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Congress:The People ’ s Branch. Reapportionment. Apportionment is decided every ten years by the census. Congress is in charge of reallocation. Redistricting.

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Presentation Transcript
  • Apportionment is decided every ten years by the census.
  • Congress is in charge of reallocation.
  • Redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, accommodating population shifts and keeping districts as equal as possible in population.
  • Follows the census.
  • Final approval governors, redistricting commissions.
  • Single party controlling both the legislative and executive branches of state governments. Extreme cases known as the above.
  • Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusettes.
  • Districts must be equal in population (one man one vote)
  • Must be contiguous.
  • Cannot be based on race.

Baker v. Carr (1962)

14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause; “one man, one vote”; ordered state legislative districts to be as near equal as possible in population; reapportionment; example of Warren Court’s judicial activism


Built on Baker case; Required virtually every state legislature to be reapportioned; shifted power from rural to urban areas


Wesberry v. Sanders (1964)

Ordered House of Representative legislative districts to be as near in population as possible; extended Baker v. Carr (1962) to the national government


Reno v. Shaw (1993)

No racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.

house v senate


House v. Senate

Two year term

435 members

Elected in districts

Fewer personal staff

Tighter rules

Tax bills start here

Rules committee sets

Terms of debate

No fillibuster

Six year term

100 members

Elected by states

Looser rules

More personal staff

Foreign treaties must

Be ratified here

Whole senate sets rules


  • Presiding officer in the House
  • Second in line of the presidency (after the vice president)
  • Nothing laid out in Constitution, appoints members to committees.
newt gingrich
Newt Gingrich
  • Established authority
  • Reorganized committees
  • Resigned due to lack of ethics in use of tax-exempt funds.
majority leader
Majority Leader
  • Helps plan party strategy, confers with other party leaders, and trieds to keep memers of the party in line.
  • Assists the speaker
  • Used to be almost exclusively picked on Seniority.
minority leader
Minority Leader
  • Usually steps into the speakership when his or her party gains the majority.
  • Spokesperson of minority party.
  • Party leader who is the “helper” b/w the leadership and the rank-and-file in the legislatiure.
  • Whipper-in “hunter who keeps the hounds bunched in a pack during a fox hunt”
president pro tempore
President Pro Tempore
  • Take the place of the Vice President
  • Elected by the majority
  • Practice in the Senate whereby a senator refuses to relinquish the floor and thereby delays the proceedings and prevents a vote on the controversial issue.
  • How you end a fillibuster. 16 Senators sign petition asking for cloture. 60/100 Senate vote for cloture.
strom thurmond
Strom Thurmond
  • Known for his long speeches. Once over 24 hours 18 minutes, trying to curtail the Civil Rights Act of 1957 allowing voting rights to minorities.
  • Included the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Washington’s Farewell Address and seveal phone books.
power to confirm
Power to confirm
  • Check on executive power
  • Relevant Committee advises: Judiciary over Supreme Court Justices
  • Usually gives president benefit of doubt on executive appointees
  • Standing committees, just that.
  • Select special: Come together to address temporary priorities
  • Joint committees: have members of both houses
authorizing committees
Authorizing committees
  • Pass the laws that tell the government what to do.
  • Senate education and labor committees: responsible for setting the rules governing Pell Grants
appropriations committee
Appropriations Committee
  • How much money government can spend.
  • Sub committees underneath these for each subject area.
revenue and budget com
Revenue and Budget Com.
  • Deal with raising and spending the money and set broad targets that shape the federal budget.
  • House of Ways and Means: raises and authorizes spending. Only committee that can originate tax and revenue legislation, also responsible for making decision on SS and medicare.
seniority rule
Seniority Rule
  • Member of the majority party that has been in committee the longest becomes chair upon the retirement of another.
investigation and oversight
Investigation and Oversight
  • Conducts investigation to see if legislation is needed.
  • Oversight:questions executive officials to see whether their agencies are complying with the wishes of the Congress and conducting programs efficiently.
i m just a bill
“I’m Just a Bill”
  • House introduces a bill by dropping it in a mahogeny box called a “hopper.”
  • Senate introduces by presenting it to their colleagues in a floor speech.
  • H.R. (House of Representatives)
bill on its way
Bill on its way
  • Subcommittees look at bill, edits and send to Committee.
  • Committee considers bill, if it is approved (in some form) sent to full House or Senate.
house rules com and on
House Rules Com and on..
  • Rules Committee issues a rule to govern debate on the floor and sends it to the rull house.
  • Full House debates the bill and may amend. Sends to Senate if passed.
  • Subcommittee-unanimous consent sends bill to full Senate
  • Full Senate debates and may amend.
house v senate1
House v Senate
  • Differences are heard in the CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
on to the president
  • If bill is approved, sent to President for signature of authorization.
  • President can veto
  • Congress can override by two third majority vote in both House and Senate
mark up
  • What committees or subcommittees do before they pass the bill on. Change wording, amend.
discharge petition
Discharge petition
  • Force bill out of committee to be heard by full House.
  • Campaign Finance 2002
  • Not used often, Senate does not use at all.
  • What is stated in Article I Section 3 of the Constitution?
  • How was this changed by the Seventeenth Amendment?
pork barrel
Pork Barrel
  • A term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative’s districts.
earmarks definition
Earmarks Definition
  • Provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects.