Ch 9 The Congress

The founders of the American republic believed that most of the power that would be exercised by a national government should be in the hands ofthe legislature
The principal and most obvious function of any legislature islawmaking.
A representative who is performing the role of a trustee isrepresenting the broad interests of the entire society.
Casework isconstituent service.
Oversight is the process by which Congressfollows up on the laws it has enacted.
The enumerated powers of Congress are powersexpressly given to that body in the Constitution.
One major difference between the House and Senate is the total number of members, a difference that has meanta greater number of formal rules are needed to govern activity in the House.
A filibuster isan attempt to prevent the passage of a bill through the use of unlimited debate
The concept of cloture refers toa process that attempts to limit debate on a bill in the Senate.
Most major-party candidates for Congress are placed on the general-election ballot as the result ofa direct primary
In mid-term congressional elections, those held between presidential contests,voter turnout falls sharply.
Reapportionment isthe allocation of seats in the House to each state after each census.
Redistricting isthe redrawing of district boundaries within each state to ensure equal district populations.
Gerrymandering isthe drawing of legislative district boundary lines for the purpose of disenfranchising a group in society
Members of Congress are granted generous franking privileges thatpermit them to mail letters to their constituents without charge.
The “speech or debate” clause in Article I, Section 6, of the Constitution means that a member of Congressis normally immune from libel or slander charges if the speech is connected with official duties.
The most important committees in Congress are ________ committees, permanent bodies that possess an expertise resulting from their jurisdiction over certain policy areas.standing
Most of the actual work of legislating isperformed by the committees and subcommittees within Congress.
In the House of Representatives, the discharge petition is used toforce a bill out of committee so that the entire House can vote on it.
The seniority system provides thatthe committee member of the majority party with the longest continuous service normally becomes the committee chairperson.
The foremost power holder in the House of Representatives is theSpeaker of the House.
The Speaker of the Houseis the leader of the majority party.
An important function of the House majority leader is toact as spokesperson for the majority party in the House.
The whips assist the party leaders bypassing information to and from members of Congress in accordance with the desires of the leadership of the party.
The president of the Senate isthe vice-president of the United States.
The real leadership power in the Senate rests in the hands of theSenate majority leader.
Most people who study the decision-making process in Congress agree that the single best predictor for how a member will vote is his or herparty affiliation
The conservative coalitionis virtually extinct today because most southern conservative congresspersons are now Republican.
“Money bills”must originate in the House.
The job of a conference committee isto reconcile House and Senate versions of a bill.
Common tactics of winning reelection include all of the following exceptchanging one’s political party.
The largest occupational group among members of Congress islawyers
When Senate Democrats made use of the filibuster to block some of President Bush’s nominees to the federal courts in 2005, Senate Republicans responded by threatening “the nuclear option,” in whichthe Senate rules would be revised to prohibit filibusters against judicial nominees.
The people that a legislator spends considerable time and effort serving are calledconstituents.
The actual passage of a bill setting the funds that an agency can spend is called a(n)appropriation.
The logic of separate constituencies and separate interests underlying the bicameral Congress was reinforced bydifferences in length of tenure.
One major problem with the role of the instructed delegate is thatthe constituents may not actually have well-formed views on many issues.
A representative who is performing the role of an instructed delegate isprimarily representing the wishes of his or her constituents.