Flashcards in Chapter 13: Congress Deck (164):
How can you become a member of parliament?
get a party to put your name on the ballot
generally local party does what it wants, but sometimes national party HQ will come in and suggest names
voters vote for parties rather than personalities
How do you become a MoC?
run in a primary
political parties rarely choose who is nominated
Personality plays a huge role, as well as positions on issues
party label affects, but lots vote for person
Who tends to be more loyal to party, MPs or MoCs?
congress, like the office, is full of big personalities
parliament is like lotal people who like debate party issues and vote on them
congress is like regional.local interests as well
What can MPs do?
support the government or not
if the party's act isn't together, then the leaders of the government lose office
so, if you vote against the party, you will like not be allowed to sit at the cool kids table
True or false: Not being able to choose exec branch makes Congress less powerful
false, it makes them more powerful
they can vote however they like without worrying that the government to collapse or that they will be removed from the ballot `
What is like the daily activity of parliament?
What is the principal work of Congress?
representation and action
What perks do MPs get?
um like a little bit of stationary and maybe a free phone call or two
they get like a desk
What perks do MoC/s get?
allowances for like travel and stuff
with seniority, you get like even more
MoCs can send free mail
Is Congress centralized or decentralized? why?
MoCs are more concerned with their own constituencies
don't care as much about whether pres succeds becuase they are independent
What things do people don't like that Congress does?
special interest groups
all the pulling and hauling that precedes decisions
a lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
Why did the framers choose to have the legislativ powers in a Congress not a parliament?
1. they didn't want to have all the powers in one body because like mob rule or something
2. they had to please both the big and small states
powers shared with pres (he can veto)
subject to SC
Criticisms of Congress
can't act quickly or plant quickly
debate between centralization and decentralization
What has the general trend in house leadership been>
toward decentralizing decision-making and enhancing the power of the individual at the expense of leadership
Is decentralization in the HOuse inevitable>
No, MA and NY and Indiana have super strong leadership, most likely because of stronger parties (mostly though because those leaders are in charge of committee chairs and like favor doling outing)
Has the house always been led in the same way?
not even a little bit all over the place
Phase One of the House: The Powerful HOuse
Way cooler than the Senate
asserted independence from Prezzzz
Phase Two of the HOuse: The Divided House
Jackson asserted prez power
slavery divided parites
Phase Three of the House: The Speaker Rules
Toward the end of the nineteenth century
Speaker gains power
right to select chairmen and members of commitrees
Phase Four of the House: The HOuse Revolts
Rvolted against "Czar" Cannon
speaker lost the power to appoint chairmen and removed from Rules Committee
60s and 70s revolt against leadership in general
Phase Five of the House: The Members Rule
In 60s, Dems had trouble passing civil rights legislation because of Repub committee chairs so they changed the rules so that chairs lost authority
had to be elected, not seniorty
couldn't just not call meetings, more meetings public
subcommittees more staff for members
Phase Six of The House: The Leadership Returns
House wasn't getting as much done, so efforts emerged to give SPeaker more power
reduce comms and subcomms
What fundamental problems does the HOuse face?
it wants to be big and powerful
Mems want to be powerful as individuals and groups
size makes it hard to be powerful unless a small group runs it, which takes away power from the infividual, if individual has more power, then the House is harder to run and then it has less power in gov
What is the equivalent of the Rules Committee in the Senate?
there is none
What big changes occured in the Senate?
how members should be chosen
state legislatures (#Millionaire'sClub) vs popular election
an attempt to defeat a bill in the senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action to the bill
POlitical districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55% of the vote
Districts in which the incumbents win by margins of 55% bor more
an alliance between Republicans and conservative democrats
the legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the HOuse or the Senate
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the HOuse or the Senate
a senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking
a vote in which a majority of democratic legislator oppose a majority of Republican legislators
an association of Congress members created to advance a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose
committees on which both senators and representatives serve
a joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill
a legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern
a legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters
an expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body
an expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president
a formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the President; constitutional amendments need not be signed by the prez
a congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees
a congressional process by which a speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting
a device by which any member of the HOuse, after a sommittee has had the bill for thirty days, mat petition to have it brought to the floor
an order from the House Rules cOmmittee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor
an order gtom the HOuse Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
an order form the House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the floor
the minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress
a roll call in either house of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present
a rule used by the senate to end or limit debate
a procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business
a Congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" or "nay" in disapproval, permitting memebers to vote quickly or anonymously on bills
a congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
A congressional voting procedure in which memebrs pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and the"nays" second
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members ansering "yea" or "nay" to their names
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constitutents in severeal districts or states in hopes of winning their vote in return
the ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage
Did the 17th Amendement cahnge the composition of the Senate?
true or false: over time, congress is becoming less male and less white
When did carrer politicains become a thing and why wasn't it before?
In the 1950s
travel to DC was difficult, no one wanted to lvie there, it didn't pay well, and districts were competitive
Why were there more 1st term MoCs in 1992 and 1994?
