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Chapter 11- Congress

Chapter 11- Congress

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Chapter 11- Congress

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  1. Chapter 11- Congress • (1). Examine the bicameral structure Congress, & discuss turnover & reapportionment. • (2). Outline how Congress has evolved and changed since its creation, and the role of: standing committees, seniority rule, and subcommittees. • (3). Discuss Congressional elections and the advantages enjoyed by, to include: single member districts, redistricting, gerrymandering, home style, case work,franking, campaign fund raising, party identification & name recognition. • (4). Explain election outcomes when incumbents do lose and the reason given, to include: Potomac fever, scandal, midterm electionmessages & desire fordivided government. • (5). Analyze the demographic profile of who serves in Congress, and contrast descriptive representationwith that ofpolitical representation. • (6). Discuss the workload of Congress and assess potential conflicts of interests. • (7). Examine Congress as an organization, and the role of political parties & leadership, to include: caucus, conservative coalition, conference & select committees, & key staffs. • (8). Examine the legislative process, and outline how bills become laws (see Fig. 11-8). • (9). Identify & define key relevant terms used by Congress during the legislative process. • (10). Discuss the potential conflict betweenpersonalversus constituent policy preferences. • (11). Contrast the various kinds of policy oversight conducted by Congress. • (12). Analyze the different theories of delegate and trusteerepresentation in Congress. • (13). Assess the political effectiveness of Congress and its prospects for the future.

  2. The Structure of Congress: What kind of structure does Congress have? Bicameral legislature What does that mean?

  3. Bicameral Legislature A legislature with two houses–such as: House of Represen-tatives Senate

  4. Capital Hill Impact that favors…? What kind of majority required to pass legislation? Sometimes resulting in…?

  5. House Rules: • All Representatives elected every two years • Total number capped at 435 members • 435 seats divided among the 50 states • Number of Representatives for each state proportionate to total population (Census) House of Representatives

  6. The House of Representatives • Turnover => impact of 2 year term of office? • Theoretical impact => more responsive • Closer to mood of the people – why? • Reapportionment? • Based on what every 10 years? • Only applies to House? Why? • AKA: Redistricting • What are the various ways to “redistrict” ?*

  7. Redistricting – Counting the ways…

  8. Evolution of Congress – Historic overview • Broad Constitutional guidance (Article I) • Both Chambers determine own rules • Senate requires 2/3 majority to change it rules • How much of a majority does House require? • Impact of these rules on each chamber? • Changing Attitudes Toward Service in Congress: • Early attitudes towards service? • Interest centered in State politics & regular Rotation => • High turnover => impact? (see career of Henry Clay) Impact on members of Congress as it evolved?

  9. Evolution of Congress Early on, members of Congress did not stay in Congress long Since then, many members of Congress serve for many years What other changes occurred?

  10. Change in the House • Major Shift=> Congress viewed more & more as career • Dramatic social & economic change during 19th century • Rapid Industrialization, urbanization, immigration • Power shifts from the State to the Federal Government • Role of Congress ininterstate commerce & national economy • Result: Proper decorum & parliamentary rules • More civil behavior among members • No personal attacks allowed (decorum sometimes “over the top”) • Power of Speaker & role of Committee Chairmanrise • Key assignments controlled by Speaker ‘till 20th cent.

  11. Change in the House – The 1910 Revolt • 1910: the rank & file revolted against autocratic rule • Of Congressional leaders (Speaker controlled all) • - Revolt results in new rule: seniority rule(?) The congressional norm of making the member of the majority party with thelongest continuous service on a committee the chairof that committee

  12. Change in the House – the ’70s • Similar change occurred during 1970s-1980s • Revolt against committee chairs (Democrats) • Resulted in rise of powerful subcommittees chairs • Decentralizationof House power=> impact? • Gridlock on the national budget & other bills • All members gradually came see to need for reform • Gradual re-centralization (power back to Speaker) • But reform also tempered by memory of 1910 revolt • Although Majority party leadership was made stronger • Rank & file House members still retained final veto power

  13. Change in the House – Newt’s era • 1995 GOP changes under Newt Gingrich • Greater power concentrated in the Speaker • Control of Committee assignments • Control over which committee considered legislation • Then came 1998 midterm elections… • Impact: “The more things change…” • Gingrich lost power when GOP lost seats in House • Resigned as Speaker and from the House itself How is the Senate different from the House and how has it changed?

