Unit 3 Congress, The Presidency, The Bureaucracy, The Judiciary
Becoming a member Parliament: persuade political party to put name on ballot Someone willing to support national policy and party Election is choice between parties, not people Congress: run in a primary election Parliament members support national policies, Congress people support local policies Role of office Parliament – whether to support the government or not Congress – develop and vote for proposed laws; independent from executive branch Difference between Congress and Parliament
Fear of “tyrant” Bicameral congress: protect the interests of the large/small states; protect the interest of federal/state governments Powers are limited to those expressed in the Constitution (really?) Taxes * rule over DC Elastic Clause Regulate commerce Naturalization rule Coin money *borrow $ Declare war * provide for militia Coin money * weights/measure Post office * patents Establish courts * maritime laws The Evolution of Congress
Checks and Balances Institutional Powers Senate ratifies treaties with 2/3 vote Senate approves appointments with majority vote House votes for impeachment, Senate tries the impeachment case If no electoral college majority, House elects the President, Senate the VP Proposal of constitutional amendments with 2/3 vote in each house Can seat, unseat, punish members of both houses Equal power? Importance of Senate The Evolution of Congress, cont.
The Evolution of Congress, cont. • Implied Powers • Based on elastic clause • Denied Powers • Passing ex post facto laws • Passing bills of attainder • Suspending habeas corpus except during rebellion/invasion
Struggles within Congress (distribution of power within Congress) The period of the founding Originally directed by the executive branch, soon developed own leadership Originally, the House was the preeminent institution The Evolution of Congress, cont.
Decline of the House Influence of Andrew Jackson and his vetoes Division of the issue of slavery Importance of the Senate Importance of issues that fell under their jurisdiction The rise of party control in the House Increased power and prestige of the Speaker of the House (Reed) Evolution of Congress, cont.
Decentralization of the House Rise of party caucus Rules Committee What legislation got presented Rise of the chairpeople of standing committees Setting committee agenda Determining which bills to report out Influence on content of bills Reward of seniority Evolution of Congress, cont.
Evolution of Congress, cont. • Recent changes in the House • Increased power for all Representatives • Increased number of all subcommittees; including power of chairpeople • Increase in the amount of staff
“Democratization” of the Senate Senate is more decentralized Fewer members No ‘speaker’ Lack of rules of committee 17th Amendment, 1913 End millionaire club Senate passed amendment under the threat of states calling a new constitutional convention Rule 22 regarding filibusters Cloture; 1917 3/5 vote could limit filbusters The Evolution of Congress, cont.
Sex and Race Demographical changes represented in Congress Can anyone represent anyone else? Typically older, white male comes from law/business background Incumbency Growing percentage of re-elected members Biggest factor in congressional elections Congress being seen as more of a career Debate on term limitations Party Who is in Congress?
Getting Elected to Congress • Determining Fair Representation • Malapportionment • Gerrymandering • Determining Representation • Total size of the House • Allocating seats among the states • Determining size of congressional districts within states • Determining shape of those districts • Winning the Primary • Increased advantage for incumbents • How re-election influences term
Party structure of the House 435 members 2 year term limits No limit on terms At least 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident of state Speaker of the House Floor leader (majority leader, minority leader) Steering and policy committee (committee assignments) Organization of Congress: Parties and Interests
Party organization of the Senate Senate has 100 members 6 year term limit Staggered so 1/3 elected every 2 years At least 30, citizen for 9 years, resident of the state Vice President is President of Senate Only votes in a tie Ceremonial position President pro tempore In line for presidency after the Speaker Real power is in the majority leader, minority leader: whips Majority leader recognized first for all debates True leader of majority party in Senate Policy committee – sets Senate agenda Organization of Congress: Parties and Interests
Organization of Congress: Parties and Interests • Party Voting • Broad policy agreements • Party provides information on various bills • Work towards long-term advantage in terms of influence, prestige, etc. • Caucuses • Democratic Study Group (DSG) • Conservative Democratic Forum • State Delegations • Etc.
