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Flashcards in FED FINAL Deck (74):
1

Interest group:

any organization that seeks to influence public policy

2

Economic groups

focus on economic purposes, such as jobs, higher wages, profits, or the protection of an occupation

Business groups (ex: chamber of commerce)

Labor groups (ex: unions)

Farm groups (ex: American Farm Bureau)

Professional groups (ex: trial lawyers)

3

Citizens’ groups,

or noneconomic groups: those motivated by what they consider a worthy goal or purpose

Most are single issue groups focusing on one specific issue (guns, abortion, seniors)

Some are ideological in nature

Economic groups outnumber citizens groups and usually have more resources

4

Lobbying:

efforts by groups to influence public policy through contact with elected officials

5

Inside Lobbying:

: group efforts to develop and maintain close contacts with policymakers
Separation of powers and division of power between state and federal government creates many access points for lobbyists

Revolving door between government and lobbying firms

6

Outside lobbying

relying on public pressure to influence elected officials

Includes grassroots lobbying

7

Iron Triangles

small and informal but stable sets of bureaucrats, legislators, and lobbyists who seek policies beneficial to a particular interest

8

Issue Networks:

informal groupings of elected officials, lobbyists, and policy specialists who come together temporarily around a policy problem

9


PACs

organizations that pool and donate campaign contributions

Generally support incumbents

10

Super-PACs:

can raise unlimited funds, but must spend independently of the candidate (cannot give directly to the candidate or coordinate with a campaign

Allowed by SCOTUS in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (2010)

11

Objective journalism

media’s job is to report the facts on both sides of the partisan debate

12

Signaling:

alerting public to important developments,

Includes "agenda-setting" - (focusing public’s attention on particular issues)

13

Watchdog:

: exposing corruption, incompetence, and hypocrisy in public officials

14

Common-carrier

serving as main conduit for political communication

May include "framing" - (putting events in a context, emphasizing certain aspects while downplaying others)

15

Partisan

acting as advocate for particular interest or viewpoint

16

Information gap:

increasing amount of news sources has not led to an increasingly informed electorate
Easier to seek out entertainment rather than news

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Confirmation bias:

: people prefer evidence that reinforces existing beliefs

18

Congress:

435 members in House of Representatives

Elected for 2 year terms

100 members in Senate

Elected for 6 year terms

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Party Caucus

closed strategy planning sessions

20

House Leadership

(Speaker of the House)

2nd most powerful person in Washington

Elected by House membership

Member of majority party

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House majority leader

#2 position, very influential for driving legislative agenda

22

House majority whip

Corrals votes, ensures passage of legislation

23

Senate leadership

(Majority Leader)


Role resembles speaker of the house

24

Standing Committees:

permanent committees with responsibilities for specific areas of public policies (the committee’s jurisdiction).

Majority party typically holds majority of seats

Committee chair is always member of majority party and typically has most seniority on that committee

25

Incumbency

90% of incumbents will typically win reelection

26

Pork (or pork-barrel spending):

appropriating federal money to a representative’s home district

27

Gerrymandering

(process of drawing up favorable districts for one party) benefits incumbents

if no incumbent in race, is an open seat election

PAC spending strongly favors incumbents

28

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Member of house or senate proposes bill

Bill sent to committee, who may assign it to a subcommittee

Marked up in committee

If majority of committee votes in favor, bill is sent to house or senate floor

90% of bills will die in committee and never receive a floor vote

House rules committee can decide if closed rule (no amendments permitted) or open rule (amendments permitted) during floor debate

Senate – any senator can filibuster, preventing a vote on legislation – unless 2/3 of senate votes to approve a cloture motion (ending debate)

Bills with broad support in committee typically pass when voted on the floor. Bills with narrow support in committee receive more scrutiny

Amendments may be used as riders (unrelated to the actual bill), and riders are often used as a poison pill to kill a bill

loor vote: legislation passes if majority approves

If differences between a house and senate bill, will be reconciled in a conference committee.

President may sign or veto

Presidential veto can be overridden if 2/3 of House and Senate vote to override

29

Lawmaking function:

authority to make laws necessary to carry out government’s powers

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Representation function

ensure interests of states and districts are heard

31

Oversight function

: see that executive branch carries out laws faithfully

32


President’s powers are in Article II of Constitution

Make treaties

Appoint ministers

Recommendations to congress

Receive foreign representatives

Appoint judges, cabinet heads, etc.

33

Major constitutional roles of president:

Commander in chief of military

Chief executive

Chief diplomat, direct foreign affairs

Inform and advise legislature

Provide national leadership

34

Requirements for presidents:

Natural born citizen

At least 35

Resident of US for 14 years

35

Choosing a president:


Primaries and caucuses determine party’s nominee

General election is decided by the Electoral College: Each state has a certain number of electoral votes (based on their representation in the legislature).

