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.
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Senate terms are six years. Elections are staggered so that approximately one third of the seats are up for election every two years.
While JoAnn Emerson was elected to be the representative from the 8th, she chose instead to retire into a job in the private sector.
- The authority (of a legislature) to make the laws necessary to carry out the government’s powers
- The responsibility of a legislature to represent various interest in society
- 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.
- Legislation whose tangible benefits are targeted at a particular legislator’s constituency (such as a new highway or hospital)
- Use of personal staff by members of Congress to perform services for constituents in order to gain their support in future elections.
- Permanent congressional committee with a well defined, relatively fixed policy jurisdiction. (Example: Senate Foreign Relations Committee)
- Temporary committees created for a specific time period and specific purpose. (Example: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – Oversees the CIA)
- Committee composed of members of both houses to provide advisory functions. (Example: Joint Committee on the Library – Oversees the Library of Congress)
- 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.
More rules are needed to govern the House because it is so large. (435 members to the Senate’s 100)
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- The senator who presides over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President.
- The chief spokesperson of the majority party in the Senate, who directs the legislative program and party strategy.
- 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
Step 1: The Bill is introduced into either the House or Senate, is assigned a number, and is then sent to the relevant committee.
Since most bills die in committee, we say they have “gate-keeping authority”
Step 3: Assuming the bill has merit, the subcommittee will schedule hearings on it, hearing testimony from interested experts, lobbyists and administrators.
- 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.
- A parliamentary maneuver that limits Senate debate.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- The legislative branch of the Missouri Government, composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate.
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, the Governor may veto the bill, refusing to sign it into law.
However, unlike the U.S. Congress, General Assembly members also face a line item veto