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Congress.  Congress- “a coming together”  Parliament- “to talk”  These differences affect: -how a person becomes a member -what a person does as a.

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Presentation on theme: "Congress.  Congress- “a coming together”  Parliament- “to talk”  These differences affect: -how a person becomes a member -what a person does as a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Congress

2  Congress- “a coming together”  Parliament- “to talk”  These differences affect: -how a person becomes a member -what a person does as a member  Unlike parliament, candidates for Congress run in primaries.  Congressmen think independently for themselves.

3  $150,000 (in 2004)  “clerk-hire” allowance  Allowances for travel, computer etc.  “Franking Privilege” -mail newsletters and other document for free  Senators and Representatives w/seniority -Office budget -Legislative assistance allowance -Free to hire as many staff members as they want w/ the $

4  Congress tends to be decentralized, with each member more interested in his or her views and their voters’ views.


6  Bicameral Legislature --------- Two chamber -promotes decentralization Six Phases In House History 1. Phase One: The Powerful House 2. Phase Two: The Divided House 3. Phase Three: The Speaker Rules 4. Phase Four: The House Rules 5. Phase Five: The Member Rule 6. Phase Six: The Leadership Returns


8  Senators chosen by state legislatures --- Popular vote  Major issue is Senate development=filibuster  Filibuster-prolonged speech or series of speeches, made to delay action in a legislative assembly  There have been efforts to restrict filibusters  Who is Congress?


10  “Elastic Clause”- Grants power to pass laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers  Bicameral Legislature- a law making body made up of two chambers or parts

11  Cloture- Mechanism requiring sixty senators to vote cutting off debate (used in Filibusters)  Committee system- Members of Congress are assigned to committees to investigate problems with suggested bills


13  Conference committees- Joint committees to iron out differences between Senate and House versions of a specific piece of legislature  Standing committees- Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area

14  Joint Committees- Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses  Select committees- Congressional committees appointed or a limited time and purpose

15  Subcommittees- Specialized groups within standing committees  Committee chairs- Important influencers if the congressional agenda. Schedule hearings, appoint subcommittees

16  Discharge petitions- Petition that gives majority of the House of Representatives the authority to bring a issue to the floor in the face of a committee inaction  Majority leader- Responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments, and rounding up votes in behalf of the party’s legislative positions

17  Minority leader- The leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate  Whips- Party leader who works with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on wavers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party

18  Safe district- Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more  President pro tempore- Second-highest ranking official of the U.S.

19  Speaker of the House- Office mandated by the Constitution, chosen by majority party, has formal and informal powers and also second in line to succeed to the presidents vacancy  Filibuster- A strategy used by the Senate where opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate

20  Quorum- The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress


22  Floor action-formal session of the full senate.  House Rules Committee- Group of members from the U.S. House of Representatives who review all the bills and decide if and in what order, the bills will be presented to the House for consideration

23  House Ways and Means Committee-The H.O.R. committee that writes the tax codes,subject to the approval of congress



26  Franking privilege- The ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature or postage


28  Pork barrel Legislation- Legislation that gives benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return  Earmarks- Special spending projects that are on the behalf of individual members of congress

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