Presentation on theme: "To Accompany Comprehensive, Alternate, and Texas Editions American Government: Roots and Reform, 10th edition Karen O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato Pearson."— Presentation transcript:
To Accompany Comprehensive, Alternate, and Texas Editions American Government: Roots and Reform, 10th edition Karen O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato Pearson Education, 2009 Chapter 7 Congress
Roots of the Legislative Branch Great Compromise leads to bicameral legislature. Two per state in Senate, House by population. House district size determined by apportionment. House district shape determined by redistricting. Senators must be 30, serve six-year terms. Representatives must be 25, serve two-year terms.
Powers of Congress Most important power is to make law. Bill cannot become law without both branches. Also declare war, coin money, raise military. Regulate commerce, immigration, courts. Revenue bills must begin in House. Senate handles impeachment trials.
Role of Political PartiesPolitical Parties Majority party has most members. Minority party has second most members. Key role in committee system and organization.organization Party caucuses also choose policy priorities.
House of Representatives More tightly structured, governed by more rules. Party loyalty plays a more important role. Powerful Speaker of the House chosen by all members. Party caucuses pick majority and minority leaders. Whips assist party leaders.
Senate Vice president is the official presiding officer. Official chair is the president pro tempore. True leader is the majority leader. Also have whips. More informal than House.More informal than House Controlling Senate challenging, run by folkways. Importance of rules such as filibuster and cloture.
Committee System Much of the actual work gets done by committees. Standing committees are where bills are referred. Joint committees include members from both houses. Conference committees finalize bills. Select committees deal with temporary issues. Importance of House Rules Committee. Discharge petitions force bills out of committee.
Committee Membership Members serve on multiple committees at a time. Request assignments based on interest or district. Often want access to pork or earmarks. Some assignments are good for campaigning. Membership represents party division in house. Chairs have tremendous agenda-setting power. Chairs no longer chosen by seniority.
Members of Congress Professionalization after World War I. Members must please those in D.C. and in district.Members must please those in D.C. and in district Incumbency helps members to stay in office.Incumbency 95 percent of incumbents win reelection. Members more educated, white, and male than U.S.Members more educated, white, and male than U.S
Theories of Representation Trustees hear constituents and make own judgments. Delegates vote as their constituents want. Most members act as politicos. May also be influenced by race or gender.
How Members Make Decisions Party has become important in divided government. Constituent opinion, especially on important issues.Constituent opinion Colleagues and caucuses. Role of logrolling. Interest group lobbying and money. Staff and support agencies.support agencies
How a Bill Becomes a Law Stage-by-stage process offers many opportunities to fail. Parallel processes in House and Senate. Committee is first step, role of markup. Moves to floor, Senators may use hold or filibuster. Conference committee if both chambers approve. President can sign or veto.
Congress and the Executive President has become increasingly powerful. Congress, in turn, has increased oversight hearings. Also uses congressional review. War Powers Act should give Congress role in war. Congress confirms presidential appointments. Congress can impeach president.impeach
Congress and the Judiciary Courts can overturn laws if unconstitutional. Congress reviews judicial nominees. Role of senatorial courtesy. Congress also sets courts’ jurisdiction.