Organization of Congress: Committees • Real work of Congress is done in the committee and subcommittees • Importance of getting on right committee – one in which constituents are best served (agricultural, technology, military, etc.) • Represent most of the power of congress • Decisions on committees determine legislation • Roughly two dozen committees and over 100 subcommittees • Standing committees • Permanent • Select committees • Appointed for a limited purpose • Joint committees • Both rep. and sen. serve • Number of seats varies by committee • Seniority as role in selection process • Chairs are of the majority party • Secret ballot; expertise; generally seniority system honored
House Rules Committee most powerful Ways and Means deal with tax bills Appropriations deal with spending bills Budget Armed Services Senate Finance deals with tax bills Appropriations deals with spending bills Budget Foreign relations – to reflect the Senate role in foreign affairs Types of Committees
Organization of Congress: Staffs and Specialized Offices • Vast, recent increase in staff size • Tasks of staff members • Servicing requests from constituents • Local offices as well as Washington offices • Legal paperwork for congress members • Advocacy role for staff • negotiators • Staff agencies • Congressional Research Service (CRS) • General Accounting Office (GAO) • Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Less than 10% of bills actually pass Introducing a Bill Any member of Congress many introduce May be public or private Has the lifetime of one Congress Only House may introduce bills for raising revenue Resolutions Simple – establishes rules of operation Concurrent – housekeeping/procedural matters Joint – essentially the same as a law How a Bill Becomes a Law
Study by Committees Most bills die in committee Live bills are then sent to subcommittees Many bills fall into multiple referral – many subcommittees look at their overall effect rather than allowing a slow, painful death Committees may “mark-up” bills Revisions and additions Committee may pigeonhole a bill – which is the most common fate Committees “reports out” the bill Can bypass the committee stall/procedures through a discharge petition Floor vote to vote on bill How a Bill becomes a Law, cont.
Study by committees, cont. To come back to House or Senate, bill is placed on the calendar Closed Rule: strict time limit on debate Open Rule: permits amendments from the floor Restrictive Rule: some amendments but not others How a Bill becomes a Law, cont.
How a Bill Becomes a Law, cont. • Study by committees, cont. • Types of Calendars: House • Union calendar (appropriations) • House calendar (nonmoney bills of major importance) • Private calendar (private bills - affect 1 person) • Consent calendar (noncontroversial bills) • Discharge calendar (discharge petitions) • Types of Calendars: Senate • Executive calendar (Presidential nominations, proposed treaties, etc.) • Calendar of business (all legislation)
How a Bill becomes a Law, cont. • Study by committees, cont. • House ways of bypassing the Rules Committee • Member can move that the rules be suspended • 2/3 vote • Discharge petition • process to force a bill out of committee • successful petition requires the signatures of 218 members, which is a majority of the House. • “Calendar Wednesday” procedure • Challenge speaker’s control of the agenda
Floor Debate – the House Floor Debate – the Senate Additions of amendments may be made from the floor (but not on appropriations bills) Filibuster How a Bill becomes a Law, cont.
Methods of Voting Voting often reflects amendment vote rather than bill vote Teller vote or roll call Reconciliation of the differences in a bill between the House and the Senate Bargaining for votes How a Bill becomes a Law, cont.
How Members of Congress Vote • Representational View • Clear constituent view • Organizational View • Cues from colleagues • Attitudinal View • Personal ideology
The intent of the Founders was the create a cautious and a deliberate process for legislating Role of the President Sign the bill Veto Ignore If congress is in session, in 10 days an unsigned bill will become a law However, if during those 10 days Congress adjourns, bill will be automatically vetoed Founding Fathers views on Congress’s ability to pass bills
Attempts to influence/bribe Presidential influence through snubbing or helping campaign How should members of Congress be judged? Congress has the right to judge and discipline its own members Executive branch investigations are handled by independent special prosecutor Campaign financing Ethics and Congress
Ethics and Congress, cont. • Incumbency advantage in elections • Reelection rate in House is over 90%, Senate over 80% • Franking privilege • Staff • Patronage • Name recongintion • Money • Attempts at Reform • Financial disclosure statements • Honorarias • Can no longer keep surplus campaign funds for personal use after retirement • Restriction on gifts • “free travel” restrictions
First Stage WWI – 1960s House dominated by committee chairman Second Stage 1970s Caucus would select committee chairmen Increased staffs Third Stage Effort in House to strengthen and centralize party leadership The Old and the New Congress
Presidents and Prime Ministers • Influence of Prime Minister • Representative of political party in power • Has majority representation in parliament • Cabinet members are chosen from parliament • Influence of President • Presidents are often political outsiders • Cabinet members are from outside Congress • Presidents don’t necessarily represent majority party • Can be at a crossroads even with own party • Divided Government • Policy problems: budget, war, appointments, ethics, etc.
