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CONGRESS. Chapter 7 O’Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change. Choose two cartoons to analyze. then state your position. Roots of the Legislative Branch.

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Congress

CONGRESS

Chapter 7

O’Connor and Sabato

American Government:

Continuity and Change


Congress

Choose two cartoons to analyze.

then state your position.


Roots of the legislative branch

Roots of the Legislative Branch

  • The U.S. Congress was greatly influenced by the American colonial experience and by the Articles of Confederation.

  • Under the British, colonial assemblies were chosen as advisory bodies to the royal governors.

  • These assemblies gradually assumed more power and authority in each colony, eventually gaining responsibility over taxation and spending.

  • The weaknesses of the Articles led to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787.


Congress1

CONGRESS

In this chapter we will cover…

  • Roots of the Legislative Branch

  • The Constitution and the Legislative Branch

  • The Members of Congress

  • How Congress is Organized

  • The Law-making Function of Congress

  • How Members Make Decisions

  • Congress and the President


The constitution and the legislative branch of government

The Constitution and the Legislative Branch of Government

  • Article I creates a bicameral legislative branch of government.

  • The upper house is called the Senate in which each state receives two representatives.

  • The lower house is called the House of Representatives which is apportioned by population.

  • The Senate has a six-year term with 1/3 of the seats up for reelection every two years.

  • House members serve two-year terms.


Apportionment and redistricting

Apportionment and Redistricting

  • The Constitution requires that all Americans be counted every ten years by a census.

  • The census determines the representation in the House of Representatives.

  • Redistricting (the redrawing of congressional districts to reflect changes in seats allocated to the states from population shifts) is done by state legislatures and, of course, always has political overtones.

  • When the process is outrageously political, it is called gerrymandering and is often struck down by the courts.


Congress

Alabama Congressional Districts


Congress

After reading page 479-480 on ‘redistricting’ write an essay indicating your position on the use of independent commissions to redraw districts as opposed to allowing the majority party to control redistricting


Congress

Spend

Money

Regulate

Commerce

Taxation

Create

Courts

Powers of

Congress

Lawmaking

Declare

War

Make all laws

“necessary and proper” to carrying out

the enumerated powers


Constitutional powers of congress

Constitutional Powers of Congress

  • The most important constitutional power of Congress is the power to make laws.

  • This power is shared by the House and the Senate.

  • In order to become a law, a bill must be passed by both the House and the Senate.


Key differences house senate

Initiate revenue bills

Two-year term

435

Formal

Specialist

Tax policy

Advise and consent

Six-year term

100

Relaxed

Generalist

Foreign policy

Key DifferencesHouseSenate


The members of congress

The Members of Congress

  • Congress is older, better educated, whiter, and richer than most of us.

    • Avg. age is 60 in the Senate

    • Avg. age is 45 in the House

  • However, great strides have been made. Currently, both California senators are women.

  • Can a man represent a woman?

  • Can a white person adequately represent the views of a black person?


Approval ratings of congress and district representatives

Approval Ratings of Congress and District Representatives


Women members of the 106th congress

WOMEN MEMBERS OF THE 106TH CONGRESS

SENATEWOMEN SENATORS: 9 Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Susan Collins (R-ME) Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Patty Murray (D-WA) Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AK) Total Democratic Senators: 6

Total Republican Senators: 3

HOUSE WOMEN REPRESENTATIVES: 56 Total Democratic Congresswomen: 41Total Republican Congresswomen: 17

ARE WOMEN DIFFERENT?


The representational role of members of congress

The Representational Role of Members of Congress

  • How should an elected official represent his/her constituents?

  • Trustee--representatives use their own best judgment

  • Delegate--representatives vote the way their constituents want them to

  • Politico--representatives act as trustee or delegate depending on the issue


How congress is organized

How Congress is Organized

  • Every two years, a new Congress is seated.

  • The first order of business is the election of leaders and adoption of new rules.

  • Both houses of Congress are organized on the basis of party for both leadership and committee purposes.


Different types of congressional committees

Different Types of Congressional Committees

  • Standing Committee: continues from one Congress to the next.

  • Joint Committee: set up to expedite business between the two houses.

  • Conference committee: special joint committees that resolve differences in bills passed by either house.

  • Ad hoc, special, or select committees: temporary committees designed for a specific purpose.


Explain what this symbolizes

Explain what this symbolizes.


The law making function of congress

The Law-Making Function of Congress

  • Only a member of the House or Senate may introduce a bill but anyone can write a bill.

  • Over 9,000 bills are proposed and fewer than 5 to 10% are enacted.

  • Most bills originate in the Executive Branch.

  • A bill must survive three stages to become a law: committees, the floor, and the conference committee. A bill can die at any stage.


How a bill becomes law

How a Bill Becomes Law

House

Senate

Introduced

Clerk assign number

Referred to Committee

By Majority Leader

Committee refers to sub-cmte

Research

Hold Hearings

Sunshine Laws

Votes

Returned to Full Committee

Markup session or reject

Hold or Filibuster

Hold to be fully informed

Cloture

  • Introduced

    • Clerk assigns number

  • Referred to Committee

    • By Speaker

    • Referred to sub-committee

      • Research

      • Hold Hearings

      • Sunshine Laws

      • Votes

  • Returned to Full Committee

    • Mark-up session or reject

    • Committee on Rules

  • Sent to Committee on Rules (traffic cop function

    • Given a Rule for:


How a bill becomes law1

How a Bill Becomes Law

House

Senate

  • Sixteen Senators sign motion for cloture

  • 60 Members to limit debate

  • No more than 30 hours

  • Date bill comes up for debate

  • Time allotted for discussion

  • Types of amendments –or- Closed Rule (no amendments allowed)

    Committee of the Whole

    100 members to deliberate

    Bill is debated on House Floor

    Amendments offered

    Vote is Taken

    Sent to Senate if passes


How has congress shirked its responsibility according to the cartoonist

How has Congress shirked its responsibility according to the cartoonist?


