CHAPTER 10CONGRESS Section 1 A bicameral Congress p. 268
I. Bicameral Congress: 2 houses WHY??? • Historical reasons: British parliament had two house and so did most of colonies. • Practical reasons: Only way to get the Constitution passed was to go along with both the large states and small states • Theoretical reasons: Two houses would diffuse the power of Congress. (It was suppose to be the ruling body with the power of governing.
II. Terms and Session Term: = 2 years 114th Congress will go until 2017 Session: = l year 2 sessions = 1 term Each session and term starts January 3rd
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESSection 2 p. 273 A. SIZE OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 435 set by Congress. Each District = about 700,000 people MATH?: If Virginia has 11 congressional districts, what is the population of Virginia _________________ The Bureau of the Census takes the Census every ten years and tells each state how many districts it has. State legislatures draw the lines
B. GERRYMANDERING • Drawing district lines in a strange shape to guarantee a party wins or to prevent a party from winning • This act keeps most seats as “safe” in elections
C. Misc. House Info • Wesberry vs. Sanders (1964): important court case that said all congressional districts must be equal in population. Moved control of Congress from rural America to the cities (urban).
2. Formal and informal qualifications for Representatives a. Formal: 25, 7 years citizen, resident of state b. Informal: a) Being an incumbent helps (90% of those seeking re-election succeed. b) Fundraising abilities: Cost over $1 million to run c) Name familiarity d) Political experience e) Ethnicity/gender f) Party identification or lack thereof
THE SENATEsection 3 p. 281 “a necessary fence” against the “fickleness and passion” of the House of Representatives – James Madison A body which has time and security enough to keep its head. Woodrow Wilson
Size, election and terms 1. 100 = 2 from 50 states 2. Each serve 6 years: 1/3rd of Senate is is elected every 2 years so it is called a “continuous body” or “rotating” body. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
B. Formal and informal qualifications for office. 1.Formal: At least 30, 9 years citizen, resident of state 2. Informal: Same as House a. Party, b. Name familiarity, c. gender, d. ethnicity, e. political experience, f. incumbency
Members of CongressSec. 4, p. 285 A. 5 roles of members of Congress • Legislator • Representatives of their constituent • Committee member • Servants to constituent • Politicians
1. Committee members • Proposed legislation must go to committee • Screen the proposals and decide what goes to the floor to be considered by the whole House or Senate • Oversight function- • Check to see that the various agencies in the executive branch are doing what they are supposed to and following the laws set out by Congress
2. Servant to the People Help people who have problems with the government Some people believe that members of congress are there just to do favors for them
B. Privileges and Benefits • Pay • Fixed at $174,000 • Speaker of the House- $223,500 • Senate president pro tem, majority and minority floor leaders – $193,400 • Federal tax deduction • Travel allowances • Pay little for life and health insurance • Funds to hire staff • Offices provided in one of the buildings near the capitol
C. Compensation • Pay • Fixed at $174,000 • Speaker of the House- $223,500 • Senate president pro tem, majority and minority floor leaders – $193,400 • Federal tax deduction • Travel allowances • Pay little for life and health insurance • Funds to hire staff • Offices provided in one of the buildings near the capitol
B.PRIVILEGES OF CONGRESS • Free from arrest going to and from Congress and during a session of Congress. Why? 2. Speech and Debate Clause: Cannot be sued for anything said in Congress or committee. Article 1, Section 6, Why? • Franking privilege: Means free use of the mail. Why?