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Legislative Branch Chapter 5: Organization of Congress.

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Presentation on theme: "Legislative Branch Chapter 5: Organization of Congress."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legislative Branch Chapter 5: Organization of Congress

2 The most basic government function Making Laws Article I: “The first branch” Congress: our national legislature

3 Bicameral* Because... historical Britain had 2 houses a compromise Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan practical Could on each other * 2 houses

4 Terms and Sessions A __ __ __ __ lasts for two years. Terms are numbered. We are in the __ __ __ th Congress. A __ __ __ __ __ __ __ is the period of time each year when Congress does its business. 1 session + 1 session = 1 term 112 Congress is in the 1 st session of the 112 th Congress.

5 Special Sessions The __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ has the power to call special sessions. It hasn’t happened since 1948 because Congress is usually around.

6 I wanna go home! Congress can __ __ __ __ __ __ whenever they want. adjourn Prorogue: the President can adjourn Congress If they can’t agree on a date.

7 Congress House of Representatives 435 members based on population 2 year term No limits on # of terms Single member district Elected by popular vote of people in district 25 years old Citizen for 7 years Must live in the state (often in the district) Senate 100 members Gives each state equality 6 years A continuous body; 1/3 of seats up every 2 years “at large” A state-wide election* by popular vote 30 years old Citizen for 9 years Must live in the state *17 th Amendment Used to be elected by state legislators

8 Representatives Because their term is only 2 years, they are MORE concerned about the will of the people Senators BIG PICTURE Because their term is 6 years, they can focus on the BIG PICTURE –not as concerned about public opinion.

9 constituents The people who a Senator or Representative represents. Who has the larger constituency? Why? A Senator—his constituency is the whole state.

10 Election Day Tuesday After the first Monday In Novemberof even years

11 Leaders House of Representatives Speaker of the House Majority Floor Leader Minority Floor Leader Majority Whip Minority Whip Senate President of the Senate President Pro Tempore Majority Floor Leader Minority Floor Leader Majority Whip Minority Whip

12 Speaker of the House The most powerful person in Congress John Boehner ®

13 Members of Congress 435 members + 4 non-voting delegates The Job: – > Legislator (make laws) – > Committee member (each serves on at least 1) – > Servants (they serve their constituency)

14 Re ap por tion ment Reapportionment Act of 1929 House membership is set at __ __ __. Seats are reapportioned (shifted) after each __ __ __ __ __ __. Each seat represents about __ __ __, 000 people. 435Census700

15 gerrymandering To draw district lines to favor one party

16 House RULES Committee Because it has many members, the House needs __________ rules. The House _________ Committee is the “traffic cop” to make legislation move quickly. It is the most powerful committee.

17 In the Senate The Senate has _________ rules and _____________ freedom. They can talk (debate) a lot. few, much

18 Filibuster To talk a bill to death

19 Cloture to end the filibuster by a 60/100 voter


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