Chapter 11: Congress. The People’s Branch Congressional Elections A. House of Representatives (because they are up for reelection every 2 years, are more sensitive to the needs of their constituents) B. Senate (predictable/older/stable)
A. House of Representatives (because they are up for reelection every 2 years, are more sensitive to the needs of their constituents)
B. Senate (predictable/older/stable)
House of Rep. (less predictable/younger)
1. House (states with more people get to have more districts, thus more power in the House)
2. Reapportionment (every 10 years U.S. Constitution requires a population count/Census.
3. Since 1910 (House at 435)
4. States determine redistricting.
5. Advantages of Incumbency
6. 2008 Congressional Elections: Democrats won five senate seats and nineteen house seats giving them a majority in both chambers.
7. Earmarks/Pork: “pet projects” Reps/Senators will slip into a bill an earmark for their district or state…perhaps as a favor to a contributor.
Kay B. Hutchison R
John Cornyn R
The architecture and floor plan of the Capitol building in Washington reflect the bicameral division of Congress
Philosophy and political convictions
A. A Divided Branch (bicameralism- a two house legislature.
Each chamber meets in its own wing of the Capitol
1. Enumerated Powers (listed in U.S. Constitution)
a. Raise, make and borrow money
b. Regulate commerce (patents)
c. Expand country/unify it
d. Declare war
e. Create federal courts
Chapter 11: Congress
Continuation of Notes
A. House of Rep. (Leadership): Speaker of the House
B. Senate (Leadership)
1. Real Leader: Majority Leader
3. Senate: power to confirm presidential appointments (Cabinet/justices/federal judges)
C. Congressional Committees: the most powerful committee in both the House and the Senate: House Rules Committee (this committee decides on what goes to the floor for debate/sets limits as to who goes to the floor to debate/persuade)
a. Standing Committees
b. Appropriation Committees (decide how much money government will spend on certain programs)
c. Budget Committees (they decide where/how to raise $ for the Appropriations Committee
1. Controversial Issues (on the fence or do I make popular/unpopular choice)
2. Colleagues: Discuss/listen/argue/persuade
Logrolling: When a rep. votes like his “friend” only because his “friend” is going to vote for his bill. (I scratch your back and you scratch mine)
C. Legislative Ethics (Ethics Committees in House and Senate)