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  1. Answer this question • Should Congress reflect the will of the people? • Or should they pay attention to their own points of view, even if they disagree with their constituents?

  2. Location in Constitution Article I Term of Congress = 2 years 2 one year Sessions Session = January-December Legislative Branch = Congress

  3. Connecticut Compromise • Bicameral Legislature • two chambers • Senate & House of Representatives • Senate • states represented equally • House of Representatives • states represented according to the size of their population - population represented equally • in 1789 1:30,000 / Today 1:600,000

  4. Constituency The people a politician represents • Senate • people living in the state • House of Representatives • people living in the district

  5. Seniority – reforms – no longer automatic length of time spent in office length of continuous time spent assigned to a particular committee committee assignments & reelection of incumbents Incumbents person currently holding public office and seeking reelection approximately 95-98% get reelected each term in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, incumbents are reelected at a rate of approximately 90% Legislative Branch

  6. Senate • Qualifications for office • 30 years old • citizen for at least 9 years • resident of the state being represented • Term of office • 6 years • staggered terms • 1/3 of Senate elected every 2 years • Total membership = 100 (2 per state)

  7. AMENDMENT XVIIPassed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913. • Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the 17th amendment. • The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the peoplethereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. • When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

  8. House of Representatives • Qualifications of office • 25 years old • citizen for at least 7 years • resident of the state being represented • Term of office = 2 years • Total membership = 435 (50 states) • Reapportionment Act of 1929 • Census every 10 years • Role of Congress and state legislatures • Gerrymandering

  9. 113th Congress Senate • Majority Party = Democrats • Minority Party = Republicans House of Representatives • Majority Party = Republicans • Minority Party = Democrats

  10. United States Senate 113th Congress, Session 1 Majority Party: Democrat (53 seats) Minority Party:  Republican (45seats) Other Parties: 2 Independent Note: Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont was elected as an Independent. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut was reelected in 2006 as an Independent, and became an Independent Democrat.

  11. Party Divisions: 200 Democrats 234 Republicans 1 vacant U.S. House of Representatives

  12. Gender Profile approx. Senate 17 Women 83 Men House of Representatives 75 Women 358 Men

  13. Senate – African Americans • Hiram R. Revels (R-Mississippi), 1870-71 • Blanche K. Bruce (R-Mississippi), 1875-1881 • Edward W. Brooke (R-Massachusetts), 1967-1979 • Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Illinois), 1993-1999 • Barack Obama (D-Illinois), 2005-2008 • Roland Burris (D- Illinois), 2009

  14. Senate – Hispanic Americans • Octaviano Larrazolo (R-New Mexico), 1928-29 • Dennis Chavez (D-New Mexico), 1935-1962 • Joseph M. Montoya (D-New Mexico), 1964-77 • Ken L. Salazar (D-Colorado), 2005- • Melquiades R. Martinez (R-Florida), 2005- • Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), 2006-

  15. Senate – Asian Americans • Hiram L. Fong (R-Hawaii), 1959-1977 • Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), 1963- • Samuel I. Hayakawa (R-California), 1977-1983 • Spark M. Matsunaga (D-Hawaii), 1977-1990 • Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), 1990-

  16. Senate – Native Americans • Charles Curtis (R-Kansas) • 1907-13; 1915-29 (Kaw) • Robert Owen (D-Oklahoma) • 1907-1925 (Cherokee) • Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) • 1993-2005 (Northern Cheyenne)

  17. Congressional Salaries • The salary for the Speaker of the House & President of the Senate is approx. $220,000 • The salary for the Majority and Minority Leaders in both Houses is $193,400. • The current salary for all other Senators and Representatives is $174,000 .

  18. Organization of Congress • Speaker of the House • Potentially the most powerful and influential person in Congress • President of the Senate • Not a position of power • President pro tem most often presides • Majority Leaders & Minority Leaders • Committee Chairpersons

  19. Organization of Senate • President of the Senate (Vice President of the US) presides over important votes, can break a tie • President Pro Temp presides over the Senate when the Vice President is not present • Majority leader controls calendar, sets agenda, has power to recognize speakers • Majority whip maintains party unity and promotes majority party's agenda • Minority leader is senior leader of the minority party • Minority whip maintains party unity and promotes minority party's agenda

  20. Senate LeadershipPresident of the Senate = Joseph Biden (D) • Vice President of the United States • not a member of Congress • presides over the Senate (seldom) • only votes to break a tie

  21. President pro tem = Daniel Inouye (D) • ceremonial / honorary position • presides over the Senate when VP is not in attendance

  22. Majority LeaderHarry Reid (D) • Represents Nevada • First elected to the Senate in 1986 • Committee on Appropriations

  23. Assistant Majority Leader(Democratic Whip)Richard Durbin • Democrat • Illinois • Committee on Appropriations • Committee on the Judiciary • Committee on Rules and Regulations

  24. Minority LeaderMitch McConnell (R) • First elected to the Senate in 1984 • Represents Kentucky • Senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules Committees

  25. Assistant Minority Leader(Republican Whip)Jon Kyl • Republican • Arizona • Committee on Judiciary • Committee on Finance

  26. Florida’s Two Senators Bill Nelson (D) • Armed Services • Budget • Commerce, Science & Transportation • Foreign Relations • Special Committee on Aging • Select Committee on Intelligence Marco Rubio(R) • Commerce • Foreign Relations • Small Business