1. 1990 census led to redrawing and old members were like oops I can't win here
2. voters were not happy with scnadals so outsiders were cool
2. Republican wave
Which body has more safe districts, the house of the senate?
Why are districts becoming safer?
tv and media?
voters less likely to just support party and have name recognition?
can benefit districts with power?
Which party has been more successful at controlling Congress?
Why are Dems more successful?
lesilatures draw seats to win more easilt?
dems do better in low turnout areas
Why did Dem domintation end?
1. incumbency became disadvantage (voters fon't like prof politicians) who can't clean up wash-- tons of scandals occuring while dems majority0
South shifts Repub
vote to please constituents because members want to get reelected
case when constituents have a clear view and will hear about vote
problem:: pub op not always clear or strong
most constituents don't know how legislator votes, don't need to please them, so they want to please other MoCs to get power and status, especially leadership
party is the factor that most explains voting record
many conflicting pressures on MoCs that cancel out, so they vote based on their own beleifs
senators more ideological
Are MoCs from marginal districts more likely to vote the way constituents want?
nope (maybe because district is more divided)
Senate Phase 1:
50s and early 60s conservative and cautious
club after loyalty to conservative customs
Senate Phase 2
Mid 60s dems are in town and Johnson
easier for junior members to become chairs
Senate Phase 3:
lates 70s 80s liberals lost
more conservative and ideological not gentlemant club
What are some consequences of polarization?
MoCs do not get along as well with members who disagree and are more likely to like go after one another
True or False: Congress is a single organization
false, it is a collction of lots of organizations
True or False: the House of Commons finds one organization important
true, the party
President pro tempore of the senate
chosen by the majority party
often most senior member
presides in absence of VP 3rd in line of pres succession
True or false; people relish presiding over senate
false they dislike it immensely, and it often is passed to junior members
What is the principal task of the majority leader in senate?
schedule the biz of the senate, usually consulting minority leader
can do a lot more id skilled
a dozen or so senators who help leader schedule biz in senate
each party has one
the Sem party committee that assigns senators to standing committees
Committee on Committees
the Repub party committee that assigns senators to standing committees
What is the benefit of having tiny majority in Senate?
not voting--- filibuster remember??
party controls chairs
What is the key to selecting key party leaders, making up party committees, and assigning freshman senators to committees?
ideological and regional balance
Where does leadership carry more weight, the house or the senate? explain your answer
the rules, debate is restricted due to large and size and the schedule is done very carefully
Who is the most important person in the House?
The Speaker of the House
elected by majority party, presides over meeetings, principal leader of majority party, presides over entire house
he decides who is recognized to speak on the floor of the HOuse
he rules whether a motion is germane to what is happening like then and there
decides (with some rules that must be followed) the committees to which new bills should be assigned
influences what bills are brought up to vote
appoints members of select and special committees
nominate the majority-party members to the rules committee
Informal Powers: controls some patronage jobs in the Capitol an doffice space
True or false: if the party is still in power, the majority leader typically becomes speaker after the speaker departs
How does each party in the house help members with election/reelection?
congressional campaigns committees funnel funds and assistance to them
What is a measure of the parties/party leaders?
ability to get memebrs to bote together on rules and structure of congress
Has the changes in how members behave in the Senate been the subject of complex votes?
Nah, they have changing norms which make it more friendly, with less party/leadership focus, more staff, and more subcomms
What is the difference between the party splits of today and the past?
Past- more machine politics
today- more ideological
Is the relationship between dems and repubs becoming more adversarial?
yes, esp in the House
Is the voting in Congress unimodal or bimodal?
bimodal for sure most dems bote one way and repubs vote another
If people are generally more toward the center, why are representatives more extreme?
some say voters are becoming more partisan, possibly because of the way districts are drawn, primaries, with most ideological voters, may matter more
or possibly because they are following congress's lead
or possibly because of seniority
True or false: most house districts are competivite
the primary is the one that matters more
Does the party make a difference
yes, not as much as in the pat, but affiliation is still most important thing to know about a MoC
True or False: Caucuses are growing as a rival to the parties as a source of policy leadership
formed by members with similar ideologies
ex. Dem study group for liberals
common interest in an issue
ex. the arts
represent certain groups, regions, or both
Congressional black Caucus
What do MoCs gain from Congress?
info, being identified as a leader, show they care about an issue
What is the most important organizational feature of COngress?
the legislative committees of the House and Senate, where the real work of Congress is done and where, on the chairs, most power is found
Why do MoCs care about the number and jurisdiction of legislative comms?
decisions on these sujects determine what group of members and ideolofy will pass on proposals, oversee agencies, and conduct investigations
Does the majority party normally take all the comm seats?
nope, usually the majority of seats on each comm and the chairs, generally in a proportional way but not in the comms that are like where it is at ex. Ways and Means (may take a few more seats)
What are the exclusive comms in the HOuse and what does that mean?
Ways and Means, Rules, and appropriations
members can only serve on this comm
Which comms are imp?
standing, they are the only ones that can relaly propose legislation
How many comms does a House member usually serve on?
two standing or one exclusive
How many comms does a Senator usually serve on?
