congressional leadership l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Congressional Leadership PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Congressional Leadership

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 21

Congressional Leadership - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Congressional Leadership John Hernandez Politics & U.S. Documents Librarian February 8, 2007 Today’s Menu Background & discussion of contemporary Congressional leadership roles Brief who’s who for the 110 th Congress Information resources for learning more Political Parties & Congress

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 'Congressional Leadership' - bernad

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
congressional leadership

Congressional Leadership

John Hernandez

Politics & U.S. Documents Librarian

February 8, 2007

today s menu
Today’s Menu
  • Background & discussion of contemporary Congressional leadership roles
  • Brief who’s who for the 110th Congress
  • Information resources for learning more
political parties congress
Political Parties & Congress
  • Parties have been vital to the work and organization of Congress since its inception
  • Parties serve to help select and elect candidates and to distribute power within Congress
  • Party with the most seats controls key positions
  • Parties increased in significance since the Civil War, with some decline in the 20th Century
  • Contest today is between Republican and Democratic parties as majority or minority
leadership in congress
Leadership in Congress
  • Defined by a mix of Constitutional mandate, established rules, and tradition
  • Largely a function of personal character
  • Provides structure through which parties exert influence in Congress
  • Demonstrates the dynamics of political partisanship in Congress
  • Provides checks and balances with the Executive
    • Support or opposition to President’s bills
    • Responses to State of the Union addresses
leadership responsibilities
Leadership Responsibilities
  • Promoting legislative agenda of the party
    • Monitoring and shepherding of party’s bills
    • Obstructing passage of opposition party’s bills
  • Making committee assignments
  • Supporting candidates in their home districts
  • Forging political coalitions
  • Issuing rewards and punishments
leadership positions
Leadership Positions
  • Speaker of the House
  • President of the Senate
  • Majority/Minority Floor Leaders
  • Majority/Minority Whips
  • Republican/Democratic Conference Chairs
  • Standing committee chairs and ranking members
  • Congressional membership organization chairs
speaker of the house
Speaker of the House
  • Presiding officer (U.S. Const. art. 1, § 2, cl. 5)
    • Elected by members of House
    • Each party nominates a candidate, majority wins
  • Second in line of Presidential succession after the VP (Presidential Succession Act of 1947)
  • Has a lot of power
    • Controls the legislative calendar
    • Leads appointment process of committee chairs
  • Leader and national spokesperson of the majority party
house majority leader
House Majority Leader
  • Second in command to Speaker
  • Responsible for day-to-day management of legislative affairs on the House floor
  • Responsible for building majority party consensus
  • Officially designated in 1899, usually a lieutenant appointed by Speaker until 1911
    • Sometimes was the chair of Ways & Means or Appropriations committees
  • Since 1911, elected by members of majority party
house minority leader
House Minority Leader
  • Official role emerged in 1899
  • Elected by members of the minority party to serve as their spokesperson
  • Criticizes the program of the majority party
  • Seeks to block majority bills from passing
president of the senate
President of the Senate
  • Vice-President is the President of the Senate (U.S. Const. art. 1, § 3)
  • Only votes in the case of a tie, has little power
  • Opens electoral ballots for Presidential elections
  • President Pro-Tempore (“President for a time”) presides when the VP is not present
    • Elected by resolution in the Senate
    • Usually the majority party member with the longest record of continuous service
    • Third in line of Presidential succession
    • Term of service solidified in 1890
senate majority leader
Senate Majority Leader
  • Role first established in 1925 (Republicans)
  • Elected by members of the majority party
  • Senior Senate official, has the right of priority recognition on the Senate floor
  • Primary spokesperson for majority party
  • Day-to-day manager of business on the Senate floor
  • Schedules the sequence and manner of debate on all legislation
  • Responsible for building and managing majority party consensus
senate minority leader
Senate Minority Leader
  • Established in 1920 (Democrats)
  • Elected by members of the minority party
  • Senior official for the minority party
  • Primary spokesperson for the minority
  • Responsible for setting the legislative agenda and strategy of the minority party
majority minority whips
Majority & Minority Whips
  • Term “whip” comes from British hunting lore: the whip keeps the foxhounds in line
  • Role first emerged in late 1890s in the House
  • Elected by party members
  • Assist the floor leaders to keep track of party members and lobby them for votes
  • Responsible for the details of mobilizing votes among party members
  • Serve as floor leaders in their absence
party conference chairs
Party Conference Chairs
  • Conference is the organizational vehicle for party members and their staff
  • Also referred to as Caucus (House Democrats)
  • Led by chair elected by members
  • In some cases the majority leader also serves as the conference chair
standing committees
Standing Committees
  • Committees are where the bulk of legislative work is done
  • Committees mark-up bills, hold hearings, conduct investigations, and perform oversight
  • Committees (and subcommittees) concentrate legislative expertise in various policy areas
  • Chairs of key committees are very powerful
    • Ways and Means
    • Appropriations
committee assignments
Committee Assignments
  • House & Senate rules provide that they elect the members of committees at the beginning of each Congress (post 1970)
    • Representatives of the two parties agree on committee assignments and party ratios, then submit rosters for vote
  • Seniority is the normal basis for ranking among committee members
    • The longer a member is in the committee, the more likely to become chair or ranking minority member
congressional member organizations
Congressional Member Organizations
  • Most commonly known as caucuses
    • Also called coalitions, study groups, task forces, and working groups
  • Special interest alliances that function as internal lobbies
  • Represent a wide variety of political interests
  • Emerged around 1930s, peaked in 1970s & 80s
  • Registered with the Committee on House Administration
110 th congress majority
110th Congress Majority
  • Convened on January 4, 2007, Democrats have majority in both House and Senate
  • Key leadership positions:
    • Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi, CA)
    • House Majority Leader (Steny Hoyer, MD)
    • House Majority Whip (James Clyburn, SC)
    • House Democratic Caucus Chair (Rahm Emanuel, IL)
    • Senate President Pro Tem (Robert Byrd, WV)
    • Senate Majority Leader & Democratic Conference Chair (Harry Reid, NV)
    • Senate Majority Whip (Richard Durbin, IL)
110 th congress minority
110th Congress Minority
  • Republicans have minority
  • Key leadership positions:
    • House Minority Leader (John Boehner, OH)
    • House Minority Whip (Roy Blunt, MO)
    • House Republican Conference Chair (Adam Putnam, FL)
    • Senate Minority Leader (Mitch McConnell, KY)
    • Senate Minority Whip (Trent Lott, MS)
    • Senate Republican Conference Chair (Jon Kyl, AZ)
useful sources
Useful Sources
  • Directories
    • Almanac of American Politics
    • Politics in America
    • Congressional Staff Directory (especially for caucuses)
    • U.S. Congressional Directory (official)
  • CQ publications (excellent for background)
    • Guide to Congress
    • How Congress Works
    • CQ Weekly Report
more useful sources
More Useful Sources
  • Official publications
    • Congressional Record
    • House & Senate Journals
    • House & Senate Rules
  • Official Web sites (lots of useful links)
  • Media & Press
    • Major newspapers (NYT, Washington Post, WSJ)
    • C-SPAN
    • National Journal Group Policy Central