Chapter 5 - Congress Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 5 - Congress Deck (33):
1

Bicameral legislature

A legislature consisting of two chambers or houses

2

Single-member district

An electoral district in which a single person is elected to a given office

3

Plurality rule

A method for determining an election’s winner in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins

4

Proportional representation

A method for allocating seats in a legislature in which the number of seats a party receives in a district or nationwide is proportional to the votes it receives in the elections

5

Gerrymandering

Drawing strangely shaped district boundaries to gain political advantage

6

Trustees

Representatives who make decisions using their own judgments about what is best for their constituents

7

Delegates

Representatives who listen carefully to what their constituents want and make decisions based on feedback from constituents

8

Constituency service

A legislator directly helping a constituent in dealing with government bureaucracy

9

Incumbency advantage

The advantage current officeholders have in an election, in particular as it relates to the high rates at which congressional legislators win re-election

10

Pork barrel

Government spending that benefits a narrow constituency in return for electoral support or some other kind of political support, including campaign donations

11

Distributional model

The view that the internal institutions of the congressional chambers are designed primarily to help members of Congress secure economic benefits for only their constituents, not the general public

12

Logrolling

An instance of two or more legislators agreeing to vote in favor of one another’s proposed bills or amendments

13

Informational model

The view that the internal institutions of the congressional chambers are designed to help Congress make more informed decisions

14

Partisan model

The view that majority-party leaders dominate the workings of Congress and ensure that most legislative benefits come to majority-party members

15

Party discipline

Pressure on party members to vote on bills that have the support of the party leadership

16

Speaker of the House

The constitutionally designated leader of the House of Representatives. In the modern House, he or she is always the leader of the majority party

17

Reed’s Rules

Procedural guidelines used by the majority-party leadership for determining who sits on which committees, how the order of business should be decided, and how the majority party should limit the powers of the minority party

18

Majority leader

The head of the party holding a majority of seats and, in the Senate, the leader of the Senate. In the House, the majority leader is second to the Speaker of the House

19

Whip

A member of the House or Senate who is elected by his or her party to help party leaders coordinate party members’ actions, including enforcing party discipline

20

Standing committee

A group of legislators given permanent jurisdiction over a particular issue area or type of policy

21

special (or select) committee

A committee appointed to consider a special issue or serve a special function that disbands once it has completed its duties

22

Joint committee

A committee made up of members of both the House and Senate

23

Conference committee

A meeting of legislators from the House and Senate to reconcile two bills passed on the same topic

24

Caucus

In a legislature, a group of legislators that unites to promote an agenda not pursued within the parties or the legislative committees

25

Split referral

A rule (in place since 1975) that permits the Speaker to split a bill into sections and give sections to specific committees

26

Markup

A committee or subcommittee process where committee members edit and amend bills

27

Open rule

A provision that allows any amendment to be proposed once a bill comes to the chamber floor

28

Closed rule

A provision that allows no amendments to be proposed once a bill comes to the chamber floor

29

Restricted (or modified) rule

A provision that allows only certain kinds of amendments to be proposed once a bill comes to the floor, typically only amendments that pertain to the original purpose of the bill

30

Unanimous consent agreement

Rules under which the Senate debates, offers amendments, and votes on a given bill. All members of the chamber must agree to them, so any senator can object and halt progress on a bill

31

Filibuster

Instances in which senators, once recognized to speak on the floor, talk for an extended period (“hold the floor”) in an attempt to block the rest of the Senate from voting on a bill

32

Cloture

A rule that limits debate on a bill to a specific number of hours. Senate rules require 60 senators to support such a motion to end debate (including filibusters) and proceed to a vote

33

Pocket veto

A veto that occurs automatically if a president does not sign a bill for 10 days after passage in Congress and Congress has adjourned during that 10-day period