the congress n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The Congress PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The Congress

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 64

The Congress - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The Congress. Chapter 13. Due to the Great Compromise the Congress is Bicameral Bicameral An institution consisting of two chambers The two chambers are the House of Representatives and the Senate.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The Congress' - arden-hess

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
the congress

The Congress

Chapter 13


Due to the Great Compromise the Congress is Bicameral

  • Bicameral
    • An institution consisting of two chambers
    • The two chambers are the House of Representatives and the Senate

Senate terms are six years. Elections are staggered so that approximately one third of the seats are up for election every two years.

  • House terms are two years, with Elections being held in every even numbered year.


    • Roy Blunt- R- 2016
    • Claire McCaskill - D - 2018

US House of Representatives members from Missouri (8 districts)

    • William Lacy Clay (D)
    • Ann Wagner (R)
    • Blaine Luetkemeyer (R)
    • Vicky Hartzler (R)
    • Emanuel Cleaver (D)
    • Sam Graves (R)
    • Billy Long(R)
    • 8th District is currently vacant

While JoAnn Emerson was elected to be the representative from the 8th, she chose instead to retire into a job in the private sector.

  • This means Missouri will have a special election on June 4 2013 to select the new representative
june 4 2013 special election
June 4 2013 Special Election
  • To represent Missouri’s 8th district in the US House
    • Steve Hodges (D)
    • Jason Smith (R )
    • Doug Enyart (C )
    • Bill Slantz (L)

Lawmaking function

  • Representation function
  • Oversight function

Lawmaking Function

- The authority (of a legislature) to make the laws necessary to carry out the government’s powers


Representative Function

- The responsibility of a legislature to represent various interest in society


Trustee Model of Representation

    • Says that representatives should act as trustees of the broad interests of the entire society.
    • Trustee
      • A legislator who acts according to their own conscience and the broad interests of the entire society.

Instructed Delegate Model of Representation

    • Instructed Delegate
      • A legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal beliefs.
Oversight Function

- A supervisory activity of Congress that centers on its constitutional responsibility to see that the executive branch carries out the laws faithfully and spends appropriations properly.



    • The people who reside within an elected official’s political jurisdiction Or: The body of citizens eligible to vote for a particular representative.
    • Members of Congress must be mindful of the demands of their constituency, lest they not get re-elected

Pork-Barrel Projects

- Legislation whose tangible benefits are targeted at a particular legislator’s constituency (such as a new highway or hospital)

  • Service Strategy

- Use of personal staff by members of Congress to perform services for constituents in order to gain their support in future elections.


Most of the work in Congress is done in standing committees

  • Standing committee

- Permanent congressional committee with a well defined, relatively fixed policy jurisdiction. (Example: Senate Foreign Relations Committee)


Select Committees

- Temporary committees created for a specific time period and specific purpose. (Example: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – Oversees the CIA)

  • Joint Committees

- Committee composed of members of both houses to provide advisory functions. (Example: Joint Committee on the Library – Oversees the Library of Congress)



    • A smaller organizational unit within a committee that specializes in a particular segment of the committee’s responsibilities.

Conference Committees

- Temporary committees formed to bargain over differences in the House and Senate versions of a bill. Membership is usually appointed from House and Senate standing committees that originally worked on the bill.


Enumerated Powers(Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution)

    • Include taxing, spending, borrowing, and coining; regulation of foreign trade and trade among states; regulation of the military (state militias, an army and navy, and to declare war); as well as the power to define the court structure.
      • Powers of the Senate
        • Must approve treaties and Presidential Appointments

The Necessary and Proper Clause

    • Allows Congress to make laws that are deemed to be necessary to carry out the expressed powers. (Implied Powers)

More rules are needed to govern the House because it is so large. (435 members to the Senate’s 100)

  • Rules Committee

- A standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended and considered by the house.


Redistricting – Getting favorable boundaries

    • After every ten year census, the 435 House seats are re-allocated among the states by population.
    • Reapportionment
      • The reallocation of House seats among states after each census as a result of population change.
      • States who have gained population may gain a house seat, and visa versa with states who have lost population.

Due to population change in the 2010 census, Missouri went from 9 members of the House to 8, beginning with the 2012 election


After reapportionment, the house districts in each state have to be re-drawn, a responsibility that rests with state governments. They are required to be nearly equal in population.

  • Redistricting

- The process of altering election districts in order to make them as nearly equal in population as possible.


There are numerous ways to draw districts and keep them equal in population, including doing it in a way that will benefit the party.

  • Gerrymandering
    • The process by which the party in power draws election district boundaries in a way that is to the advantage of its candidates.

Party Caucus or Party Conference

- A group that consists of a party’s members in the House or Senate and that serves to elect the party’s leadership, set policy goals, and plan party strategy.

  • Party Leaders

- Members of the House and Senate who are chosen by the Democratic or Republican caucus in each chamber to represent the party’s interest in that chamber and who give some central direction to the chamber’s work.


Party Discipline

- The willingness of a party’s House or Senate members to act as a unified group and thus exert collective control over legislative action.


In the chambers, Congress is organized by party. When one party holds a majority of the seats in a chamber, they also hold the positions of power in that chamber.


