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current holder of a political office.
process of re-drawing House of Representative lines to reflect increase or decrease in population from latest census.
the drawing of congressional lines for political purposes to ensure a certain political outcome
permanent committees established under the standing rules of the Senate and specializing in the consideration of particular subject areas. They are first and last place to which bills usually go.
congressional committee composed of members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
joint committee created to work out a compromise for House and Senate versions of a bill.
After a committee has had a bill for 30 days, any member of the House may petition to have it brought to the floor. If a majority of the members agree, the bill is discharged from the committee. The discharge petition was designed to prevent a committee from killing a bill by holding it for too long.
a procedure by which a senator asks to be informed before a bill or nomination is brought to the floor. The Senator holds floor for unlimited time by speaking thus theoretically stopping a vote.
a tactic of extended speech designed to delay or block passage of a bill in the Senate.
ends filibuster by limiting time to 30 hours more of time
a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
an indirect veto of a legislative bill by the president or a governor by retaining the bill unsigned until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the legislative session.
legislation beneficial to a member’s home district or state through public works programs, military bases to other types of programs
an unwritten political custom (or constitutional convention) in the U.S. whereby the president consults the senior U.S. Senator of his political party of a given state before nominating any person to a federal vacancy within that Senator's state.
it is 50/50 between states and central government.
central government has all power, and the states have little power.
ferry boat captains across the river between states, one had license between state, other through central government, whose license is valid? Central government license was good, because it was between states.
Gibbons v Ogden 1824
marble cake federalism: 1930’s, couldn’t tell what was federal and state government.
started in the 1980’s, more talk than actions, every president have talked about the idea of New Federalism, power is supposed to be given back to the states.
The right of the president to deny Congress information it requests on the grounds that the activities of the executive branch must be kept confidential.Recess Appointment
the formal body of presidential advisers who head the 15 executive departments. Presidents often add others to this body of formal advisers
Formal international agreements entered into by President that do not require Senate approval
EOP- Executive Office of the President
Helps the President oversee the bureaucracy within the executive branch
a written declaration that a president may make when signing a bill into law. usually, such statements point out sections of the law that the president deems unconstitutional
- Get 3/4th of the state's legislative vote
- Get 3/4th of the state's conventions
1 elected in electoral college
2 president dies
engaged in rebellion against U.S
cast their vote in state capital
president of US. senate
can only vote if there’s a tie.
3 Vice Presidents to become Presidents:
George Bush senior
House impeaches the president
Majority vote to impeach House of Representatives
Impeached in the house, tried to the senate.
Chief Justice presides over president trial,
Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, 2 presidents impeached.
3 Ways to Convict and Remove from Office:
states have most of the power, central government have little power.
Rights given to states reserved powers.
marriage laws. (reserved powers)
commerce within the state.
ex, sale of alcoholic beverages, gambling laws, gun laws, public school
controlled by central government.
1. power to tax, power to make & enforce laws, power to establish courts, the power to build roads and bridges.
state beat the federal government .. gun free school zones.
1 first time in 60 years
sometimes called layer-cake federalism: could tell if it was a federal or state.
held responsible for economy
Declared that racial limitations on marriage violated the due process guarantees of the 14th amendment
*Allowed interacial marriage*
-Overturns Plessy ruling
-Separate is inherently unequal
-Violates 14th Amendment
what the Senate was called by the end of the 19th century because so many rich guys had been elected into it. This was the cause of the direct election.
elections that don’t have major party shift
temporary legislative committee set up to highlight of investigate a particular issue.
a division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committees policy area. Most standing committees have several subcommittees.
period used for calculating annual ("yearly") financial statements in businesses and other organizations
when committee members make changes in the bill
the Congressional Budget Office which advises Congress on the effects of spending
the use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes.
legislative provisions that directs funds to be spent on specific projects.
Theory that a member should listen to constituents opinions and then use own best judgment in making a decision
Theory that voters should vote the way constituents would want, regardless of personal opinion even if contra to personal policy preferences or conscience.
Politico Theory can either use trustee or delegate role depending on issues
What created the structure of Congress?
The Great Compromise created the structure of Congress. It called for a bicameral legislature in which the House of Representatives would be apportioned according to population, and the states would be represented equally in the Senate.
