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CONGRESS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CONGRESS
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  1. The Congress CONGRESS

  2. basics • Bicameral • 111th Congress - 2 year terms

  3. The House • 435 members • 2 year terms (pay close attention to constituents) • Qualifications • 25 years old • 7 years citizenship • Inhabit state/district

  4. Composition of the House (by party) • Democrats – 232 • Republicans – 200 • 3 vacancies

  5. House Demographics The House includes one Muslim, two Buddhists, and 30 Jews. There are 42 African-Americans (including two non-voting delegates), and 74 female Representatives. There are also 27 Hispanics, 4 Asian & Pacific Islanders, & 1 Native American.

  6. The Senate • 100 members • 6 year terms…implication? • Qualifications • 30 years old • Citizen for 9 years

  7. Composition of the Senate (by party)

  8. Senate Demographics • There are 16 female senators — the highest number of women ever serving in the same Senate. • There are 13 Jews, 3 Hispanics, 2 Asian Americans, 1 senator of Arab descent (half), and 1 African-American. • The average age of the Senate is 62 years of age in 2007 The oldest Senator in 2007 is Robert Byrd, at 89 years old, and the youngest is John Sununu, at 43 years old.

  9. Advantages of Incumbency • Win around 90% (see graph) • “Visibility factor”…name recognition • pork • Franking • $$$ • Issue: stability vs. term limits Grilled Knuckle of Pork

  10. The incumbent advantage

  11. Duties • Legislate • Committee member • Represent constituents • Oversight function

  12. House Rules I Question: How do 435 opinionated politicians process 11,000 bills per Congress (2 yrs)? • Complex rules (ex. 5 minute limit) for efficiency • Limited debate • Initiates all revenue bills, influential on budget • The key: Committees • Specialists • Represent constituents ”

  13. Committees in Congress (Senate) Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Budget Commerce, Science, and Transportation Energy and Natural Resources Environment and Public Works Finance Foreign Relations Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Judiciary Rules and Administration Small Business and Entrepreneurship Veterans Affairs

  14. Patty Murray’s Committees • Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions • Chairman - * Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee • * Education and Early Childhood DevelopmentSubcommittee • Committee on Appropriations • Chairman - Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee • Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee • Energy and Water Development Subcommittee • Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee • Defense Subcommittee • Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee • Homeland Security Subcommittee • Committee on the Budget • Committee on Veterans' Affairs • Committee on Rules and Administration

  15. House Leadership • The Speaker • Appoints committees • Schedule bills • 3rd in line • Floor Leaders • Majority & Minority • Help to steer bills • Party Whips – assist floor leaders • Caucus = party meeting

  16. House Rules II • Floor Sessions • Bills (the Hopper)…5-8% make it to vote • Key committee: • The House Rules Committee • “traffic officer” • Determine which bills will make it on the House Calendar • Settle disputes • Quorum = 291

  17. Senate Rules • Fewer rules…more freedom…more informal • Unlimited debate • More influential on foreign policy • Leadership • V.P. presides • Majority Floor Leader • Minority Floor Leader • Whips • Quorum = 67

  18. How Senate Bills Are Scheduled • Leaders control flow / calendars • Filibuster • Cloture = 60 • Majority party key