Presentation on theme: "Congress Branch of the people. Powers of Congress Duties of the House and Senate The House of Representatives -Initiates impeachment proceedings against."— Presentation transcript:
Powers of Congress Duties of the House and Senate The House of Representatives -Initiates impeachment proceedings against a President or other government official -Originates revenue bills The Senate -Votes to convict impeached President or other officials -Must approve major presidential appointments -Sole power to affirm treaties
Incumbent Incumbents have a high reelection rate However, public hold members of Congress in low regard, but they believe failures are due to not their member of congress Members of Congress use gerrymandering and franking powers to hold on to their seats
Off year elections elections held on off years (non presidential) usually have big gains for the opposing party of the White House 2002 was only election since civil war where presidents party gained seats in Congress in 2006 the Democratic party to back control of congress leading up to this years presidential election
Diversifying congress Minorities have been underrepresented in Congress Racial gerrymandering has lead to more minority members of Congress Shaw v. Reno said racial gerrymandering was unconstitutional, however that decision was modified to allow it to be a consideration in drawing districts.
Issues to Agenda Issues may reach the agenda in many ways -A highly visible event (like Sept. 11th) draws our attention to a problem -Presidential support -Congressional party leaders and committee chairs -Interest group efforts
Legislation -Intro to law Series of specific steps, but legislation can be treated differently at each step Introduction > Assigned to committee > Assigned to subcommittee > debated and discussed > House and Senate bills reconsiled > sent to a vote Passed!
Presidents action President’s action 1)Sign 2)Veto 3)Neither sign nor veto within 10 days bill becomes law 4)Neither sign nor veto within 10 days but Congress adjourns pocket veto Presidents capitalize on nationwide popular election Public expects president to be legislator-in-chief Hundreds of legislative liaison personnel work for executive branch
Expertise and seniority Congressional Expertise and Seniority Influence on committees grows formally with seniority Influence on committees grows informally with increased expertise Senior member of the majority party usually becomes the committee chair John Dingell, MI 27 Terms, Consecutive John Conyers Jr., MI 22 Terms, Consecutive Robert Byrd, Senate WV Ted Kennedy, Senate Mass
Behave! Norms of Behavior Unwritten codes of behavior to keep things running Members show respect for their colleagues Members should be willing to bargain with one another Some norms have changed in recent years
Political parties in congress Political parties Have limited, but important, resources to influence members of Congress Party leaders can help or hinder rank-and-file members in many ways Partisanship is rising whips - Assistants to the floor leaders who are also elected by their party conferences. The Majority and Minority Whips (and their assistants) are responsible for mobilizing votes within their parties on major issues. In the absence of a party floor leader, the whip often serves as acting floor leader.
Interest groups and congress Interest groups A way for constituents to influence Congress Sources of useful information Recent scandals raise concerns about conflicts of interest
Trustee or Delegate? Trustees or Delegates? Trustee: a representative who is obligated to consider the views of constituents but is not obligated to vote according to those views if he or she believes they are misguided Delegate: a legislator whose primary responsibility is to represent the majority view of his or her constituents, regardless of his or her own view