To become a member of House of Representatives one must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States for at least last 7 years, and a legal resident of the state they were elected from. A member of the Senate must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of the United States for at least the last 9 years and a legal resident of state elected from.
How long does a Congress last?
The term of Congress begins on the third day of January every odd-numbered year, and lasts for two years.
When does the national government have to take a census as per the U.S. Constitution?
It requires a census every 10 years.
How many people does each House member represent on average?
Each represents about 713,000 people.
What are the Constitutional powers of Congress?
Congress has the power to make laws, raise and spend capital, power to declare war, raise an Army and Navy, coin money, regulate commerce, create court system, and immigration and Naturalization.
How does the Impeachment Process work? Who can be impeached?
Only the House can bring impeachment proceedings against a president, by majority vote. The president is then tried by the Senate with the chief justice of US presiding. A 2/3 vote of Senate is required to convict a president and remove him from office. The President, Vice President and Judges can be impeached.
What are the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate?
The House brings Impeachment charges against the Pres., VP, or judges if necessary. There are 435 House members apportioned by population. All revenue bills MUST originate in the House. The Senate conducts Impeachment trial (2/3 vote needed. Each state gets two Senators. The Senate also has the power of approval of major presidential appointments such as federal judges, ambassadors, Cabinet and Sub-cabinet positions, etc. The Senate also ratifies treaties
When did Congress members start to be career members?
They started to be career members after World War I.
Who are Congressman generally held to be liable? Which is most important?
Speaker of the House, Majority Leaders of Senate& House, Minority Leaders, Whips, Deputy Whips, Pro Tempore of Senate. Speaker of the House is most important.
What is the main characteristic of a Congressman?
Many Congressmen are very well educated and wealthy (and usually male and white).
What is the average age of members of the House? Senate?
The average age in the House is 57; the average age in the Senate is 63.
When or for what reasons do members of the House fail to be re-elected?
A few reasons for incumbents losing are gerrymandering, political scandals, or presidential coattails.
What percentage of House members are usually re-elected?
Senate? 87% of the House is reelected; 90% of the Senate is reelected.
What are the trends in election of minority members of Congress? Women? How many of each are in Congress?
The number of minority members in Congress has increased in recent years, except for female members who recently rebounded. Currently in the 113th Congress, female members are 77 up from 70 in the
House, and 20 up from 17 in the Senate. The number of African Americans in 113th Congress has increased from 42 to 44 in the House, and 0 to 1 in the Senate. There are 33 Hispanics in 113th Congress, House and Senate. There are only 7 Asian or Pacific Islanders members in the House in 112th Congress and only 1 American Indian member in the House in 112th Congress. There are 5 Homosexuals in the House with one openly bi-sexual member, and 1 lesbian in the Senate.
Who does redistricting of the House of Representative lines?
It is done by mostly partisan state legislatures.
When is gerrymandering legal? Illegal?
Gerrymandering must be apportioned on basis of population and it must be contiguous. It cannot be used to dilute minority rights (Voting Rights Act of 1965) but it can redraw lines to favor race IF race is not the “predominate” factor.
What are the leadership positions in the House of Representatives? Senate? Who currently hold s those positions in both the House and Senate? What are their major duties?
The Speaker of the House (John Boehner) is the leader of the House. The VP (Joe Biden) is the President of the Senate, and the Pro Tempore (Patrick Leahy) is next in line after him. The Speaker oversees House business, is the spokesperson for House, second in line, behind Vice-President to replace President, liaison to the President, normally has greatest political clout in the House of Representatives, expected to control his/her party. The VP’s only duty in the Senate is to vote if there is a tie. The Pro Tempore presides over Senate in absence of Vice-President, but it’s mostly an honorary position.
What is the line of succession to the President?
The line is as follows: VP, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore, Cabinet Secretaries.
Who normally presides over the Senate? Who is supposed to?
Presiding officer in reality is usually a more junior member of majority party and the duty rotates among Senators. The Presiding officer is supposed to be VP or Pro Tempore if the VP is absent.
What is true about the Vice-President of the U.S. when it comes to the Senate?
He’s not a member and his only duty is to vote if there’s a tie.