  14. Rules of the Senate • Senators serve six year terms • 1/3 of “class” elected every two years (why?) • Reduce turnover effect • Each state has two senators • Vacancies in Senate can be filled through appointment (state rules) Senate

  15. The Senate – How is it different? • Make up & longer term’s impact on Senate? • Less is more? (100 vs. 435) & (6 vs. 2 years) • Less responsive to voters – why? • How did 17th Amendmentchange Senate? • From Elite Men’s Club w/apprenticeship period to • Direct versus indirect elections by state legislature=> impact? • New Rules of 1970s => more decentralized power • Individual junior Senators more active in floor debate • Result: power in Senate more dispersed than in House • Role and impact of requirement for “unanimous consent” • NTL less visible change than in the House – why? • Senate rule changes require 2/3 vote => impact • How is this different from House & what is the effect?

  16. Getting & Staying There—Congressional Elections • Incumbents andReelection: • Overwhelming prospects for reelection (Figure 11-1) • House incumbents – 92%+ vs. Senate – 78% • Key questions: • Why do incumbents who run usually win? • Why do House incumbents do better than Senate?

  17. Incumbent Reelection (1946-2002)

  18. Incumbent Re-election Success Rate House of Representatives Senate Incumbent victory percentage since 1946 Now 98% (2004) Now 96% (2004)

  19. The Election Setting & Reelection • Single-member districts => impact? • Each district Rep. likely to share views of constituent majority • If they didn’t they probably couldn’t get elected! • Redistricting Maps drawn to favor incumbents • Party in control of State Legislature draws the map • Various options shown by Figure 11-2 Most likely option to be chosen? (Midterm redistricting in Texas- Tom Delay)

  20. Gerrymandering Drawing congressional district boundaries to favor one party over the other What is the objective of Gerrymandering? Maintain Party’s power & ensure incumbents’ reelection What happens when carried to the extreme?

  21. The potential loss of “one person one vote”? => unconstitutional

  22. Districts (Reps) vs. States (Senators) • Homogeneous voters of districts vs. that of State • California’s diversity=> example (Table 11-1) • Impact on House vs. Senate reelections?

  23. Incumbent Advantages? Responsibility Resources of Office Franking Privilege

  24. The Incumbents’ Advantages • Home style presentation to constituents (voters) • Advantage of Responsibility (of the office) • Bringing home the porkto one’s State or district • Supporting popular views of their constituents • Free advertisement of incumbent’s official activities • Local media reporting of Congress press releases • Resources of Office: • Constituent service – staff responsive to voters • Who is a “helped voter” likely to vote for in future? • $$$ to return home on weekends=> direct meetings w/Voters • Franking privilege*(Newsletters- Figure 11-4)

  25. Franking Privilege? The right of a member of Congress to send official mail without paying postage.

  26. Campaign Money • Election money is necessary for: • Campaign workers • Pollsters • Offices • Advertising • Other expenses • Campaign Money-contributors go with winners - (As result: who is most likely to win?) • Incumbencystatus makes raising $ easier (Fig 11-5)*

  27. Sources of Funds for Congressional Candidates- 2004 Elections

  28. Name Recognition& Its Advantages • Name Recognition-ultimate advantage of incumbent • Voters vote for who they know & like • Even though voters may dislike Congress in general • The voters invariably like their own representative • (Or vote for whose name they recognize on the ballot) • Sort of like the way some answers are selected during exams? • What are the disadvantages of the Challenger? • (the reverse of all of the above)

  29. Voters and Election Outcomes • So…when do incumbents lose? • Lose touch with constituents (perception) • “Potomac fever” (Lost inside “the Beltway”) • Scandal => Bad Press back home • Midterm elections- unpopular president • Voters send a message to party in power • Senators especially vulnerable • Another factor: Divided government?*

  30. Divided Government When the president is of one party and the other party has a majority in at least one house of Congress Dealignment trends & influences => rise of independents - Desire of voters for “checks & balances” - Impact of recent growing polarization & Polls

  31. Serving in Congress • Who Serves? • (Typical member profile?) • White, male, lawyers • Two types of representation? • Descriptive versus? • Policy representation • Does it make a difference? • Text: Table 11-2 • (policy representation) • Figure 11-6* • (descriptive representation)*

  32. Serving in Congress (2) • Congress as a Job: • High socio-economic status • $162+K, power, meaningful, fulfilling work • Great medical & pension benefits ($124K/year) • Cost to member to serve? • Time & family sacrifice (heavy schedule: Text Fig 11-7) • Key issues of concern: Congress and Ethics • Corruption? (rare cases- scandals of 1980s & more recent) • Recent indictment of Tom DeLay & SEC investigation of Bill Frist • Conflicts of interest? (sometimes- also revolving door) • Stricter rules in recent years (restrictions on gifts) • Key: avoid the perception of possible corruption

  33. Next Assignment • Chapter 11b (Learning Objectives 7-13) • Review Article I of Constitution • Know how a Bill becomes a Law!