Speaker of the House

    • The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The Speaker is always a member of the majority party and is the most powerful and influential member of the House.
    • “The second most powerful person in Washington”

Majority Leader of the House

    • A legislative position held by an important member of the majority party in the House of Representatives. Duties include fostering cohesion among party members and to act as spokesperson for the majority party.
    • Elected by the majority party to this position

Minority Leader of the House

    • Legislative position held by an important member of the minority party in the House of Representatives, with the same duties as the majority leader, except for the opposition party.
    • Also elected by their party.

The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate and may vote to break a tie. However, the Vice President is rarely present for Senate meetings

  • President Pro Tempore

- The senator who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President.


Senate Majority Leader

- The chief spokesperson of the majority party in the Senate, who directs the legislative program and party strategy.

  • Senate Minority Leader

- The party officer in the Senate who commands the minority party’s opposition to the policies of the majority party and directs the legislative program and strategy of his or her party.



- A member of Congress who aids the majority or minority leader of the House or Senate. Duties include delivering messages, keeping track of votes and encouraging party unity.



- A proposed law within Congress

  • To become law, a bill must pass through both the Senate and the House.

Step 1: The Bill is introduced into either the House or Senate, is assigned a number, and is then sent to the relevant committee.

  • Step 2: The relevant committee reviews the bill, and sends it to an appropriate sub-committee. Many bills simply die here, because they lack interest to most members or simply don’t have merit.

Since most bills die in committee, we say they have “gate-keeping authority”

  • Gate-Keeping Authority
    • The power to decide whether a particular proposal or policy change will be considered

Step 3: Assuming the bill has merit, the subcommittee will schedule hearings on it, hearing testimony from interested experts, lobbyists and administrators.

  • Step 4: The subcommittee, if they still find merit in the bill, then recommends the bill back to the original committee who can hold more hearings.

Committees are the site of most congressional logrolling

  • Logrolling

- The trading of votes between legislators so that each gets what he or she most wants.


Step 5: If the majority of the committee recommend passage, then the bill goes back to the full chamber for action.


Things are different in the House and the Senate. In the House, the rules committee determines when the vote will be, how long debate will last, and whether amendments will be allowed. This rules committee exists in the House because it is too large to effectively operate without strict rules.


In the Senate, the majority and minority leaders schedule bills. Then, there is unlimited debate unless 3/5 (60) of the Senate vote for Cloture.

  • Cloture

- A parliamentary maneuver that limits Senate debate.


Cloture is a pre-emptive way to block a filibuster.

  • Filibuster
    • A procedural tactic in the U.S. Senate whereby a minority of legislators prevent a bill from coming to a vote by holding the floor and talking until the majority gives in and the bill is withdrawn from consideration.
    • In modern times, the mere threat of a filibuster will often make the other party move on to other business.

In the House, amendments proposed have to be germane (on topic) to the original bill. In the Senate, any amendment can be proposed to any bill, called a rider.

  • Rider

- An amendment to a bill that deals with an issue unrelated to the content of the bill. Riders are permitted in the Senate but not the House.


To pass, a bill needs a simple majority (50% plus 1). However, to move forward, identical versions of the bill must pass through both the House and the Senate.

  • If a similar (but different) bill passes in each of the House and the Senate, it is referred to a conference committee to form a compromise. This compromise bill is sent back to the House and the Senate for a final vote.

Assuming an identical version of the bill has passed both the House and the Senate, it goes to the President. If the President signs the bill it becomes law. Otherwise, he uses veto.

  • Veto

- The president’s rejection of a bill, thereby keeping it from becoming law unless Congress overrides the veto.


If the President uses veto, the Congress can override this through a 2/3 vote of each chamber, which can make the bill a law without the President’s signature.


In Missouri the Congress is known as the General Assembly

  • Missouri General Assembly

- The legislative branch of the Missouri Government, composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate.

    • This means the Missouri General Assembly is also bicameral

Missouri House of Representatives

    • The Missouri House has 163 members, representing 163 districts.
    • Terms are 2 years, with a term limit of 4.
    • Each district has approximately 31,000 people in it.

Cape City

    • 147th District – Kathy Swan (R)
  • Cape County (other than Cape City)
    • 146th District – Donna Lichtenegger (R)

Missouri Senate

    • 34 members, each representing a district of approximately 160,000 people
    • Members serve four year terms, with generally half the seats up for re-election every two years with a term limit of 2.
    • This area is in the 27th district, represented by Wayne Wallingford (R ) .
ain t that something
Ain’t that something?
  • Interestingly, the Republican party was the only party to run candidates in this area for both the MO House seats and the MO Senate Seat.

Generally, the Missouri General Assembly works the same as the U.S. Congress, with committees, and sub-committees.

  • Just like in the U.S. Congress, an identical bill must pass both the House and the Senate before being sent to the Governor.

Just like in the U.S. Congress, the Governor may veto the bill, refusing to sign it into law.

  • However, just like in the U.S. system, the bill can still become law with approval of 2/3 of the members of both houses, overriding the veto.

However, unlike the U.S. Congress, General Assembly members also face a line item veto

    • Line Item Veto
      • The power of the governor to veto certain aspects of a bill without vetoing the entire bill.
      • These “lines” can be re-inserted with a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly, in the same way Congress can override a regular veto.