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UNITED STATES CONGRESS. The most important deliberative body in the history of the world. HISTORY. Two Chambers Senate House of Representatives. HISTORY Senate. Two Senators from each State 26 Senators Now: 100 Senators

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UNITED STATES CONGRESS

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United states congress

UNITED STATESCONGRESS

  • The most important deliberative body

  • in the history of the world


History

HISTORY

  • Two Chambers

    • Senate

    • House of Representatives


History senate

HISTORYSenate

  • Two Senators from each State

    • 26 Senators

    • Now: 100 Senators

  • Originally: Senators Selected by the State Legislatures (U.S. Constitution Article 1 § 3)

  • Changed by 17th Amendment in 1913: The Senate of the United States shall be com- posed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof …


History house of representatives

HISTORYHouse of Representatives

  • Elected by Popular Vote

    • Each State gets at least one Representative

    • One additional Representative for every 30,000 people

  • Total of 65 Representatives


What would the house look like today

WHAT WOULD THE HOUSE LOOK LIKE TODAY?

  • Current US Population: 309,183,463

    • @ 1 Representative per 30,000 people:

    • Total Representatives: 10,306

  • What if we gave the least populous state one representative & used that as the ratio for representatives?

    • 1789 the least populous State was Delaware (population 30,000) which got 1 representative

    • 2010 the least populous State was Wyoming (population 568,300) which got 1 representative

    • Using the least populous State ratio, Total Representatives: 544


Why are there 435 representatives

WHY ARE THERE 435 REPRESENTATIVES?

  • Number set in 1911

    • Size of the House Chamber

  • How are Representatives Chosen

    • Apportionment formula:

    • State legislatures draw the Districts

    • Voters elect Representatives


Why doesn t congress work

WHY DOESN’T CONGRESS WORK?

  • Apportionment

  • High Cost of Campaigns

  • Low Voter Turnout


Apportionment

APPORTIONMENT

  • State Legislature Draws the Lines

  • How?

    • Gerrymandering: to manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party or class.


Apportionment1

APPORTIONMENT

  • 2012 Congressional Districts


Apportionment2

APPORTIONMENT

  • 2002 Proposed Congressional Districts


Apportionment3

APPORTIONMENT

  • 2002 Passed


Apportionment4

APPORTIONMENT

  • 1992 Congressional Districts


Apportionment5

APPORTIONMENT

  • Why do State Legislatures Gerrymander Legislative Districts?

  • Who does Gerrymandering protect?

  • Does it work?


2012 congressional election results

2012 CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION RESULTS


Rule of unintended consequences

RULE OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

  • Intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes

  • Why?

  • 1.Ignorance (It is impossible to anticipate everything, thereby leading to incomplete analysis)

  • 2.Error (Incorrect analysis of the problem or following habits that worked in the past but may not apply to the current situation)

  • 3.Immediate interest, which may override long-term interests

  • 4.Basic values may require or prohibit certain actions even if the long-term result might be unfavorable (these long-term consequences may eventually cause changes in basic values)

  • 5.Self-defeating prophecy (Fear of some consequence drives people to find solutions before the problem occurs, thus the non-occurrence of the problem is not anticipated.)


Unintended consequences of gerrymandering

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF GERRYMANDERING

  • All incumbents have “safe” seats

  • Consequently

    • Incumbents have no incentive to serve the people of their home district

    • Incumbents have no incentive to make Congress “work”

    • Congress becomes a career


High cost of campaigns

HIGH COST OF CAMPAIGNS

  • Fund raising for the next election begins the day after the last election.

  • Federal Election Commission (FEC) Rules Require All Elected Officials to File Fund Raising Disclosures Every Six Months


High cost of campaigns1

HIGH COST OF CAMPAIGNS

  • John Boehner, (R) Ohio

    • Raised $9,074,335

    • Spent $7,239,533

    • 2012 spent $86.04 / vote

  • Hank Johnson, (D) Georgia

    • Raised $168,911

    • Spent $133,222

    • 2012 spent $2.08 / vote


  • High cost of campaigns2

    HIGH COST OF CAMPAIGNS

    • 2014 Average Democrat Incumbent has

      • Raised $546,277

      • Spent $331,280

    • 2012

      • Average Incumbent Raised $578,311

      • Average Challenger Raised $117,087

    • 2012 The President spent $16.73 per vote


    Where do the go

    WHERE DO THE $ GO?

    • Filing Fees & Compiance with Federal & State Laws

    • Consultants & Paid Staff

    • Direct Mail

    • Internet

    • Radio

    • TV

    • “Volunteers”


    Where do the come from

    WHERE DO THE $ COME FROM

    • PACs

    • Individuals


    United states congress

    Top 20 PACs by Total Receipts, 2013-2014

    Totals include subsidiaries and affiliated PACs, if any.

    Based on data released by the FEC on January 06, 2014.

    Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center.


    Low voter turnout

    LOW VOTER TURNOUT


    Example dekalb county

    EXAMPLE: DEKALB COUNTY

    • Population (2010 Census)

      • 691,893 Total

      • 526,757 Over 18

    • Registered Voters

      • 383,369

      • 73% of Adults


    Example dekalb county 2008

    EXAMPLE: DEKALB COUNTY 2008

    • Primary — 84,879

      • 22% of Registered Voters

      • 16% of Adults

    • General Election — 322,517

      • 84% of Registered Voters

      • 61% of Adults


    Example dekalb county 2010

    EXAMPLE: DEKALB COUNTY 2010

    • Primary — 83,414

      • 22% of Registered Voters

      • 16% of Adults

    • General Election — 212,111

      • 55% of Registered Voters

      • 40% of Adults


    Example dekalb county 2012

    EXAMPLE: DEKALB COUNTY 2012

    • Primary — 127,316

      • 33% of Registered Voters

      • 24% of Adults

    • General Election — 307,228

      • 80% of Registered Voters

      • 58% of Adults


    United states congress

    • Bibliography

    • http://ballotpedia.org

    • http://www.census.gov/2010census/

    • http://www.fec.gov

    • http://www.opensecrets.org

    • http://sos.ga.gov/elections/

    • http://uscode.house.gov


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