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Splash Screen. Chapter Focus Section 1 Congressional Membership Section 2 The House of Representatives Section 3 The Senate Section 4 Congressional Committees Section 5 Staff and Support Agencies Chapter Assessment. Contents. Why It’s Important. Chapter Objectives.

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Splash Screen

Chapter Focus

Section 1Congressional Membership

Section 2The House of Representatives

Section 3The Senate

Section 4Congressional Committees

Section 5Staff and Support Agencies

Chapter Assessment


Why It’s Important

Chapter Objectives

  • Congressional Membership Describe the structure of Congress and list the qualifications for congressional membership.

  • The House of Representatives Describe the rules and procedures used in the House and explain its role in the lawmaking process.

  • The Senate Contrast the Senate’s leadership and role in the lawmaking process with that of the House.

  • Congressional Committees Identify kinds of congressional committees and principles by which members serve on them.

  • Staff and Support Agencies Explain how staff members and support agencies participate in the legislative process.

Chapter Objectives

End of Chapter Focus

Congressional Membership

  • Key Terms

  • bicameral legislature, session, census, reapportionment, redistrict, gerrymander, at-large, censure, incumbent

Find Out

• How does apportionment of membership in the House of Representatives in districts provide representation to local voters?

• What are the key common characteristics of members of Congress?

Section 1 Introduction-1

Congressional Membership

  • Understanding Concepts

  • Political ProcessesHow well do you think members of Congress represent the people who have delegated legal authority to them?

Section Objective

Describe the structure of Congress and list the qualifications for congressional membership.

Section 1 Introduction-2

  • Jeanette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, was the first woman elected to Congress. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 and was reelected in 1940.

Section 1-1

I.Congressional Sessions (page 123)

  • A.Each term of Congress has two sessions.

B.Sessions last until Congress votes to adjourn.

Section 1-2

I.Congressional Sessions (page 123)

Until 1933 Congress remained in session only four to six months each year.Should modern Congresses return to this schedule? Why or why not?

Answers will vary. Students should support their opinions with good reasons.

Section 1-3

II.Membership of the House (pages 124–127)

  • A.Members must be at least 25 years old, citizens for at least 7 years, and residents of the states they represent.

B.Members serve for two-year terms.

C.The number of representatives from each state is determined by the census population count every 10 years.

D. State legislatures set up congressional districts after the census count, with one representative from each district.

Section 1-4

II.Membership of the House (pages 124–127)

Section 1-5

II.Membership of the House (pages 124–127)

Today, each House member represents about 625,000 people. When the population increases, should Congress add more members to the House? Why or why not?

No. The size of the House is limited for more efficient government.

Section 1-6

II.Membership of the House (pages 124–127)

Section 1-7

III.Membership of the Senate (pages 128–129)

  • A.Senators must be at least 30 years old, citizens for at least 9 years, and residents of the states they represent.

B.Senators serve for 6-year terms; one-third are elected every two years.

C.Each state elects two senators.

D. The Senate and the House set their members’ salaries; members receive numerous benefits, allowances for office staffs and business trips, tax breaks for maintaining two residences, and pensions when they retire.

Section 1-8

III.Membership of the Senate (pages 128–129)

  • E.Both House and Senate members enjoy immunity from arrest, in cases not involving a felony or treason, or being sued for libel when Congress is in session.

F.Both the Senate and House may refuse to seat a member and may censure or even expel members.

Section 1-9

III.Membership of the Senate (pages 128–129)

If you were a politician, would you rather be a member of the House or the Senate? Explain.

Answers will vary. Students should cite the advantages of membership in either chamber.

Section 1-10

IV.The Members of Congress (pages 129–130)

  • A.Nearly half the members of Congress are lawyers.

B.White, middle-aged male members are increasingly joined by members reflecting the ethnic, racial, and gender makeup of the general population.

Section 1-11

IV.The Members of Congress (pages 129–130)

Section 1-12

IV.The Members of Congress (pages 129–130)

  • C.Most incumbent members of Congress win reelection to office because they are well known, find it easier to raise campaign money, and often represent districts gerrymandered in favor of their parties.

D. Candidates for Congress have begun using the Internet as a campaign tool; experts forecast that Congressional candidates will make greater use of Web technologies in the future.

Section 1-13

IV.The Members of Congress (pages 129–130)

Section 1-14

IV.The Members of Congress (pages 129–130)

In the late 1990s, members of Congress faced growing criticism about spending so much time in office raising money and planning their reelection campaigns. Do you think this criticism was justified? Explain.

Answers will vary. Students should support their opinions with examples.

Section 1-15

Checking for Understanding

  • 1.Main Idea In a graphic organizer similar to the one below, compare the qualifications for representatives and senators.

House: 25 years old; citizen for 7 years; resident of state. Senate: 30 years old; citizen for 9 years; resident of state.

Section 1 Assessment-1

Checking for Understanding

  • A.a population count

  • B.elected official that is already in office

  • C.as a whole; for example, statewide

  • D.a vote of formal disapproval of a member’s actions

  • E.to draw a district’s boundaries to gain advantages in elections

  • F.a two-chambered legislature

Match the term with the correct definition.

___bicameral legislation












Section 1 Assessment-2

Checking for Understanding

  • 3.Identify Elbridge Gerry, Twenty-seventh Amendment.

Elbridge Gerry was an early Democratic-Republican governor of Massachusetts whose redistricting plan that gave his party a political advantage over the Federalists inspired the term gerrymandering.

The Twenty-seventh Amendment is the constitutional amendment that prohibits a sitting Congress from giving itself a pay raise.

Section 1 Assessment-3

Checking for Understanding

  • 4.How does Congress reapportion House seats among the states every ten years?

Following the Census, each state’s population determines how the House seats are reapportioned.

Section 1 Assessment-4

Critical Thinking

  • 5.Making Inferences Members of Congress spend part of their time working for reelection. Which house has a greater percentage of its time remaining for legislative work? Why?

The Senate has more time because senators come up for reelection only every six years. Members of the House face reelection every two years.

Section 1 Assessment-5

  • Political Processes What percentage of people believe that their representative does not listen to them? Formulate a questionnaire that surveys voters about this issue.

Section 1 Concepts in Action

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