  27. Organization of House of Representatives A majority in the House elects Speaker of the House • Speaker of the House controls the calendar, sets the legislative agenda, and has the power to recognize speakers • Majority whip maintains party unity, polls members on bills and develops party support for legislative goals • Committee chairs (all are majority party) • Minority leader is senior leader of the minority party • Minority whip maintains party unity and promotes minority party's agenda • Representatives seek assignments that allow them to influence decisions important to their districts

  28. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) • Serves as Speaker of the House • Represents Ohio’s 8th District • Often responsible for airing and defending the majority party’s legislative agenda in the House • Traditionally refrains from debating or voting in most circumstances, and does not sit on any standing committees of the House • Leads the appointment process for the chairs of the various committees & subcommittees in the House

  29. House Majority LeaderEric Cantor (R) • Represents Virginia's 7th Congressional District • Schedules legislation for consideration on the House Floor, as well as building unity among House Democrats and delivering the Democratic Party's message.

  30. House Minority LeaderNancy Pelosi (D) • Represents California’s 8th District • Leader of the Democratic agenda in the House

  31. Committee Assignments Transportation (chairman House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Florida’s 7th District (Includes WPH)John Mica(R)

  32. Committee System • Core of Congress where bills are considered • Committees allow members to specialize in policy areas and become experts • Congressional division of labor achieved through committees • Committee chairs act as “gatekeepers” • Standing committees have fixed membership, officers, rules, staff, and offices • Majority party sets rules and chooses officers • Majority party always has most committee members • Jurisdiction is defined by subject matter of legislation

  33. Examples • Farm subsidy bills go to Agriculture Committee • Highway bills go to Transportation Committee • GI Bill benefits go to Veteran’s Affairs Committee • House Rules Committee decides the order in which bills come up for a vote and determine the rules that govern length of debate and opportunity for amendments

  34. House of Representatives - Committees JudiciaryNatural ResourcesOversight & Government ReformRulesScience & TechnologySmall BusinessStandards of Official ConductTransportation & InfrastructureVeterans' AffairsWays & Means Select Committees: Select Committee on IntelligenceHouse Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming AgricultureAppropriationsArmed ServicesBudgetEducation & LaborEnergy & CommerceFinancial ServicesForeign AffairsHomeland SecurityHouse Administration Joint Committees: Joint EconomicJoint PrintingJoint Taxation

  35. Senate Committees • Finance • Foreign Relations • Health, Education, Labor & Pensions • Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs • Judiciary • Rules & Administration • Small Business & Entrepreneurship • Veterans’ Affairs • Joint Committees • Joint Committee on Printing Joint Committee on Taxation Joint Committee on the Library Joint Economic Committee Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Budget Commerce, Science & Transportation Energy & Natural Resources Environment & Public Works Special, Select, and Other Indian Affairs Select Committee on Ethics Select Committee on Intelligence Special Committee on Aging

  36. Lawmaking in Congress Only 5-10% of bills introduced become law Work takes place in committees

  37. HOW A BILL BECOMES LAW • A member of Congress must introduce the bill • Senate or House of Representatives • All revenue bills must start in the House • Bill is given a number & title that reflects the subject of the bill

  38. Bill is forwarded to the appropriate Sub-Committee • Sub-Committee Chairperson sets the agenda • Sub-Committee researches, holds hearings, debates, makes changes to bill and then finally votes • Bill must pass a 50% + 1 vote • Bill is sent back to the Standing Committee • Process may be repeated in the Standing Committee

  39. If in the House of Representatives… • 50% +1 in the HouseStanding Committee  • Sent to the Rules Committee • sets rules for House Floor debate, then vote • Released to the full floor for debate & vote • When passed by a 50% + 1 vote, then sent to the Senate where the process is essentially repeated

  40. If bill started in the Senate… • When passed by a 50% +1 vote in the Senate Standing Committee  • sent to the full floor for debate and vote • potential filibuster • When passed by a 50% + 1 vote, then sent to the House of Representatives where the process is essentially repeated

  41. All bills must pass BOTH Houses of Congress

  42. All bills must pass in identical wording • if the House and the Senate versions of the bill are different, the bill is sent to a Conference Committee

  43. Conference Committee • contains members of both Chambers • senior members of standing or subcommittees that initiated the bills • If a compromise bill is accepted by the Conference Committee, then this single version of the bill must be sent back to each House for a final full floor vote (50% + 1)

  44. House of Representatives Introduced Given a Title & # Rules Committee Limits on debate time Vote 50% + 1 Subcommittee Chairperson sets agenda Research, hearings, debate Vote 50% + 1 Full Floor Committee of the Whole Debate & Vote 50% + 1 Standing Committee Process repeated Vote 50% + 1 Sent to the Senate

  45. Conference Committee Senate • Members from • both Houses • Reconcile HR & S • versions of the bill • Vote 50% + 1 Bill is Introduced Given a Title & # Committee Process is repeated Except there is no Rules Committee Full Floor vote in each House (50% + 1) Full Floor Debate is unlimited Possible filibuster Vote – 50% + 1 Sent to the President

  46. Bills passed in each House of Congress are sent to the President where he/she is given 10 days to take action The President has 4 Options:

  47. Bill becomes Law Option 1: The President signs the bill into law

  48. Passes with No Signature Option 2: Bill becomes a law without the president’s signature • Does not sign • 10 days pass • Congress is still in session • bill becomes law