What are the different types of committees in Congress? What does each type of committee do? Subcommittees?
A Joint Committee is a congressional committee composed of members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives that conducts investigations or special studies on major issues. A conference committee is a joint committee created to work out a compromise for House and Senate versions of a bill. Standing Committees are permanent committees established under the standing rules of the Senate and specializing in the consideration of particular subject areas. They are first and last place to which bills usually go. A subcommittee is a division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committees policy area. Most standing committees have several subcommittees. How are members selected? Members are selected by party leadership. By party who is the chairman, how selected? The chairman has enormous power and prestige. Normally the selection of the chairman is based on seniority. How long can a committee chairman stay committee chairman? A chairman can stay committee chairman for 6 years.
What is the most powerful committee in the House? What does it do?
Most powerful in the House is the House Committee on Rules. It reviews bills after they come from a committee and before they go to the full House & gives each bill a rule.
How many committees are members of the House normally on? Subcommittees? Senate?
The House has 20 Committees with an average of 31 members each and 90 Subcommittees. The Senate has 16 Committees (membership varies from 15-29) and 70 Subcommittees
Are House members or Senators normally more powerful individually? What is the impact of that fact?
Senators are more powerful individually, which means leadership isn’t as important/powerful in the Senate. Senators can offer amendments to legislation or filibuster rights individually.
Know how a bill becomes a law and how and when it can be killed.
Bill is introduced by a member, goes to clerk of chamber who gives it a number, Bill is printed, Bill is sent to appropriate committee, Sent to Subcommittee who holds hearings and revises the bill (and subcommittees vote on the bill- they either approve it and it is returned to committee or they defeat the bill), Committee marks up the bill, Committee votes (A no vote kills the bill, A yes vote sends the bill to the whole Senate in the Senate or House Rules Committee in the House), Floor debate, Chamber vote, If bill survives, sent to other house chamber.
What law required the President for the first time to propose a budget to Congress? Who helps the President draw up his budget?
Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. The Office of Management on Budget helps.
What is the fiscal year of the United States?
October 1 to September 30.
What law created the Congressional Budget Office? Why?
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 with the intention of helping Congress by laying out a plan for Congressional action on budget, reconciliation, and other revenue bills.
What happens if Congress does not pass a Budget Resolution by October 1?
If not, Congress must allow government to operate at previous year’s level. If not followed leads to government shut down.
What are the different parts of the oversight functions that Congress must do?
Gather information, Policy review, Improve program administration, Budget preparations, Take actions against the President or Bureaucracy, Impeachment. Senate has oversight power over Federal judicial appointments, Key Members of executive branch, Senatorial Courtesy (U.S. District Court Judges) limitation
What do lobbyists do when it comes to interacting with members of Congress?
They take a grassroots appeal by urging members to contact legislators.
Over the years how has the balance of power between the President and Congress changed? In which’s favor?
Congress took power from President during Reconstruction. In the early 1900s – strong Presidents took power from Congress. So the power swings back and forth.
the practice of rewarding political supporters with government jobs
Balancing a Ticket-When a presidential candidate chooses a vice president who can strengthen their chance of being elected by balancing their political views or experience.
(1951)- Set the term limited to two (2) terms or, maximum of ten (10) years if start as Vice-President that assumes Presidency. Only one it would have applied to so far was LBJ and he did not run for 2nd full term
1967- If Pres. dies/is removed and VP becomes Pres.- New Pres., former VP, appoints a new VP. Must be approved by simple majority of both Houses of Congress. If VP dies or is removed- Pres. appoints a new VP. Must be approved by simple majority of both Houses of Congress. Also contains provision about Pres. disability-Disability is determined by Pres. If Pres. cannot declare the disability, then a majority vote of the cabinet can deem the Pres. incapacitated (never happened). During incapacity VP assumes duties of Pres.
Who were the executive officers in the colonies? Under the Articles of Confederation?
The King appointed Royal Governors. Under the Articles, there was no executive branch; there were eighteen (18) different presidents of the Continental Congress but they had no real power.
How was the Executive Office determined by the Constitutional Convention?
At the Constitutional Convention they agreed that one person should head executive branch and they said the President should be chosen by electoral colleges.