  34. Congress as an Organization: Overview

  35. Congress as an Organization • Political Parties in Congress • Provide cohesion, direction, and organization • coordinate party government (across other branches) • Party leadership not always followed by members-why? • Party Leadership in Congress • Role of Majority party leadership=> cohesive policies • Who is the key institutional leader of the House?* • What is his/her key role and responsibilities?*

  36. Speaker of the House • Chief Parliamentary Officer=> controls process & debate • Controls legislation referred to committee • Schedules when legislation will be debated on floor • Recognizes members on floor during a debate • Decideswhen to call a vote • Speaker’sInformal powers: • Controls flow of information to House membership • Power to give or withhold favors • Also leader of the majority party(Who currently holds office?) • Who are the Speaker’s key assistants?

  37. Majority Leader Majority Whip • Leadership’s chief vote counter • Monitors mood of House mbrs • Keeps leadership informed • Informs members of schedule & “how to vote” along party lines • Compel votes along party lines? • Helps schedule legislation • Helps develop party positions • Speaks forparty on House floor • (why not the Speaker instead?) • Institutional leader of all mbrs

  38. Majority Leader Majority Whip Responsible for keeping majority party unified and helping to craft strategies for the majority party What’s the role of the Minority Leadership? • Loyal opposition => (to majority party in power) • Minority Strategies available? • - Cooperate • - Compete • - Obstruct • Strategy usually selected? => role of timing

  39. Senate Leadership • Senate Majority Leader • Power in contrast to the Speaker of the House? • (Herding cats?) • Role of Unanimous Consent for the Senate? • How is the leadership positions determined? • What mechanism is used to select party leaders?* • (Applies to both House and Senate)

  40. Caucus A closed meeting of members of a political party to discuss matters of public policy and political strategy, and in some cases, to select candidates for office.

  41. Committees of Congress Which type of Committee does the Congress use to do its work? Standing Committee A permanent committee in Congress with jurisdiction over a specific policy area. Such a committee has tremendous say over the details of legislation within its jurisdiction. • Most powerful House Standing committees? • Appropriations, Rules, & Ways & Means

  42. Committees of Congress (2) • What are the other types of Committees? • Select committees • Special area or finite duration (investigations) • No power to report out legislation • Conference committees=> purpose & role? • Committee of both Houses to resolve differences in a Bill • Recent trends in how used by current majority in power • Re-writing the Bill from “scratch” • Contrasting approach of the two Chambers: • House vs. Senate (expert vs. generalists) => impact?

  43. Senate Organization Chart • Most powerful Senate Standing committees? Appropriations, Finance, Armed Services,& Foreign Relations

  44. Congressional Staffs • Purpose: support the members of the House & Senate • Personal staff (constituent services) • Focus: reelection of member • Committee staffs (subject expertise) • Standing & Select committees • Congressional support agencies: • Congressional Research Service • Government Accounting Office (GAO) • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) • Staff growth has been significant – why? • Federal government expanding role • Compete with Executive branch • Power of staff members? (Sheila Burke for Sen. Dole)

  45. The Business of Congress • Congress makes laws • The Legislative Process: • 1. Policy initiation(source of policy ideas?) • Co-sponsorship (getting support) • Member’s key role – introduce bill • 2. Committee Process: • * How a Bill becomes law =>

  46. How a Bill becomes Law- Overview

  47. Legislative Process inHouse of Representatives Bill referred to committee Bill referred to subcommittee Member Introduces Bill Note: Same version of the bill must pass both Houses Bill reported out by full committee

  48. The House Rules Committee Rules Committee Action* Debate and Vote

  49. The House Rule

  50. Lawmaking in the Senate Bill Referred to Committee Bill Referred to Subcommittee (Markup) Bill Reported by Full Committee