Concerns of the Founders Could overwhelm state governments via use of the militia Could become “tool” of the Senate How do we elect/choose Electoral College State select electors however they want If no victor-election would go to the House Compromise of the factions Evolution of the Presidency
President’s Term of Office Traditional 2 term limit until Roosevelt 22nd Amendment, 1951 How do we transition between presidents? Jefferson and Jackson increased role and power of President Acts and vetoes Reemergence of Congress After Jackson left office, congress re-exerted itself Lincoln the exception Continuing pattern until FDR and the New Deal Teddy and Wilson the exception Current changing view of President as initiator of policy Evolution of the Presidency, cont.
Commander in Chief Head of the armed forces Commission officers of the armed forces Chief Jurist Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses Appoints federal judges Chief Legislator Convene congress in special sessions Proposes legislation Vetoes legislation The Powers of the President
The Powers of the President, cont. • Chief Diplomat • Appoints ambassadors • Sets overall foreign policy • Negotiates treaties and executive agreements • Grants diplomatic recognition to foreign governments • Chief Executive • Enforces laws (loosely interpreted), treaties, court decisions • Appoints officials to office • Issues executive orders – which have the force of laws • Chief of State • Ceremonial head of nation • Most nations separate chief of state and chief executive
Non-Constitutional Roles Head of political party Chief Economist Greatest source of presidential power is in public opinion From WWII to today, Presidential power has grown due to public expectations Cold War, Terrorism The Powers of the President, cont.
Qualifications Natural-born citizen 35 years of age Resident of the US for at least 14 years Growth of staff/responsibility First secretary in 1857 White House staff, ~ 500 Staff can isolate president Appointments to cabinet, courts, agencies, etc. The Office of the President
Rule of Propinquity People who are in the room when a decision is made have the power Fierce competition to be closest to the Oval Office White House Office Circular or pyramid organization Competition among staff for president’s ‘ear’ The Office of the President, cont.
Executive Office of the President • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) • Assemble and analyze figures for the national budget • Studies organization and operations of the executive branch • Reviews federal programs • National Security Council (NSC) • Coordinates foreign/military policy • Growing in importance • Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) • Three person advisory group • Office of Personal Management (OPM) • Office of the US Trade Representative • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Not a constitutional body Heads of 14 major executive departments Small number of presidential appointees in each department Self-preservation interests of cabinet members May be more loyal to Congress (funding) than President (appointment) The Cabinet
“in – and outers” People who have political followers Expertise Who Gets Appointed?
Presidential Character: Role of Personality • Eisenhower disguised his efficiency and thoroughness to evade questions • Kennedy projected boldness • Johnson was ineffective at speaking to the public, strong in one on one deal making • Nixon’s personality also made it hard for him to develop popular support • Ford enjoyed meeting with people – very genial • Carter boasted about how “un-Washington” he was • Reagan was the “Great Communicator” • H.W. Bush made many contacts with other leaders but was not able to articulate with the public
Clinton seemed to slide through various situations because of his ability to connect with the public Bush seemed single-minded and full of resolve to the public Presidential Character: Role of Personality
The Three Audiences Washington DC Fellow politicians and leaders Party Activists Activists in and outside of Washington The Public Fewer and fewer impromptu remarks More dependent on prepared addresses The Power to Persuade
Congress responds to president’s popularity even though it doesn’t affect their ‘seat’ Congress and the ‘coattails theory’ Can be reflected in how much presidential policies are passed by Congress Popularity and Influence
Most presidents see a loss of approval Decline in Popularity