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Flashcards in Congress Test Deck (108)
1

The framers intended congress to be - of the three branches

Most powerful

2

Why did framers want congress to be the most powerful branch (2)

1. Most directly represented the will of the people
2. Free of a powerful presidency (gave it many checks over the president)

3

20th century: president -

Gained power at the expense of congress

4

House was - elected

Directly

5

How many year terms in house, senate?

2 in house, 6 in senate

6

The house has - representation

Proportional

7

(Framers intent in house) voting as -, -

Delegates, direct voices/rep people

8

What are the formal qualifications in house (age, how many years citizen, where to live)

25, 7 years, resident of district

9

Senate was originally chosen by -

State legislatures

10

(Framers intent for senate), voting as -, -

Trustees, make decisions based on what is best for nation as a whole

11

Formal qualifications for senate (age, how many years citizens, where to live)

30 yrs, 9 years, resident of state

12

Both houses have generally - to - incumbency election rates

70-90 percent

13

Incumbency rates higher in -

House

14

Reasons for high incumbency rates (9)

1. Access to media
2. Campaign finance
3. Constituency service
4. Experience (known competency factor)
5. Redistricting (house only)
6. Pork barrel spending
7. Name recognition
8. Franking privilege
9. The "sophomore surge"

15

Constituency service is also called

Case work

16

Redistricting is in - only

House

17

Sophomore surge

Increase in votes that congressmen (house of rep) usually receive when running for their first reelection

18

Pork barrel spending

Govt spending from localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to reps district

19

Franking privilege

Priv of sending mail without payment of postage enjoyed by congressmen (can't be used for campaign purposes)

20

Where are powers listed in const

Art 1 sec 8

21

What grants implied powers, what court case

"Necessary and proper clause", McCulloch v Maryland

22

Judicial review over state laws case

Marlbury v Madison

23

Power to create courts

Congress, executive branch

24

What fraction vote to approve treaties, who does this?

2/3, senate

25

What's the advice and consent power (2), what fraction vote

Approve treaties (2/3) and appointments (majority)

26

What's senatorial courtesy?

Custom, not law
President must consult the senators of his political party of a given state before nominating any person to a federal vacancy within that senators state, only federal offices that have jurisdictions within a state

27

What are denied powers of congress? (5)

1. No suspension of the writ of habeas corpus (can't hold anybody without trial)
2. No bills of attainer (congress can pass no law that punishes a person for a crime without trial)
3. No expose facto law (makes something illegal after it was and someone did it)
4. No titles of nobility
5. No taxation of exports

28

How many representatives in the house? Formal or informal?

435, informal

29

What's reapportionment?

The act of redistributing these house reps every 10 years

30

Who does reapportionment?

Census bureau in the dept of commerce

31

Malapportionment

Drawing districts that are too unequal in population

32

Minority majority districts

Districts redrawn as to give historically disadvantaged minorities a majority (representation in govt) "affirmative action" for voting districts

33

What established minority majority districts? What weakened them?

Voting rights act of 1965, sup court rulings (2013)

34

What's redistricting

Actual redrawing of districts to reflect reapportionment

35

What set standards for redistricting and who redraws?

1842 federal laws, state legislators

36

What three guidelines must be followed in redistricting

1. Equality rule
2. Compactness rule
3. Contiguous rule

37

What two Supreme Court cases est equality rules

Baker v Carr
Wesburry v sanders (1 man- 1 vote rule)

38

What were the two recent reverse discrimination cases?

Shaw v Reno
Easley v cromartie

39

What was est in Easley v cromartie?

Race cannot be predominant and controlling factor

Doctrine now implies all affirmative action cases

40

Mid-decade redistricting, constitutional?

Redistricting between census, const

41

Congressional terms are - years

2 years

42

Terms divided into - sessions that last - years

2, 1

43

Cong caucus

Group of congressional members that pursue a common legislative agenda

44

4 main types of caucuses

1. Party caucus (most impt)
2. Ideological caucus (divisions within party)
3. Racial and ethnic caucus
4. Interest group caucus

45

Bioartisan bicameral caucuses

Racial and ethnic caucus, interest group caucus

46

Bicameral caucus

Ideological caucuses

47

What are the three formal positions in congress?

Speaker, Vice President, president pro tempore

48

What are speaker of houses main jobs? (6)

1. Presides over house
2. Appoints select and conference committees
3. Appoints rules committee members
4. Assigns bills to committee
5. Third in line for pres after vp
6. Access to media

49

What's most powerful minority in house

Minority leader

50

Rank and file=

Floor

51

Who votes in case of ties in senate, presides in place of vp, ceremonial jobs?

Vp, pres pro tempore, both of these

52

Whose most powerful in senate?

