Chapter 11: Structure of Congress Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 11: Structure of Congress Deck (28):
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bicameral

a legislative branch divided into two separate houses

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caucus

a meeting of all members of a party in the House or Senate

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reapportionment

the process of redrawing congressional district lines to reflect population shifts

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gerrymandering

the redrawing of district boundaries to favor a particular party or group of people

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congressional district

geographical area in a state represented by a House member

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single-member district

legislative districts from which only one representative is chosen

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at large

statewide election of US senators

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Seventeenth Amendment

allowed for direct popular election of senators (1913)

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delegates

nonvoting members of Congress who represent various U.S. territories and the District of Columbia

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coalition

a temporary alliance of several groups

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census

official government count of United States citizens taken every ten years and used to determine the number of representatives for each state

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majority leader

the leader chosen by the party with the most members in the House or Senate; in the House, next to the Speaker in authority, but in the Senates, the most powerful member

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minority leader

the leader chosen by the part with the second most members in the House or Senate

13

majority whip

In the House and Senate, the assistant majority leader chosen by the party with the most seats in that body of Congress; responsibilities include overseeing communication, tracking votes, and summarizing bills

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minority whip

In the House and Senate, the assistant minority leaders chosen by that party with the second most seats in that body of Congress; responsibilities include overseeing communication, tracking votes, and summarizing bills

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president pro tempore

honorary position given to the most senior member of the Senate's majority party; he presides over the Senate when the vice president is absent

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Speaker of the House

Head of the House of Representatives who presides over the House, manages House business, and serves as the official spokesman for the House; elected by the House members and usually from the majority party

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term limits

limits on the number of terms an elected official can serve

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franking privilege

the privilege enabling members of Congress to send official mail free of charge

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junkets

unnecessary trips made by members of Congress at the taxpayers' expense

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standing committees

permanent committees in Congress

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select committees

temporary congressional committees created for a specific purpose, usually to investigate particular problems

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joint committees

permanent committees composed of House and Senate members acting as an advisory board for other committees, especially on tax issues

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conference committees

temporary committees drawn from both chambers of Congress forms to work out a compromise between differing Senate and House versions of a bill or proposed law

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chair

the head of a congressional committee

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filibuster

tactic used in the Senate to prevent or delay a bill's passage; usually consists of one or more senators giving extended speeches

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cloture

a motion made by sixteen or more senators to stop debate on a piece of legislation. If sixty or more senators support the motion, cloture is passed; often used to end a filibuster

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pocket veto

the automatic veto of a bill if the president leaves it unsigned for ten days during a congressional adjournment