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The Legislative Branch. A Bicameral Legislature Bicameral = Two Houses The Senate The House of Representatives Together they are the US Congress.

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Presentation on theme: "The Legislative Branch. A Bicameral Legislature Bicameral = Two Houses The Senate The House of Representatives Together they are the US Congress."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legislative Branch

2 A Bicameral Legislature Bicameral = Two Houses The Senate The House of Representatives Together they are the US Congress

3 Terms of Congress Two Year Terms Begin January 3 rd of Odd Number Years New Term Begins January 3 rd, 2013 Terms divided into two 1 year Sessions

4 The House of Representatives Currently 435 Members Two Year Terms All Representatives up for Election every Two Years.

5 The House of Representatives Represent Districts from each State Districts assigned by population Redrawn after each census Gerrymanderying!?!

6 Wisconsin Congressional Districts Paul Ryan – R District 1 Mark Pocan – D District 2 Ron Kind – D District 3 Gwen Moore – D District 4 Jim Sensenbrenner – R District 5 Tom Petrie – R District 6 Sean Duffy – R District 7 Reid Ribble – R District 8 Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin - D Ron Johnson - R

7 House Leaders Speaker of the House: Most powerful Picks Committee Leaders, Schedules Votes Next in line for Presidency after VP Majority and Minority Leaders Majority and Minority Whips

8 The Senate Currently 100 Members, 2 per State Each Senator represents his/her whole State Six Year Terms, 1/3 elected every 2 years

9 Senate Leaders Vice President = Presiding Officer Can vote in case of ties President Pro Tempore: Ceremonial Position Often the longest serving member of majority Next in line for Presidency after Speaker

10 Majority vs Minority The Party with the most members in a chamber is the Majority Party The other Party is in the Minority House 234 Republicans 201 Democrats Senate 53 Democrats 47 Republicans

11 Committees Detailed work of law making is done in committees. Standing Committees: Exist permanently, Each Committee deals with a specific area of Legislation: Agriculture, Defense Judiciary, Commerce, Education, etc Select Committees: Temporary, created to deal with specific issues, Assassinations Budget Crisis, etc Committee Chairmen have great power

12 Committees Joint Committees: Both House & Senate members, conduct business of Congress Conference Committees: Both House and Senate members. Work out differences between House & Senate versions of Bills

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14 Powers of the Legislature Expressed Powers: Article I.8, paras 1-17 Things Congress is specifically able to do Implied Powers: I.8.18, Necessary & Proper also called Elastic Clause Declare War Collect Taxes Post Office Coin Money Create Courts Etc

15 Limits on Powers Article I, Section 9: The Constitution prohibits Congress from doing certain things Prohibit Free Speech Promote a Religion Interfere with Worship Bills of Attainder Ex Post Facto Laws Favor one State over other States

16 Removing Govt Officers Two Step Process Applies to President, VP, Cabinet & Judges The House can Impeach (bring charges) Then there is a Trial with the Senate as Jury Requires a 2/3 vote to convict

17 Advise & Consent The Senate has the power to Advise and Consent on Presidential appointments and Treaties signed by the President

18 Taxing and Spending All Appropriations Bills (Taxes) must originate in the House of Representatives Appropriations Bills cover a budget for a two year period (biennum) Two Parts: An Authorization Bill creates the budget, including projects like the Space Shuttle, and how many $$ are to be spent An Appropriations Bill specifies how the $$ will be raised to pay for the budget


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