Almost all states cast all their electoral votes for the candidate who receives the most votes in that state (known as the “unit rule”).

538 electors total for the nation, 270 electoral votes are needed to win.

If no candidate receives 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives will vote to decide who is president

36

President controls the Cabinet and the Executive Office of President

15 cabinet-level agencies and departments

White House Office (communications, press, legal affairs)

Office of Management and Budget

Advisory councils

37

Bureaucracy:

a system of organization and control based on three principles:

-Hierarchical authority

Tall rather than flat org structure

-Job specialization

Departments have specific mission

-Formalized rules

Standard operating procedures

Includes 15 cabinet departments, government corporations (Post office, Amtrak), regulatory agencies (EPA, SEC), independent agencies (CIA, NASA)

38

Merit system:

selecting individuals based on ability to perform the task, or their specialized training

As opposed to 19th century patronage system (obtaining position based on having favor with a higher level official)

39

Neutral competence:

civil service employees expected to be competent and non-partisan in carrying out their duties

Can unionize, but not strike

40

Budgetary Process:

: procedure through which annual spending and revenue decisions are made

41

Administrative Agencies

Main task is policy implementation

42

Clientele groups:

major societal interests (ex: commerce, labor, or agriculture) that are served by an agency and may lobby for that agency

43

Agency point of view:

perspective of bureaucrats that places more emphasis on needs of the agency in which they work

Problems with agency point of view: potential waste, conflict of interest between clients and constituents, turf wars between agencies

44


Numbers worth knowing:

9 Justices on SCOTUS

13 federal courts of appeals (circuit courts)

11 covering 3 or more states each, 1 DC circuit, 1 federal circuit

45

Petition of certiorari:

request that SCOTUS hear a case on appeal

46

Writ of certiorari:

SCOTUS agrees to take case and requests record from lower court

47

Precedent (stare decisis):

past case(s) that can guide future judicial decisions

48

Amicus curiae:

“friend of the court” – a brief filed by outside parties wishing to influence the court’s decision

49

Judicial review

power to declare law unconstitutional

50

Judicial restraint:

judges should apply law rather than create it

51

Judicial activism:

courts should not hesitate to make policy when core principles are at issue

52

Majority opinion:

Opinion of 5 or more judges – becomes controlling precedent for lower courts

53

Plurality opinion:

An opinion not receiving enough support to be a majority, but more than any other opinion

54

Concurring opinion

opinion agreeing with majority decision but disagreeing on the reasoning for it

55

Dissenting opinion:

opinion disagreeing with the majority or plurality opinion

56

Original jurisdiction:

(authority to be first court to hear a case):

disputes involving diplomats

suits between states

57

Appellate jurisdiction:

(authority to review cases that have already been heard in lower federal courts):



58

Federal question:

involves violation of constitution or federal law

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Diversity:

plaintiff and defendant are not citizens of same state, and amount in question over $75,000

60

Federal Judge Terms of Office

Serve “during good behavior” for life unless they retire, die, or are impeached

Nominated by president, confirmed by senate. Confirmation is a partisan process

61

Why SCOTUS chooses cases


Important social issue

Resolve a circuit split (difference in opinion between lower courts)

When lower courts are ignoring or misapplying SCOTUS precedent

62

Judicial decisionmaking

Constrained by constitution

Can be limited by statute, if statute is constitutional

Precedent – lower courts must follow, SCOTUS may follow or may overturn

Influenced by public opinion

Differing judicial interpretations and philosophies (do not need to know about particular ones for quiz or exam)

63

Fiscal Policy:

decisions concerning government taxation and spending

64

Lassiez-faire economics

unregulated competition in an unregulated marketplace will produce a strong economy

65

Keynsian (demand side) economics:

Emphasizes government spending. A combination of taxing and spending policy is necessary to keep the economy strong. When in recession, increase government spending to boost gross domestic product.

66

Supply side economics:

High taxes discourage people from working and corporations from investing. In recession, decrease taxation to increase individual and corporate spending.

67

Monetary policy:

The Federal Reserve can adjust the amount of money in circulation to keep inflation from rising too fast

68

Inflation:

: increases in average level of prices of goods and services while wages stagnate

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Budget deficit:

when government spends more in a year than it receives in taxes and other revenues

70

Progressive income tax:

where tax rate increases as income rises

71

Regressive tax

: tax where higher earners pay a lower % of their income than lower earners (ex: flat tax, sales tax)

72

Public assistance programs

Only available to those in financial need

Usually means-tested (if over certain income level, you don’t qualify)

Less popular than social insurance programs, may have work requirements

Ex: Medicaid, TANF

73

Social insurance programs

Restricted to individuals who contribute to program via payroll taxes

Ex: medicare, social security

Broadly popular, viewed as an entitlement (reward for working/contributing)

74

in kind benefit

is functional equivalent to cash (non cash benefit)