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Flashcards in Congress Vocab Deck (59):
1

attitudinal view of representation

The theory that members of Congress vote according to their own beliefs.

2

bicameral legislature

A legislative assembly composed of two separate houses.

3

caucus (congressional)

An association of members of Congress created to advocate a political ideology, constituency, or a specific interest.

4

Christmas tree bill

A bill with many riders.

5

closed rule

Limitation imposed by the Rules Committee of the House on the amount of debate time for a bill and on the introduction of amendments.

6

cloture rule

Rule 22 of the Senate, providing for the end of debate on a bill if sixty senators agree.

7

Committee of the Whole

A device used in the House to expedite the passage of legislation by lowering the quorum and dividing debate time for a bill equally.

8

concurrent resolution

A resolution used to settle matters that affect both houses. Not signed by the president and does not have the force of law.

9

conference committee

A joint committee appointed to resolve differences in House/Senate versions of a piece of legislation.

10

Congress

A meeting place of constituent-representatives who can initiate, modify, approve, or reject laws.

11

Congressional Budget Office

An agency created to give Congress economic advice for spending programs, to provide cost information of proposed policies, and to analyze the president’s budget proposal.

12

Congressional Research Service

A Service which responds to congressional requests for information and keeps track of all important legislation.

13

conservative coalition

A vote in Congress where conservative Democrats join with Republicans.

14

descriptive representation

A term referring to the statistical correspondence of the demographic characteristics of representatives with those of their constituents.

15

discharge petition

A procedure for removing legislation from the control of a committee and bringing it to the floor for immediate consideration.

16

division vote

A method of voting used in both houses in which members stand and are counted.

17

double-tracking

A way to keep the Senate going during a filibuster by shelving the bill so that the Senate may continue.

18

filibuster

A prolonged talk made to delay action on legislation in the Senate.

19

franking privilege

The ability of members of Congress to send mail free of charge.

20

General Accounting Office

An office performing routine audits of the money spent by executive departments.

21

gerrymandering

Drawing congressional district lines in an unusual shape to give a voting advantage to one party.

22

honoraria

Speaking fees accepted by members of Congress, limited or forbidden.

23

joint committee

Committee on which both representatives and senators serve.

24

joint resolution

A resolution requiring full Congress approval and the signature of the president, with the same legal status as law.

25

majority leader

The legislative leader elected by party members of the majority in the House of Representatives or the Senate.

26

majority-minority districts

Congressional districts drawn to give the minority more voting power.

27

malapportionment

The creation of congressional districts in a state which are of unequal size, ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

28

marginal district

A congressional district in which the winner of the general election gets less than 55 percent of the vote.

29

mark-up

Revisions and additions to legislation made by committees and subcommittees.

30

minority leader

The head of the minority party in each house of Congress chosen by the caucus of the minority party.

31

multiple referral

The practice of referring a bill to several committees. Can only be done sequentially.

32

open rule

A rule from the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives which permits amendments from the floor on a particular piece of legislation.

33

organizational view of representation

The theory of congressional voting in which members make voting decisions to please fellow members and obtain their goodwill.

34

Parliament

An assembly of party representatives which chooses a government and discusses major national issues.

35

party unity vote

The extent to which members of a party vote together in the House and Senate. The extent of such voting has fluctuated over time.

36

pork-barrel legislation

A bill introduced by a member of Congress that gives tangible benefits to constituents in the hopes of winning votes.

37

president pro tempore

A position created in the Constitution to serve as presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice president.

38

private bill

Legislation that pertains to a particular individual.

39

public bill

Legislation that pertains to public affairs generally.

40

quorum

The minimum number of representatives required to be in attendance to conduct official business.

41

quorum call

A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see whether there is a quorum present.

42

representational view of representation

The theory of congressional voting behavior in which members vote in line with their constituents' wishes.

43

restrictive rule

A rule from the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives which permits only certain amendments to a piece of legislation.

44

rider

An unrelated amendment to an important bill, passed when the bill is passed.

45

roll-call vote

A method of voting used in both houses in which members answer yea or nay when their names are called.

46

Rules Committee

In the House of Representatives, the committee that decides which bills are voted on and in what order, and decides the time limit for debating each bill. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee possesses few powers.

47

safe district

A congressional district in which the winner of the general election carries more than 55 percent of the vote.

48

select committee

Congressional committee appointed for a limited time period and purpose.

49

senatorial courtesy

The tradition observed in the Senate in which the president consults with same-party senators when a federal office appointment is made in their state.

50

sequential referral

The practice of referring a bill to several committees. Can only be done sequentially.

51

Seventeenth Amendment

A constitutional amendment ratified in 1913 requiring the popular election of U.S. senators.

52

simple resolution

A resolution passed by either house to establish internal chamber rules, with no legal force.

53

sophomore surge

An increase in the number of votes candidates receive between their first election and their first reelection.

54

Speaker of the House

The constitutionally mandated presiding officer of the House of Representatives, elected by the majority party. Given power to allow members to speak, to rule whether a motion is relevant, to assign bills to committee, to appoint House members to select and joint committees, and to appoint the majority members of the Rules Committee.

55

standing committees

The permanent committees of each house with the power to report bills.

56

substantive representation

A term to refer to the correspondence between representatives’ opinions and those of their constituents.

57

teller vote

A method of voting used only in the House. Members’ votes are counted by having them pass between two tellers, first the yeas and then the nays.

58

voice vote

A method of voting used in both houses in which members vote by shouting yea or nay.

59

whip

Members of the party leadership in each house who help the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, marshal votes, and keep a nose count.