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Congress The 535. Chapter 6 Section 1: How Congress is Organized.

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Presentation on theme: "Congress The 535. Chapter 6 Section 1: How Congress is Organized."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congress The 535

2 Chapter 6 Section 1: How Congress is Organized

3 Bicameral: Two Houses

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

6 Congressional Terms One Term=Two Sessions (years) One Term=Two Sessions (years) –January through November or December –113 th Congress began January 2013 1 st session=Jan. 2013-Dec. 2013 1 st session=Jan. 2013-Dec. 2013 2 nd session=Jan. 2014-Dec.2014 2 nd session=Jan. 2014-Dec.2014 Joint Session: both Senate & House meet; usually happens for presidents 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) The number of representatives each state is allowed is based on population (from the census) Census: population count every 10 years Census: population count every 10 years Congressional District: areas with one representative elected from each district Congressional District: areas with one representative elected from each district Constituents: people represented Constituents: people represented 435 people (7 from AL) 435 people (7 from AL) Two-year terms Two-year terms

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

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11 More Gerrymandering

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

13 Senate (upper house) 100 members (2 per state) 100 members (2 per state) Term: 6 years (staggered): 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 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) 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 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) 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

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

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 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 ONeill (former speaker) Assigns bills to committees Assigns bills to committees Appoints members 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: 1. Speak for party on issues 2. Try to sway votes 3. 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 Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), Nevada Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), Kentucky Democratic Whip Richard Durbin (D), Illinois Republican Whip John Kyl (R), Arizona

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

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

27 Types of Committees Standing Committee vs. Select Committee 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 Joint Committee: include members of both houses –Examples? Conference Committee: temporary committees that help House & Senate agree on a bill (come up with compromise) Conference Committee: temporary committees that help House & Senate agree on a bill (come up with compromise)

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

30 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 levy and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises. To borrow money. To borrow money. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states, and with Indian tribes. 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 establish rules for naturalization (that is, becoming a citizen) and bankruptcy. To coin money, set its value, and punish counterfeiting. To coin money, set its value, and punish counterfeiting. To fix the standard of weights and measures. To fix the standard of weights and measures. To establish a post office and post roads. To establish a post office and post roads. To issue patents and copyrights to inventors and authors. To issue patents and copyrights to inventors and authors. To create courts inferior to (that is, below) the Supreme Court. 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 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 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 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 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." 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 Expressed vs. Implied –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: 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 Money Powers –Levy and collect taxes –Borrow money –Coin, or create money Commerce Powers Commerce Powers –Regulate foreign & interstate (between states) trade Military & Foreign Powers Military & Foreign Powers –Declare war –Raise, support and regulate an army & navy Other Legislative Powers 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 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 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 Afterward, Congress can issue joint resolution, an official statement from both houses, to authorize military action –Example: Oct. 2002 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 Oversight: oversees other agencies to make sure they carry out laws Confirmation: Senate confirms key officials appointed by president Confirmation: Senate confirms key officials appointed by president Impeachment: Remove from office Impeachment: Remove from office Ratification: Senate must ratify all treaties Ratification: Senate must ratify all treaties Override: can override presidents veto Override: can override presidents 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 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 Chapter 6 Section 3: Representing the People

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

39 How much do they get paid? 1789-1815 -- $6.00 per diem 1789-1815 -- $6.00 per diem 1815-1817 -- $1,500 per annum 1815-1817 -- $1,500 per annum 1817-1855 -- $8.00 per diem 1817-1855 -- $8.00 per diem 2004 -- $158,100 per annum 2004 -- $158,100 per annum 2005 -- $162,100 per annum 2005 -- $162,100 per annum 2006 -- $165,200 per annum 2006 -- $165,200 per annum

40 PERKS! Franking Privileges- free postage Franking Privileges- free postage Low-cost Insurance Low-cost Insurance Use of gyms, special restaurants and medical clinic Use of gyms, special restaurants and medical clinic Congressional Staff (assist congressmen/women) 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) Committee Staff (assist committees) –Draft bills, gather information, organize hearings, negotiate with lobbyists, etc. Support Services Support Services –Examples: Congressional Research Service, General Accounting Office, etc.

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

43 Chapter 6 Section 4: How a Bill Becomes Law

44 Resolutions Formal statements expressing opinions or decisions; many dont 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 peoples claims against the government Private: dealing with people/usually peoples claims against the government Public: dealing with entire nation/general matters such as taxation, civil rights, terrorism, etc. 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 Authorization-creates the program –Example: Creation of Space Program Appropriation- provides the money for the bill 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 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 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 Go to page 160 All money bills must begin in HOUSE All money bills must begin in HOUSE

49 Rep/Sen introduces (in House or Senate) Rep/Sen introduces (in House or Senate) Given House or Senate bill number Given House or Senate bill number Referred to committee/subcommittee Referred to committee/subcommittee If passed, reported to House/Senate by committee If passed, reported to House/Senate by committee –(If in HOR, House Rules Committee sets rules for debate) Floor Debate Floor Debate If passed, sent to House/Senate (second house) 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 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 If vetoed by President, must be passed by 2/3 majority in both houses to become a law

50 Quick Caveat! BILL MUST BE PASSED IN IDENTICAL FORM BY BOTH HOUSES!

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

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


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