How congress works chapter 13
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How Congress Works Chapter 13. Structure, Organization, & Legislative Process. Who’s in Congress?. Age Groups. Party. Ethnicity. Gender. Demographic Profile of the 111th Congress. House 435 members 2 yr terms 25 years old Speaker presented bills r hard to challenge

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How Congress Works Chapter 13

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How congress works chapter 13

How Congress WorksChapter 13

Structure, Organization,

& Legislative Process


Who s in congress

Who’s in Congress?


Demographic profile of the 111th congress

Age Groups

Party

Ethnicity

Gender

Demographic Profile of the 111th Congress


House senate differences

House

435 members

2 yr terms

25 years old

Speaker presented bills r hard to challenge

Scheduling/rules controlled by majority party with powerful Rules Committee

Senate

100 members

6 yr terms

30 years old

Bills more easily challenged

Scheduling/rules agreed to by majority & minority leaders

House-Senate Differences


House senate differences1

House

Debate limited to 1 hour

Members policy specialists

Emphasizes tax & revenue policy

More formal & impersonal

Senate

Unlimited debate unless cloture invoked

Members policy generalists

Emphasizes foreign policy

More informal & personal

House-Senate Differences


Party leadership

Party Leadership


House leadership

HOUSE LEADERSHIP

Speaker (majority party)

Democrats:

  • Majority Leader

  • Majority Whip

  • Steering & Policy Committee

  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelossi (D-CA)

Majority Whip

James Clyburn (D-SC)

Majority Leader

Steny Hoyer (D-MD)


House leadership1

HOUSE LEADERSHIP

Republicans:

  • Minority Leader

  • Minority Whip

  • Chairman of Conference

  • Policy Committee

  • National Republican Congressional Committee

  • Research Committee

Minority Leader

John Boehner (R-OH)

Minority Whip

Eric Cantor (R-VA)


Senate leadership

SENATE LEADERSHIP

President of the Senate (Vice President)

President Pro Tempore (majority party)

Democrats:

  • Majority Leader

  • Majority Whip

  • Chairman of Conference

  • Policy Committee

  • Steering Committee

  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

President Pro Tem

Robert Byrd (D-WV)

President of the Senate

Joe Biden (D-DE)

Majority Whip

Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Majority Leader

Harry Reid (D-NV)


Senate leadership1

SENATE LEADERSHIP

Republicans:

  • Minority Leader

  • Minority Whip

  • Chairman of Conference

  • Policy Committee

  • Committee on Committees

  • Republican Senatorial Committee

Minority Leader

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Minority Whip

Jon Kyl (R-AZ)


Strength of party structure

Strength of Party Structure?

  • Measure of party strength:

    • Ability of leaders to control party rules and organization

    • Extent to which party members vote together in the House and Senate

  • Senate: less party-centered and leader oriented


Party unity

Party Unity

  • Lower today than 100 years ago, but…..

  • Ideology important variable explaining party voting (members vote with their party 80% of the time)

  • Party polarization - vote in which majority of democrats oppose majority of republicans

  • Polarization trends:

    • 1976 HR = 36%; S = 37%

    • 1995 HR = 73%; S = 69%

    • 2000 HR = 43%; S = 49%


Caucuses

CAUCUSES

  • Caucus: an association of members of Congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional or economic interest

  • Intra-party caucuses: members share a similar ideology

  • Personal interest caucuses: members share an interest in an issue

  • Constituency caucuses: established to represent groups, regions or both

  • Examples: Congressional Black Caucus, Human Rights, Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Rural Caucus, Travel & Tourism Caucus


How congress works chapter 13

"Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee-rooms is Congress at work.”