Congress and the president

Congress and the President


China trade act 2000

China Trade Act 2000

  • Trade Act 1974 – President can grant “most favored” trade status

  • China enters World Trade Org.(WTO) late ‘99

  • President Clinton proposes legislation to extend permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to China

    • Meets with lawmakers to build support

    • Travels to Midwest and California

    • S2277 Submitted by Sen. Roth(R-DE) Mar. 2000

    • Referred to Finance Committee


China trade act 20001

China Trade Act 2000

  • Concern about human rights issues, rule of law and labor market issues

  • HR4444 U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China submitted May 15

    • Referred House Ways and Means Committee

    • Committee Rules allowed 3 hours of debate with a closed rule

  • Clinton sends Secy. Of Commerce to sell bill

  • Gathers support from Chinese dissidents and Billy Graham – “will improve human rights”


China trade act 20002

China Trade Act 2000

  • President gathers support from Tom Delay (R-Majority Whip, General Colin Powel, Governor George W. Bush to assuage national security concerns

  • Twenty three member Commission to monitor human rights

  • House Ways and Means and International Relations add provision regarding Taiwan

  • Business Community v. Organized Labor

  • VP Al Gore opposes – sides with labor


China trade act 20003

China Trade Act 2000

  • President gathers support from Tom Delay (R-Majority Whip, General Colin Powel, Governor George W. Bush to assuage national security concerns

  • Twenty three member Commission to monitor human rights

  • House Ways and Means and International Relations add provision regarding Taiwan

  • Business Community v. Organized Labor

  • VP Al Gore opposes – sides with labor


China trade act 20004

China Trade Act 2000

  • President gathers support from Tom Delay (R-Majority Whip, General Colin Powel, Governor George W. Bush to assuage national security concerns

  • Twenty three member Commission to monitor human rights

  • House Ways and Means and International Relations add provision regarding Taiwan

  • Business Community v. Organized Labor

  • VP Al Gore opposes – sides with labor


War powers act

War Powers Act

  • Pass over President Nixon’s veto (1973)

  • President must obtain congressional approval to commit troops to combat zone

    • 48 hour notice

    • Withdrawal after 60 days if no declaration of war

    • Largely ignored by Ford, Carter and Reagan due to need to act swiftly

    • Limits presidential prerogatives as Commander in Chief (may be unconstitutional)

    • 60 day withdrawal provision waived after 911


Secret briefings of intelligence committees

Secret Briefings of Intelligence Committees

  • Part of oversight process

  • Learns of NSA monitoring of email and phone communications without oversight


Other congressional oversight functions

Other Congressional Oversight Functions

  • Presidential appointments

  • Impeachment Process

    • Constitution vague about “impeachable offense”

    • Largely political process (Hamilton- Federalist 65)

    • House has impeached 17 federal judges (7 convicted)

    • Four resolutions against Presidents (Tyler, A.Johnson, Nixon, Clinton)

    • Eight Stages (see text)


Congress and the judiciary

Congress and the Judiciary

  • Congress must be mindful of Constitutionality

    • At times ignores and re-crafts legislation

  • Establishes size of Supreme Court

  • Establishes appellate jurisdiction

  • Establishes structure of federal court system

  • Establishes jurisdiction of federal courts

    • Caseload Increased dramatically as Congress began legislating more on crime and commerce

  • Approves or rejects presidential nominees to Court

    • Senatorial Courtesy – defers to Senator of the state in which appointment is made


Stage three

Stage Three

  • Conference Committee

    • Iron out differences between House and Senate bills

    • Bill dies if fail to agree


Gun control legislation following publicized shootings since 1968

Gun Control Legislation Following Publicized Shootings Since 1968


How members make decisions

How Members Make Decisions

  • It is rare for a legislator to disregard strong wishes of constituents, particularly on hot-button issues or those contentious issues that get a lot of media attention.

  • Deciding how the voters feel is not possible.

  • The perceptions of the representative are important since he/she cannot really know how all the constituents feel about an issue.

  • If constituents have little knowledge or interest in an issue, the legislator often makes an autonomous decision.


Congress

How Members Make Decisions

Interest Groups

Colleagues

Caucuses

Party

Representative

Constituents

Staff

Political Action Committees


Congress and the president1

Congress and the President

  • Especially since the 1930s, the president has seemed to be more powerful than Congress.

  • However, Congress retains several key powers vis-a-vis the president:

    • funding powers

    • oversight

    • impeachment/removal


Congressional oversight of the executive branch

Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch

  • Congress has the power to review the actions of the Executive Branch

  • Congressional oversight is used to ensure that the bureaucracy is enforcing and interpreting laws the way Congress intended.


Continuity and change

Continuity and Change

  • The framers of the U.S Constitution placed Congress at the center of the government.

  • In the early years of the republic, Congress held the bulk of power.

  • The face of Congress is changing as women and minorities have achieved seats.

  • Today, the presidency has become quite powerful, particularly since FDR.

  • Congress now generally responds to executive branch legislative proposals.


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