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Chp. 10: Congress

Chp. 10: Congress

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Chp. 10: Congress

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  1. Chp. 10: Congress

  2. p. 002 Objectives

  3. p. 000 Essential Understandings

  4. p. 000 Essential Questions

  5. Section 1: The National Legislature p. 003

  6. p. 003 • Historical • British Parliament • most of the colonial governments • Practical • to settle the conflict between theNew JerseyandVirginiaPlans during the Constitutional Convention • New Jersey Plan – representation is equal (Senate) • Virginia Plan – representation is proportional to the population of the state (House) • Theoretical • the legislative branch was designed to be the most powerful branch of the government • Framers were saw bicameralism as a way to diffuse the power of Congress Reasoning For a Bicameral Congress

  7. p. 003 • Terms • a term lasts two years • starts on Jan 3rd ofodd numbered years • Jan 3, 2011 – start of the 112th Congress • Session • a session is one year (two per term) • adjourns – suspend until next session • no house may adjourn without the consent of the other • the president may prorogue a session if the two cannot agree on a date for adjournment • Special Sessions • a meeting to deal with some emergency situations • only 26 ever called • most recent was held in 1948byHarry Truman to consider anti-inflation and welfare measures after WWII • Congress meets year-round now which reduces the likelihood of special sessions Terms and Sessions

  8. Section 2 The House of Representatievs p. 003

  9. p. 005 • 435members • apportioned on the basis of their respective populations • each state guaranteed at least onerepresentative • two year terms – no limit to number of terms • Reapportionment (redistribute) • every ten years after the census • Reapportionment Act of 1929 • set the permanent size of the House at 435 (each person represents about 720,000) • after each census, the Census Bureau determines the number of seats each state should have Size and Terms

  10. p. 005 • 4. Congressional Elections • held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November on each even-numbered year • all states follow this guideline (Alaska can hold elections in October, but chooses not to) • Off-Year Elections are congressional elections not held on the same year as the presidential election • usually the party in power loses seats • 5. Districts • each of the 435 members of the House represents a district in the U.S. • single-memberdistrict – only one person can win in that district • 6. Gerrymandering - district lines have been drawn so that the party in power in a state can maintain power • try to concentrate the opposition’s voters in one or more districts • try to spread the opposition as thinly as possible among several districts Size and Terms

  11. p. 005 • Formal • must be at least 25years old • must have been a citizen of the United States for sevenyears • must be an inhabitant of the State from which he or she is elected • custom requires that the representative live in the district he/she represents • the House can refuse a seat to a member-elect by a majority vote • the House can expel a member by a 2/3 vote • Informal • usually have to do with a member’s vote-getting abilities • factors such as party identification, name familiarity, gender, ethnic characteristics and political experience • Frank Wolf (R) (1992-present from VA’s 10th district) – House Appropriations Committee, Transportation Appropriations subcommittee Qualifications

  12. Section 3: The Senate p. 007

  13. p. 007 • Size • 100 members • 2 from each state • represent their entire state • Election • originally elected by state legislatures • 17th Amendment allowed them to be elected by popular vote • at-large– elected from the State as a whole • Term • six year terms –no limit to number of terms • a third go up for reelection every two years • helps keep the Senate a continuous body– all the seats are not up for reelection at one time • greater job security • less subject to the pressures of public opinion and special interest groups Size, Election, and Terms

  14. p. 007 30years old must have been a citizen of the US for at least nine years must be an inhabitant of the State from which he or she is elected the Senate can refuse a seat to a member-elect by a majority vote the Senate can expela member by a 2/3 vote Mark Warner (D) (2009-Present) – Committee Assignments – Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Rules and Administration; Budget; Commerce, Science, and Transportation Jim Webb (D) (2007-present) – Committee Assignments – Foreign Relations; Veterans’ Affairs, Armed Services; Joint Economic Committee Qualifications

  15. Section 4: The Members of Congress p. 009

  16. p. 009 the members of Congress are not a representative cross section of the American people 57% are Protestant, 29% are Roman Catholic, 7% are Jewish (other religious affiliations represented include Greek Orthodox, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, Mormon, Buddhists, and Muslims more than a third of the House and over half the senators were lawyers 92% of House Members and 99% of Senators have a college degree Personal and Political Backgrounds

  17. p. 009 • Legislators • help make laws (main function of Congress) • Representatives of their Constituents • represent the people that vote for them • trustees– decide each issue based on its merits and not on the opinion of their constituents • delegates– decide each issue based on the opinion of their constituents • partisans– side with political party on issues • politicos– attempt to balance being trustees, delegates and partisans • Committee Members • specialize in one area of the law • earn prestige and power • Servants of their Constituents • try to help based on issues important to their constituents • Politicians Five Major Roles

  18. p. 009 • Salary • for all Senators and Members is $174,000 • for the Speaker of the House is $223,500 • for the Majority and Minority Leaders is $193,400 • control their own salaries • Nonsalary Compensation • special tax deductions for maintaining two residencies • travel expenses • a generous retirement plan to which the contribute • office staff expenses • franking privilege– allows them to mail letters postage free • Membership Privileges • free from arrest except in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace • protected from libel or slander while conducting official business Compensation