- Woodrow Wilson


Legislative committees

Legislative Committees:

Function and Purpose


Legislative committees function purpose

1. Consider bills(a.k.a. “mark-up” bills)

Legislative Committees:Function & Purpose

A bill with a member’s mark-up notes


Legislative committees function purpose1

2. Maintain oversight of executive agencies

Legislative Committees:Function & Purpose

Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testifies before a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing re: the Department of Defense Budget (May, 2006)


Legislative committees function purpose2

3. Conduct investigations

Legislative Committees:Function & Purpose

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Hurricane Katrina (Feb.2 006)


Types of committees

Types of Committees

  • Standing Committees- permanent panel with full legislative functions and oversight responsibilities

    ~Subcommittees – formed to tackle very specific tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committees

  • Select or Special Committees- groups appointed for a limited purpose and limited duration

  • Joint Committees - includes members of both chambers to conduct studies or perform housekeeping tasks

  • Conference Committee - includes members of House & Senate to work out differences between similar bills


Standing committees

Standing Committees


House standing committees

Agriculture

Appropriations

Armed Services

Budget

Education & Workforce

Energy & Commerce

Financial Services

Government Reform

House Admin.

International Relations

Judiciary

Resources

Rules

Science

Small Business

Standards of Official Conduct

Transportation & Infrastructure

Veterans Affairs

Ways & Means

House Standing Committees


Senate standing committees

Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry

Appropriations

Armed Services

Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs

Budget

Commerce, Science, Transportation

Energy & Natural Resources

Environment and Public Works

Finance

Foreign Relations

Governmental Affairs

Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

Judiciary

Rules and Administration

Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Veterans Affairs

Senate Standing Committees


Special select committees

House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming

Senate Select Committee on Ethics

House & Senate Select Committees on Intelligence

Special, Select Committees

Gen. Michael Hayden is sworn in during a full committee hearing of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on his nomination to bedirector of the Central Intelligence Agency.


Joint committees

Joint Committees

  • Joint Economic Committee

  • Joint Committee on Printing

  • Joint Committee on Taxation

Joint Committee on Taxation hearing


How congress works chapter 13

Title: ResolutionArtist: Bob Gorrell

Date: 12/28/06Source: http://www.gorrellart.com/


How congress works

How Congress Works

The Legislative Process


A bill v a law

Bill- a proposed new law introduced within a legislature that has not yet been passed, enacted or adopted

A Bill v. A Law


A bill v a law1

Law- a bill or act passed by a legislative body

A Bill v. A Law


Step 1 an idea for a bill

Step 1: An Idea for a Bill

Members of Congress

Citizens

Interest Groups

Federal Agency

Governors

Mayors

White House


Step 2 writing introduction of bill

Senate:

Bill formerly read aloud on floor

Bill then given to clerk

Referred to committee by Steering Committee

House:

Bill dropped in hopper

Referred to committee by the Speaker

Step 2: Writing & Introduction of Bill


Step 3 committee action

Step 3: Committee Action

  • House & Senate committees conduct public hearings

  • Experts testify

  • Markup of bills

  • Committee vote: report favorably, unfavorably, or table bill

House Armed Services Committee


Step 4 floor action senate

Step 4: Floor Action - Senate

  • Party leaders schedule bills for floor debate on the calendar

  • Unlimited debate

  • Filibuster - member(s) keep talking to block debate on a bill

  • Cloturevote by 3/5 of Senators (60) can end filibuster

  • Floor vote: Roll Call, Standing, Voice

Senator Strum Thurman still holds the record for the longest filibuster - 24 hrs 18 min. on the 1957 Civil Rights Act


Step 4 floor action house

Step 4: Floor Action - House

  • Rules Committee schedules bills on calendar & decides whether amendments may be added

  • Limited debate

  • Floor vote: Recorded, Standing, Voice


Step 5 approved bill crosses over to other house

Step 5: Approved Bill Crosses Over to Other House

  • Approved bill must pass each chamber by a simple majority


Step 6 conference committee

Step 6: Conference Committee

  • Members from each chamber meet to reconcile differences in the two bills

Senate-House Conference Committee works out details of the 2003 Healthy Forest Restoration Act


Step 7 both chambers vote on final version of the bill

Step 7: Both Chambers Vote on Final Version of the Bill


Step 8 president considers bill

Step 8: President Considers Bill

President can:

  • Sign the bill into law

  • “Do nothing” law

  • Veto bill

  • Pocket veto

Note: Congress can override veto with 2/3 vote in each house; only 4% of vetoes have been overridden

City of New York v. William J. Clinton


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