Majority leader

53

What are majority leaders roles? (5)

1. True leader of senate
2. Recognized first for debate
3. True leader of majority party
4. Influences comittee assignments of senators
5. Influences senate agenda, along with minority leader

54

Four types of committees

1. Standing
2. Select
3. Joint
4. Conference

55

Standing committee

Permanent, control over legislation and oversight in specific policy areas

56

Select committees

Usually temporary, usually formed for specific oversight/investigative purposes

57

Joint committees

Composed of both houses, usually temporary, may be for joint housekeeping and procedural matters, investigative/oversight matters, or to point attention to specific policy matters

58

Conference committees

Both houses, always temporary, work out compromise bill when both houses have passed different versions of a bill

59

Most actual work done in - of -

Subcommittees, standing committees

60

What's appropriations, what house

Spending bill, senate

61

Main job of standing committee

Oversee bills pertaining to specialized area

62

Most bills die in - (-)

Committee, pigeonholed

63

Most standing committees are divided into more specialized groups called-

Subcommittees

64

What determines what's (who) on what committee in house and senate?

House: (dem) steering and policy committee
(Rep): committee on committees

Senate: steering committee

65

Committee chairmen are generally the - of the majority party in the comm.

Longest serving member

66

Roles of house rules committee (2)

Calendars (schedules) all bills approved by senate

Assigns rules for debate for all bills

67

Closed rule

Debate time limits and amendment limits

68

Rules committee can -, -, or - any bill because it's -

Kill, speed, delay, most powerful comm in congress

69

Who calendars bills in senate

Majority party leader

70

In senate, debate only limited by - vote (-/- or - votes), no - on amendments (- amendments allowed)

Cloture, 3/5, 60 votes, no rules on amendments, ungermane

71

Germane amendment

Having to do with topic of bill

72

3 types of legislative staff

1. Personal staff
2. Committee staff
3. Legislative agencies (work for ALL congressmen)

73

Personal staff main job, hired and fired by

Constituent service, congressman

74

Committee staff main job, hired and fired by

Legislative specialists, committees/subcommittee chairs

75

What do legislative agencies do?

Provide info for congressmen, civil service employees (permanent)

76

3 types of legislative staff agencies

1. Congressional research service (CRS)
2. General accountability office (GAO) "oversight specialists"
3. Congressional budget office (CBO)

77

Congressional research service

Handle requests for info, track progress of bills

78

General accountability office

Determines effiency and effectiveness of laws

79

Congressional budget office

Specialize in revenue taxation/economic policies, analyze budget, make economic predictions, determine costs of bills

80

Types of legislation passed by congress (3)

Simple resolution, concurrent resolution, joint resolution

81

Simple resolution

Either house, no pres signature required, laws regarding the house that passed it, do not have force of law

82

Concurrent resolution

Both houses, housekeeping or procedural matters that affect both houses, do not have force of law

83

Joint resolution

Both houses, both houses need to react to an issue that requires immediate attention, pres signature, has force of law

84

Teller vote

File pass clerk in order of yeas and nays

85

Division vote

Members stand to be counted

86

Vote used most of the time in congress

Voice vote

87

Only senate does - vote

Roll call

88

Only house does - vote

Electronic vote

89

- write more bills than anyone else

Lobbyists

90

Actions president can take regarding a bill (4)

Sigh it, veto it, allow it to become law without signature, pocket veto

91

Fraction for veto override, who?

2/3, both houses

92

A bill becomes law without signature after - days only if congress -

10, stays in session

93

Pocket veto

Congress adjourns within 10 days given pres signature and pres does not sign it, fails to become law

94

Enrolled Bill

Final version of bill sent to pres

95

Earmarks

Spending authorizations slipped into bills by committee for "pet projects"

96

Soft/hidden earmarks

Written into notes of committee hearings, not legally binding, but usually followed

97

Discharge petition

Device in house that forces a bill out of a committee for consideration on the floor, requires sig of majority of house (218), rarely used

98

Vote will follow party line - of the time (less so in -)

3/4, senate

99

Trustees

Indiv conscience and judgment, what they think is best for nation

100

Delegates

Based on what constituent wants

101

Partisans, vote this way - percent of the time

Should vote party line, 75%

102

Politicos, also called

Votes based on combination of the three, working polit process

103

Order of importance of influences leg votes (5)

1. Personal ideology
2. Political parties
3. President
4. Constituents
5. Interest groups

104

Best legislative opportunity to influence agenda

Congressional party leaders and committee chairs

105

Recent examples of wasteful spending/earmarks

2005 consolidated appropriations act (Christmas tree bills)

2005 bridge to nowhere (Alaska)

106

Who elects pres and vp if no majority

House: pres
Senate: vp

107

Committee of the whole

House can meet as committee of everybody, less formal rules, rarely used

108

Senatorial courtesy

Pres appointee must have approval of two senators from each state or the approval of senior senator of that state from pres own party