending a filibuster with 3/5 member consent

52 PRESIDENTIAL VETOING If the president doesn’t approve of the bill, he/she can reject it through a veto. TWO TYPES OF VETOES Veto: President doesn’t sign, may be passed by 2/3 of both houses (If not, bill dies.) Pocket Veto: After Congress has adjourned, president doesn’t sign…bill dies.

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