By the end of today’s lesson, you should be able to: List the qualifications and terms of office for Congress. Describe the organization and function of the federal legislative branch.
Great Compromise – A Review Settled the debate over representation in Congress at the Constitutional Convention. Large states wanted 2 houses based on population (proportional representation). Small states wanted 1 house with equal representation. Created a bicameral (2 house) legislature with the House of Representatives based on population and the Senate based on equal representation.
Legislative Branch Purpose: to make laws Article I of the Constitution 2 Houses: House of Representatives & Senators Responsible to the people he or she represents (constituents) Have to balance the needs of the constituents and the entire nation
Membership Requirements for the House of Representatives At least 25 years old U.S. citizen for at least 7 years Live in the district they represent
Characteristics of the House of Representatives 435 members Based on population (proportional representation) 2 year terms Represent districts or equal number of constituents. The majority party is the Democrat party.
Membership Requirement for the U.S. Senate At least 30 years old U.S. citizen for at least 9 years Live in the state they represent
Characteristics of the U.S. Senate 100 members 2 per state (equal representation) 6 year terms Represent entire state. The Democratic Party also gained control of the Senate in the 2006 election.
Benefits of Congress Salary ~ $145,100 Free office space Free parking Free trips home Budgets for office staff and supplies Franking Privilege: right to send job-related mail without paying postage Immunity: legal protection in certain job-related situations – Keeps them from being fearful of consequences of doing their job. Can face expulsion (2/3 vote of either house) or censure (formal disapproval) for wrong doing.
Congressional Leaders Majority Leader: each house’s majority party’s floor leader Minority Leader: each house’s minority party’s floor leader Party Whip: each party has in each house; job is to keep track of how party members vote and persuade members to vote together Speaker of the House: leader in the House of Representatives Vice President if officially the President of the Senate, but only votes if there is a tie (1881) President pro Tempore: in charge of the day-to-day leadership in the Senate
Current Congressional Leaders Speaker of the House – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) President pro Tempore –Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) Vice President Joe Biden– President of the Senate
Senate Leaders Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R)
Congressional Leaders House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D) House Minority John Boehner (R) House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D) House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R)
Powers of Congress Delegated powers are outlined by the Constitution given specifically to the national government. Also, known as expressed or enumerated powers. Elastic Clause gives Congress the right to make laws that are “necessary and proper” for carrying out the listed powers (enumerated/expressed/ delegated powers). Source of implied powers. Powers of Congress are limited by the Constitution (10 th Amendment – reserved powers for the states).
Examples of Delegated Powers Legislative Powers such as collect taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, declare war. Non-legislative Powers such as impeach officials, admit new states, study reports, and approve appointments.
Powers of the House Impeach or Accuse Officials Appropriation bills (deal with money) Budget
Powers of the Senate Confirm Presidential appointments Try impeached officials (act as jury) Confirm treaties
Checks and Balances Congress checks the power of the President by approving many Presidential appointments and decisions. For example, the Senate approves treaties that the President makes. Congress checks the power of the President and the Supreme Court when the Senate does not confirm a judicial appointment. For example, when the Senate refuses to confirm an appointment of a federal judge.
1.In what 2 places can a bill be started? 2.In order to reach the President, what must the bill pass through? 3.What 3 actions can the President take on a bill sent from Congress? 1.House of Representatives or the Senate 2.Both houses of Congress 3.Veto the bill, Sign the bill into law, Allow the bill to become law without signing it
Guided Practice Answer the Chapter 8 Study Questions. We will review and correct these answers as a class.
Comprehension Check Who is a member of Congress primarily responsible to? The people he or she represents
Comprehension Check What is the most important job of Congress? Making laws
Comprehension Check Who makes up Congress? Representatives and Senators
Comprehension Check What is a requirement of ALL members of Congress? Live in the state that elects them
Comprehension Check Give some examples of powers of Congress: Regulate commerce Borrow Money Declare War Confirm Appointment of Judges
Comprehension Check What is the clause called in the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make laws that are “necessary and proper” for carrying out listed powers? The Elastic Clause
Comprehension Check Which house can impeach or accuse officials? The House of Representatives
Comprehension Check In order to reach the President, a bill must pass through where? Both houses of Congress.
Comprehension Check Fill in the blanks: __________________ focus on their district while _____________ must focus on the entire state. Representatives focus on their district while Senators must focus on the entire state.