Article 1 The Legislative Branch
The 3 Branches of Government • Article 1- Legislative • Article 2- Executive • Article 3- Judicial Which is stronger? Technically no branch is stronger than any other! A check means to limit power in order to balance the power of the branches. The Framers created a series of checks and balances in order to limit the powers of each branch.
What is the Legislative Branch? • Legislative…What does this word sound like? • To “legislate” or to make and pass laws for the people • Congress is composed of representative to • represent the people on a federal level.
The Great Compromise • Virginia Plan- Based on Population • New Jersey Plan- Equal representation • The Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)- Created two methods of representation by essentially combining the previous plans
Bi-Cameral Legislature The Framers developed a Bi-cameral legislature: Senate House of Representatives Equal Representation: Every state gets 2 Proportional Representation: Based on Population
House of Representatives • Based on the population of a a state- “Majority rule”. H.O.R. members serve for 2 year terms! • Qualifications: 1. Must be at least 25 years old 2. Must be an American citizen for at least 7 years 3. Must live in the state when elected John Dingell From Michigan has served longer than anyone else in the House- 58 years and 292 days…and still counting!
Senate • Equal representation- 2 members of every state are chosen (6 year terms • Qualifications: 1. Must be at least 30 years old 2. Must be an American citizen for at least 9 years 3. Must live in the state when elected • Used to be chosen by the State Legislature- “Millionaire’s Club” • Overturned by the 17th Amendment • Strom Thurmond served 47 years and 149 days, only Senator to reach age 100 in office
Important Positions and terms in Congress House Of Representative Senate Senate President- The V.P. Senate Pro Tempore- The leader of the Senate when the V.P. is not around (senior member of majority party Filibuster- A long speech made to avoid a vote on a certain issue. Majority Leader- head of leading party Minority Leader- head of smaller party • Speaker of the House- Leader of the H.O.R. from the majority party (3rd in line for presidency- 25th Amendment) Both Whip- tells party members how to vote (there are minority and majority whips)
CHECKS AND BALANCES Powers Checks Limits or checks on Congress’s power includes: The President gets a say as to what laws get passed The Supreme Court can rule a law made by Congress unconstitutional Major powers of Congress include: • Being able to tax • Can declare war and control military spending • Ability to pass laws • Approves Presidential appointees and has impeachment powers
Quick Quiz • What is a bicameral legislature? • The legislative branch is composed of the _______________ and the _____________. • What are the three qualifications for Senate? The House of Representatives? • Who is the President of the Senate? • What are checks and balances? • What are the pros and cons of checks and balances?