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CHAPTER 12 CONGRESS. 112 th Congress – Ended Jan 3, 2013 113 th Congress - Current. The House of Representatives. In t he House of Representatives there are 232 Republicans , 200 Democrats , and 3 vacant seats.

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CHAPTER 12 CONGRESS

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Chapter 12 congress

CHAPTER 12

CONGRESS


112 th congress ended jan 3 2013 113 th congress current

112thCongress – Ended Jan 3, 2013113th Congress - Current


The house of representatives

The House of Representatives

  • In the House of Representatives there are 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and 3 vacant seats.

    • In addition, the District of Columbia and the U.S.’s island territories elect a total of 6 delegates to the House with limited voting privileges. Puerto Rico’s delegate is called the Resident Commissioner.

    • Representatives represent about 710,000 people each.


The senate

The Senate

  • The Senate has 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 Independents, who caucus with the Democrats

    • A senator represents between 1 and 37 million people, depending on their state’s population.


Chapter 12 congress

AGE

  • The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 56.7 years; and of Senators, 62.2 years.

  • U.S. = 36.8 years


Education

EDUCATION

  • The vast majority of Members (92% of House Members and 99% of Senators) at the beginning of the 112th Congress held bachelor’s degrees.

  • 26 Members of the House and 1 Senator have no degree beyond a high school diploma.

  • Law degrees are held by 167 Members of the House (38%) and 55 Senators (55%).


Background employment

BACKGROUND/EMPLOYMENT

  • The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law.

  • Law is the dominantly declared profession of Senators, followed by public service/politics, then business;

  • For Representatives, business is first, followed by public service/politics, then law.


Religion

RELIGION

  • 57% of the Members (248 in the House, 56 in the Senate) are Protestants. U.S. = 51.3%

  • 29% percent of the Members (132 in the House, 24 in the Senate) are Catholic. U.S. = 23.9%

  • 7% of the Members (27 in the House, 12 in the Senate) are Jewish. U.S. = 1.7%

  • Other religious affiliations represented in the 112th Congress include Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). There are also three Buddhists and two Muslims, all serving in the House.


Gender

GENDER

  • 91 women (16.8% of the total membership) serve in the 112th Congress. 74, including 3 Delegates, serve in the House and 17 in the Senate.

  • U.S. = 50.7%

  • 113th: 98 women; 78 House, 20 Senate.


Race african american black

RACE: AFRICAN-AMERICAN/BLACK

  • There are 44 African American Members (8.1% of the total membership, and a record number) in the 112th Congress; all 44 serve in the House, including two Delegates.

  • U.S. = 12.6%

  • 113th: 43 African Americans


Race latino hispanic

RACE: LATINO/HISPANIC

  • There are 31 Hispanic or Latino Members in the 112th Congress, 5.7% of the total membership. (Same for 113th).

  • 29 serve in the House and 2 in the Senate.

  • U.S. = 16.3%

    [12 Asian American/Pacific Islander]


Veterans

VETERANS

  • 118 Members (21.8% of the total membership)

  • U.S. = 7.2%


Summary

SUMMARY …


Congress is

CONGRESS IS …


While the u s is

WHILE THE U.S. IS …


Representation

REPRESENTATION

Does Congress/our representatives need to be DESCRIPTIVE in order to be SUBSTANTIVE?


Chapter 12 congress

The House of Representatives

  • a. The House is more institutionalized than the Senate meaning it is more hierarchical

  • b. Party loyalty to leadership and party-line voting are more common in the House (since there are more members – leaders do more leading)

  • c. House Rules Committee: unique committee in the House that reviews most bills coming from a House committee before they go to the full House

    • 1. Each bill is given a “rule” which schedules the bill on the calendar, allots time for debate, and sometimes even specifies what kind of amendments may be offered (speaker appoints members)

  • d. House can impeach officials and all revenue bills must start there


Chapter 12 congress

The Senate

  • a. Since the Senate is smaller it is less disciplined and less centralized

  • b. Committees and the party leadership are important in determining the Senate legislative agenda

  • 1. the party leaders do for scheduling what the Rules Committee does in the House

  • c. Filibuster: a strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate

  • 1. Cloture: today 60 members can vote to stop a filibuster


Chapter 12 congress

The Committees and Subcommittees

1. Most of the real work of Congress goes on in committees

  • a. Committees dominate policy-making

  • b. Committees regularly hold hearings to investigate problems and possible wrong-doing and to oversee the executive branch

  • c. They control the congressional agenda and guide legislation from its introduction to its send-off for the president’s signature


Chapter 12 congress

2. Committees can be grouped into four types

  • a. Standing committees: separate permanent subject-matter committees in each house

  • of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas

  • Subcommittees: smaller units of a committee created out of the committee

  • membership

  • In the 107th Congress the typical member of the House served on two

  • standing committees and four subcommittees

  • In the Senate the typical member served on three committees and seven

  • subcommittees


Chapter 12 congress

b. Joint committees: Congressional committee on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses


Chapter 12 congress

c. Conference committees: congressional committees formed to work out differences when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms

  • 1. party leadership appoints members from each house

  • 2. the result must be a single bill


Chapter 12 congress

d. Select committees: congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose

  • 1. an example would be the committee to deal with the Watergate investigation


Chapter 12 congress

Legislative oversight: Congress’s monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings

  • 1. This is one of the checks that the legislative branch has over the executive branch

  • 2. Members of a committee constantly monitor a has a law that they passed is being implemented – this allows Congress to exert pressure on executive agencies, or even to cut their budgets in order to secure compliance with congressional wishes

  • 3. Congressional oversight sometimes captures the public’s attention, such as the 1973 Watergate scandal and the 1987 Iran-Contra Affair

  • 4. Congress keeps tabs on more routine activities of the executive branch through its committee staff members, who have specialized expertise in fields and agencies that their committees oversee and maintain an extensive network of formal and informal contacts with the bureaucracy


Incumbents

INCUMBENTS

  • Current officeholders


Put another way

Put another way …

  • A recent Gallup poll found that 11% of people found polygamy "morally acceptable."

  • Additionally, 30% of Americans expressed approval of pornography.


Chapter 12 congress

Why?

  • 1. Advertising

    • Service to constituents

    • Franking Privilege


Chapter 12 congress

  • 2. Credit Claiming

    • Service to constituents

      • Casework: individual service

      • Pork Barrel: $ for public projects


Chapter 12 congress

  • 3. Position Taking

    • Stances on issues

    • Public Image


Chapter 12 congress

  • 4. Weak Opponents

    • Not well-known/qualified

    • Lack experience

    • Lack organization

    • Lack $


Chapter 12 congress

  • 5. Gerrymandering

    • a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan or incumbent-protected districts


Chapter 12 congress

  • The word was created in reaction to a redrawing of Massachusetts state senate election districts under the then-governor Elbridge Gerry.

  • In 1812, Governor Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts in the Boston area was said to resemble the shape of a salamander.


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