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Congress. The Roots of the Legislative Branch. Colonial Assemblies Bicameral legislative bodies One popularly elected house One Crown-appointed council Served as Advisory Council To the King-appointed governors Power Limited Increasingly over taxation & spending
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The Roots of the Legislative Branch • Colonial Assemblies • Bicameral legislative bodies • One popularly elected house • One Crown-appointed council • Served as Advisory Council • To the King-appointed governors • Power • Limited • Increasingly over taxation & spending • Legislation on religious matters • Regulate production of goods in colonies
The Roots of the Legislative Branch • 1st Continental Congress (1774) • 1st National Legislature • To respond to the Coercive Acts • Advised building of colonial militia • Organized colonial boycott of British goods • 2nd Continental Congress (1775) • Prepared the colonies for war with Britain • Raised a colonial army • Adopted Declaration of Independence • Directed the war & run a national government
The Roots of the Legislative Branch • Congress Under the Articles of Confederation • Unicameral legislature • Each state represented by 2 to 7 delegates • Each state had one vote (“ equal representation”) • Congress = National government • No President & National Court created • Members of Congress sent by state legislatures • Limited Powers • Maintaining an army and navy • Supervising trade with Indians • Coining money
The Roots of the Legislative Branch • Limitations of Congress under the Articles • Weak national government vs states • Missing link btwn people & nat’l government • Low standing in international affairs • Foreign relations conducted by states • Foreign trade regulated by states individually • Financially incapacitated • No taxation power • Reliance on state for financial resources
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Constitutional convention of 1787 • Structure of Congress • Unicameral or Bicameral • New Jersey Plan • “equal representation” One state, one vote • Virginia Plan • “proportionate representation” # of seats proportional to population
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Constitutional convention of 1787 • Unicameral or Bicameral • Great Compromise • Bicameral Congress • Proportional representation (House) • Equal representation (Senate)
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Sources of Power: How Should Congress Be Elected? • Lower house: popularly elected • Upper house: sent by state legislatures • Powers of Congress • Does Congress elect President? • No, Electoral College does • Yes, when no candidate receives a majority votes in the College
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Powers of Congress • “Power of the Purse” • Appropriation of money • Authorization of borrowing • taxation • Regulatory Power • Regulation of currency • Punishment of counterfeiting • Regulation of inter-state & int’l trade
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Powers of Congress • Law-making Power • Establishing rules of naturalization • Making patent & copy-right laws • Making bankruptcy laws • Making amendments to Constitution • War-making & Military Power • War declaration • Raising & supporting armed forces • Providing for militia
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Powers of Congress • Power of Personnel Appointment • Confirmation of executive appointments • Secretary of State • US ambassador to the UN • Confirmation of federal judge nomination • Federal court judges • US Supreme Court justices • Power of Impeachment • Bringing impeachment charges (House) • Trying impeachments (Senate)
Congress & Constitution (1789) • Powers of Congress • Other Powers • Establishing post office & post roads • Fixing weights and measures • Providing for the government of D.C. • Admitting new states • Establishing lower federal courts
Senate vs. the House • Size • 435 members in the House (since 1911) • 106 members in 1791 representing 3.5 million residents • 100 Senators in the Senate • Qualifications • House • 25 years of age • Citizenship for at least 7 years • Residency in district: 1 year • Term of service: 2 years • 1 member per 550,000 people • How often is Congressional election? • How many Members face election each time?
Senate vs. House • Congress & Constituency • House of Representatives • Closer to the voters • More reflective of voter preferences • More answerable to constituents • Senate • More remote to the voters • Allows for political stability & policy continuity • Less responsive to temporal changes in popular sentiments • Can act as a dispassionate counter-weight to the more popular & radical House
Senate vs. House • Qualifications • Senate • 30 years of age • 9 years of citizenship • Residency requirement in state: 1 year • Term: 6 years • 2 seats per state in Senate • How often is Senatorial election? • How many Senators face election each time?
Senate vs. House • Legislative role differences • Senate • More deliberative • Why? • Less structured • House of Representatives • More centralized & organized • Why? • More routine & structured
Congress vs. US Society Does Congress mirror the American society? • In religious belief (2001-2003) • Protestant 341 • Catholics 149 • Jewish 37 • Mormon 16 • Policy implications • Abortion • Same sex marriage
Congress vs. US Society • Minorities in Congress • Women
Congress vs. US Society • Minorities in Congress • Race
Congress vs. US Society • Professional background
Congress vs. US Society A typical member of Congress • Middle-aged • Male • White • Lawyer • Whose father is of the professional or managerial class • Native born or from northwestern or central Europe, Canada
To run for Congress… 2000 Senatorial Race of New York
To run for Congress… Three success factors • #1: Who the person to run • Candidate characteristics have an edge over others • A record of prior public service • National name recognition • Hillary Clinton versus Rep. Rick Lazzio • Fund-raising capability
To run for Congress… • Why members of Congress easily win re-election?