What are requirements to be President of the U.S. as per the Constitution?
Natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, resident of the US for 14 years.
What is the term of the President? How many terms did the Constitution specify that a President could have?
Originally the Constitution didn’t list the number of terms but In the 22nd amendment the term was set for 4 years and a maximum of 2 terms (10 years if they started out as VP).
What President was the first President to run unsuccessfully for a third term as President?
Under current law what is the maximum time that a President can serve on his own election? Totally?
22nd amendment. 2 terms for 4 years each. 8 years total.
What are the qualifications under the Constitution to be elected Vice-President of the United States?
The qualifications for being vice -president of the US are the same as the qualifications for president. You must be 35 years old, a native born American citizen, and have lived in the US for at least 14 years.
Who is/are the only Presidents to be impeached? Convicted? Resign from office?
Andrew Johnson was impeached. Bill Clinton was impeached but not convicted. No president has been convicted. Richard Nixon resigned.
What is the order of succession for the President’s replacement?
Constitution only had Vice-President to succeed the President. Presidential Succession Act of 1947 takes succession further in this order: Vice-President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Cabinet members in the order of creation (Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Defense…)
What is the State of the Union address? Why is it required?
The Constitution requires the Pres. to give a speech annually to a joint session of Congress and to the nation announcing the president's agenda.
What was the Treaty of Versailles? Why is it important?
The Treaty of Versailles ended WWI, and required Germany to pay reparations. It wasn’t ratified by the Senate, and was a huge defeat for Woodrow Wilson.
What powers does the President have in military matters?
He is Commander in Chief so he is in control of the entire defense establishment. However, the President can’t declare war, only Congress can.
How does the President’s power to pardon work?
The President has the power to pardon, the executive grant providing restoration of all rights and privileges of citizenship to individual previously charger or convicted of a crime. This can be used to offer general amnesty to a group of people, used politically for the benefit of big supporters/political allies, or used ideological.
What are the Constitutional powers of the President? Informal powers?
The Constitutional Powers given to the President are appointive power, the power to convene Congress, the power to make treaties, power to preside over the military, pardoning power and veto power. Informal powers include the power to persuade, party leader, morale builder, personnel recruiter, crisis manager, legislative leader.
Which President created the cabinet?
Which President completed the Louisiana Purchase? Under what power?
Thomas Jefferson used inherent powers to purchase Louisiana.
Andrew Jackson. He extended Presidential power by using his veto power over Congress, and using his power over states by facing down SC on the nullification issue.
Arguably which President assumed more power than any other President?
Abraham Lincoln because of the Civil War. He suspended right of habeas corpus, expanded U.S. Army above Congressional limits, blockaded Southern ports and closed U.S. mail to treasonable correspondence.
How does balancing a ticket work?
A President chooses a VP to contrast him and gain a wider range of voters. Based on age, geography, political views, etc.
What are the duties of the Vice-President of the United States? How has his position changed over the years?
VP has been a dead end job historically that is chosen to balance the ticket. Actual power depends on how much President gives him. The recent trend is to give more power to the VP. The VP is the President of the Senate and breaks any ties.
How does the first lady fit into the Executive Office?
She’s an informal advisor to the President and makes significant contributions to American Society.
What are the different divisions of the Executive Office of the President?
National Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the VP, Council of Economic Advisors, Office of Trade Representative.
Who in on the Security Council?
President, VP, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasury, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Military, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director, White House Chief of Staff, General Counsel
Who are the President’s closest advisors?
The cabinet (inner circle), the First Lady, National Security Office.
How large is President Obama’s White House Staff?
Consider the graph to the right. The inward movement of this budget line may be best explained as:
The ____________ party favored a strong national government.
Prior to the ratification of the Constitution, the United States was governed by the Articles of ______________.
In a ___________ system, local and regional governments derive authority from the national government.
What are the two types of powers given to the national government under the United States Constitution?
Under the system created by the Framers, the national and state governments share power and derive all authority from ______________.
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution establishes that federal law is ____________ in conflicts between federal and state law.
The _____________ Amendment says that those powers not given to the federal government and not prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the states and to the people.
Which clause in the Constitution ensures that judicial decrees and contracts made in one state would be binding and enforceable in another?