Important House rules
Comm charimen elected by sec ballot in part caucus
no member to chair multiple comms
all comms with more than twenty members need at least for subs
comm and personal staffs increase
comm meetings public unless member vote says no
Important Senate rules
Comm meeting public unless members vote to change
comm chairmen seleced by sec ballot at request of 1/5 of party caucus
comms have larfer staff
only chair one comm
What did the changes in House and Senate do?
more powers to members, decentralization, more power to individual members
harder for chairs to block what they don't like , lost power, dems like eh, used more restrictive rules
written authorization to cast votes for others
Reublican Changes in HOuse in 1995
Banned proxy voting
limited comm and subcomm chairmanship to 6 years and speaker to 8 years
more frequent floor debate
reduced comms and subcomms
chairs can hire subcomm staffs
Reublican Changes in Senate in 1995
six year term limit on all chairmen (not maj leader)
requirement that comms select chairs by secret ballot
Has the number of staff members been increasing or decreasing?
What are major functions of MoC's staff?
solve constituent problems and help them get reelected
many are local
legislative function- members on too many comms to know everything, need staff to help deal with all of that
advocacy role- work for individual member, find and promote legislation that the boss can take credit for
entrepreneurial function- find policy and sell to boss
Why ever larger staff?
increasing staff creates conditions that cll for larger staffs more people, more legislation, more work
How has staff changed Congress?
less likely to act face to face, use staff, more individual, less deliberative
Congressional Research Service
CRS part of Lib of Congress
responds to requests for info
keeps info on bills
Why more staff agencies?
attempt to give COngress the specialized knowledge of the President
General Accounting Office
audits of the money spent by execs
investigates agencies and policies and makes recs on aspects of gov
Office of Technology Assessment
study and evaluate policies with a significant use of or impact on tech abolished
Congressional Budget Office
advises Congress on the likely economic effects of differnt spending programs and indo on the costs of proposed policies
Do all bills trudge through slowly?
Nope, speed varies considerably
Which bills tend to moce slowly?
spend lots of money, tax or regulate biz
Which bills tend to move quickly?
clear appealing idea that will come cheaply (or at low gov cost)
Who can introduce a bill?
How do you introduce a bill in the house?
handing it a clerk or putting it in the hopper
How do you introduce a bill in the senate?
recognizing the presiding officer and announcing the intro
What happens after the bill is introduced?
it is given a number and the appropriate prefix (HR for house and S for Senate)
Does pending legislation carry over from one congress to the next?
True or false: ledislation is intiated by prez and enacted by congress
congress frequently initiates, prez often bases of congressional bills or consults with house, and he needs a MoC to introduce
Who refers the bill to a committee for consideration after it is given a number?
the speaker or the presding officer (house or senate)
sometimes there is a choice
Where must revenue bills originate?
True or false: most bills die in committee
What happens in committee?
hearings which are relatively extensive
these hearings fragment the process of considering bills
Can a bill not go to a primary comm?
Yes, under extraordinary circumstances
What happens after the hearings?
the committees have mark up sessions to revise and add thigns to the bill, may be extensive
only added to bill if approved by the house that they are a part of
if comm approves, it goes to floor with a report explaining why they like the bill and what changes they want made
True or false: discharge often occurs
no, in the house dischare positions are rarely used
in senate dischage is moot becuase they can add bills to other bills
What must happen for a bill to go to a house?
it goes on a calendar
True or false, once a bill is on the calendar, it is considered
false, the calendar doesn't go in chronological order/ doesn't guarantee consideration
the Rules Committee in the house deals with how the bill is looked at on the floor
in the Senate, bills are considered whenever most people want in theory, but in actuality many interests must be dealt with
How can the rules Comm be bypassed?
MoC moves for suspension, 2/3 agree
2. discharge petition
Calendar Wednesday procedure
Calendar wednesday procedure
committee can bring up a bill on the comm calendar action must happen that day, which makes it like not very useful
Committee of the Whole
who in the HOuse is on the floor at the time
debates, amends, and generally decides the final shape of the bill
can't pass it
to pass, need to report the bill back to the house for final action to occur
comm sponsoring the bill guides discussion
amendments that are not germane
Christmas Tree bills
lots of riders
True or false: floor debate is more casual in the senate
Senate floor debate rules
only limited by cloture
members can speak for as long as they can stand
doesn't need to be relevant
anyone can offer an amendment, riders are all right
Can a senator add non germane amendments to an appropriations bill?
True or false: the senate can bypass the committee process if the House has passed the bill
true, it go right on the calendar
True or false: filibusters and cloture votes are more common
Which votes give you a house member's record?
teller and roll call votes
True or false: the use of the roll call vote has been increasing
True or false: the conference reports favor the house bill
false, they slightly favor the senate bill
What is the most treasured perk of MoC's?
Why should Congress be exempted from following the law?
because the prez enforces the law and you can't have this overreach of exec power
Bipartistaion Congressional Accountability Act
created the independent Office of Compliance and an employee grievance procedure to deal with implementation
Is pork a necessity?
obtain votes from MoCs