To run for Congress… • #2: Incumbency Advantages • Visibility • Advertise thru contacts with constituents • Stay visible thru trips to home districts
To run for Congress… • #2: Incumbency Advantages • Visibility • Campaign contributions • Donations go to those in office • Donations to challengers offend incumbents • Credit claiming thru services to individuals & district • Casework • Attend to voter concerns, requests and problems • Help cut thru bureaucratic red tape to get what one believes he has a right to get • Pork barrel • List of federal projects, grants & contracts • Help obtain or make known such projects to district
To run for Congress… • #2: Incumbency Advantages • Visibility • Campaign contributions • Credit claiming thru services to individuals & district • Incumbent resources • Institutional connections and access to channels of communications • “franking privilege” (free use of the US mails) • Tax-funded travel allowance to stay visible in one’s own district • Incumbents scaring challengers away *calls for “term limits” aim to eliminate incumbency advantage
To run for Congress… Congressional Districts District 23 (Texas) and District 3 (Florida in ’92 and ’96)
To run for Congress… • #3: Redistricting • Congressional districts redrawn every 10 years • To avoid under- or over-representation • Re-drawing districts is highly political • Can create open seats • Can pit incumbents of the same district against one another, ensuring one of them to lose • Can create advantage for one Party • Putting people of the same party in one district • Or separating them into two or more districts.
Cost of Congressional Race… • Cost to Get Elected • Congressional elections are getting more costly • Jon Corzine (NJ-D), $63 million own money on Senate race • $928 million spent on 1999-2000 Congressional election • Incumbents outspend their opponents • E.g., $7.5 million spent by Newt Gingrich’s reelection in 1998 • Candidates of major states spend more • $85 million attracted in Hillary-Lassio race, 2000
Cost of Congressional Race… • Cost to Get Elected • Spending on House race • Winners: $800,000 • Losers: at least $300,000 • Spending on Senate race • Winners: $7 million up to $40 million or more • Rising Cost
Cost of Congressional Race… • Rising Cost
Organization of Congress • Congress not only represents, it also legislates. • Internal complexity makes it hard to conduct business without organization. • Congress is organized around: • Political parties • A committee system • Parliamentary rules of the House & Senate • And others…
Organization of Congress • Political Parties • House leader election every two years • Majority party leader = House Speaker • Every party has a Committee on Committees (Democrats call theirs: the Steering & Policy Committee) • Assign new legislators to committees • Transfer incumbents to new committees on request • Majority & minority leaders jointly control Senate calendars (agenda)
Organization of Congress • Party leaders & legislative agenda • Leaders are enthusiastic for agenda • To create consensus within party • 1980 • 1994-1995 (when Congress not controlled by President’s party)
Organization of Congress Committee System Standing Committees • Important policy-making bodies • Existing from Congress to Congress • Paralleling executive agencies • Foreign Affairs Committee - State Department • Intelligence Committee – CIA & others • Having power to report legislation
Organization of Congress • Select Committee • Temporary committees • No power to report legislation • Set up to handle specific issues that fall btwn the jurisdiction of existing committees • A special committee for investigating the Watergate scandal (1973)
Organization of Congress • Joint Committee • With members from both parties • Permanent • No power to report legislation • Four types of joint committees • Economic • Taxation • Library • printing
The Committee System • Conference Committee • Temporary • Members appointed by Speaker & Senate presiding officer • For reconciling any differences on legislation once it has been passed by House & Senate
The Staff System • A number of staff members for every legislator • Staff members (7,216 in House alone, 1999): • Handle constituency requests • Take care of legislative details • Formulate & draft proposals • Organize hearing, deal with administrative agencies, reporters and lobbyists…
The caucuses • What is a caucus?Informal group or committee composed of Senators or Representatives who share opinions, interests or social characteristics. • Ideological causes • Liberal Democratic Study Group • Issue-oriented caucuses • Travel & Tourism Caucuses • Congressional Friends of Animals • Common background caucuses • The Congressional Black Caucus
The caucuses • What is a caucus? • Objectives of the Caucuses To advance interests of the groups they represent by promoting legislation, encouraging Congress to hold hearing, and pressing administrative agencies for favorable treatment
How a Bill Becomes Law Some facts: • For a bill to become law, there are many routine hurdles • It is easier for opponents to kill a bill than to pass it • The law-making process is highly political
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps • Introducing legislation Who can introduce legislative proposals? • Members of Congress • Executive branch • Interest groups • Constituents
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 2. Assignment to Committee • Given a number in House preceded by “H. R.” and by “S” in Senate • Bill referred to a committee • Most bills assigned to the appropriate committees • Complex bills referred to several committees • Controversial bills are sometimes handled by temporary or ad hoc committees set up for that purpose
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 2. Assignment to Committee • Often, nothing happens to the bills in committee. Neglect leads to death of many bills • Bills to be acted on are often referred to the appropriate sub-committees.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 3. Hearing • Once the sub-committee or full committee decides to act, hearings are held participated by: • Executive agency representatives • Academia • Interest groups • Other interested persons • In a typical two-year Congress • Senate: 1200 hearings • House: 2300 hearings
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 4. Reporting a Bill • When a sub-committee decides to act on a bill, it drafts it line by line • It reports it to the full committee • The full committee accepts, rejects or amends the bill.
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 5. Schedule Debate • When a committee agrees to submit a bill to the two houses, it is put on the House & Senate calendar, a list bills for action • Each house has different calendars for different bills • In House, non-controversial bills are put on the Consent Calendar or Private Calendar to be passed without debate
How a Bill Becomes Law The Law-making Steps 5. Schedule Debate • Each house has different calendars for different bills • Controversial or important bills are placed on the Union Calendar or house Calendar. Rules & procedures (length of debate) are requested from the Rules Committee.Define the following:filibuster, cloture, open rule, closed rule.