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Flashcards in Governemtn Chapter 9 - Congress Deck (53):

Caucus (congressional)

An association of members of congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest


Closed rule

An order from the house rules committee in the House of Representatives that sets a time limit on debate and forbids a particular bill from being amended on the legislative floor.


Cloture resolution

A rule used by the senate to end or limit debate. Designed to prevent "talking a bill to death" by filibuster. To pass in the senate, three fifths of the entire senate membership (or 60 senators) must vote for it


Concurrent resolution

An expression of congressional opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the house and senate but not of the president. Used to settle housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses.


Conference committee

Joint committee



A national legislature composed of elected representatives who do not choose the chief executive


Discharge petition

A device by which any member of the house, after a committees has had a bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor. If a majority of the members agree, the bill is discharged from the committee. The discharge petition was designed to prevent a committee from holding a bill for too long.


Division vote

A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted.


Double tracking

Setting aside a bill against which one or more senators are filibustering so that other legislation can be voted on



An attempt to defeat a bill in the senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the senate from taking action on it. From the Spanish filibustero which means a "freebooter", a military adventurer


Franking privilege

The ability of members of congress to mail letters to their constituents free of charge substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage


Joint committees

Committee on which both representatives and senators vote. An especially important kind of joint committee made up of representatives and senators appointed to resolve differences in the senate and house versions of the same legislation before final passage


Joint resolution

A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of congress and by the president. Joint resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment need not be signed by the president.


Majority leader (floor leader)

The legislative leader elected by kart members holding the majority of seats in the house of representative or the senate.


Minority leader

The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House of Representatives or the senate


Open rule

An order from the House rules committee in the House of Representatives that permits a bill to be amended on the legislative floor



A national legislature composed of elected representatives who choose the cheif executive (prime minister)


Party polarization

A vote in which a majority if democratic legislators oppose a majority of republican legislators and vice versa


Party vote

There are 2 measures of such voting.
Stricter- the vote occurs when 90% or more of the democrats in either house vote against 90% or more of the republicans.
Looser- counts as a party vote any case where at least 50% of the democrats vote together against at least 50% of the republicans.


Restrictive rule

An order rom the house rules committee in the House of Representatives that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made to a bill on the legislative floor



Amendments on matters unrelated to a bill that are added to an important bill so that they will "ride" to passage through congress. When a bill has many riders, it is called a Christmas-tree bill



A congressional voting procedure that consists off members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names. When roll calls were handled orally, it was a time consuming process in the house. Since 1973, an electronic voting system system permits each house member to record his or her vote and learn the total automatically.


Runoff primary

A second primary election held in some states where no candidate receives a majority if the votes in the first primary, the runoff is between two candidates with the most votes. These are common in the south.


Select committees.

Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose.


Simple resolution

An expression of opinion either in the House of Representatives or in the senate to settle housekeeping or procedural matters in either body. Such expressions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law



The presiding officer of the Josie of representatives and the leader of his or her party in the house.


Standing committees

Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within certain subject areas. Examples are the house ways and means committee and the senate judiciary committee.



Literally, "I forbid". It refers to the power of a president to disapprove a bill; it may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of each house of congress.


Voice vote

A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "aye" in approval or "no" in disapproval. Allows members to vote quickly or anonymously on bills



A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what the party members are thinking, rounds up members when important votes are to be taken, and attempts to keep a nose count on how the voting on controversial issues is likely to go.


Bicameral legislature

A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts. The us has a congress and House of Representatives.


What does the text suggest about party polarization?

Just because it has been like this doesn't mean it is like this now.


What is the most important decision a member of parliament makes?

Whether or not to support the government


When does the reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives occur?

Every ten years


How long are the terms of office for a member of the house and a member of the senate?

House- 2 years
Senate- 6 years


How is the number of reps and senators determined?

Senators- 2 per state
Reps- by population but there are no more than 435 total


Both houses of congress include ____ people



Today, there is one national legislature for how many citizens?

Every 561,000


What has happened to congressional approval ratings in recent years? (The 2000's)

The rates have lowered to single digits


What qualification must a candidate meet to serve in the senate or House of Representatives?

You must get more votes than the other candidates running from your state/district in the election. You don't need a majority, only a plurality


What must a candidate typically do to obtain a party's no,inaction for congress?

Win a primary election


Where should you focus to identify the real leadership office in the senate?

The real leadership is in the hands of the majority and minority leaders


President pro tempore

A member from the majority party (usually the most senior member) is chosen to be the presiding officer when the vp of the us is absent


The speaker

The presiding officer of the House of Representatives and the leader of his or her party in the house


By strictest measure, a party vote occurs when ____ percent or more of one party vote together against ____ percent of the opposing party



What is the main reason members tend to vote with their parties?

-they are in their chosen party because of broad policy agreements, so they can't just vote against their party. Sometimes the members do not have enough information to vote on a topic, so they just vote how other members of their party are voting.

Supporting the party position can work to the long term advantage of a member interested in gaining status in congress.


What is a conference committee?

It is made up of representatives and senators appointed to resolve differences in the senate and house versions of a bill before it passes


Shay type of committee is important because they are usually the only ones that can report out bills?

A standing committee


How is a committee chairman selected?

It is elected by the majority party, voting by secret ballot


What is a joint resolution?

It requires approval by both houses and presidential signature. It is a formal expression of congressional opinion. If they are proposing a constitutional amendment, they do not need to be approved by the president.


Under the constitution, bills can originate in either house of congress with the exception of

Bills for raising revenue and appropriation bills


Committee of the whole

The members of the house who happen to be on the floor at the time to discuss all revenue and most other bills ( as long as there are at least 100 other people)


If a bill passes the house and senate in substantially different forms, now are the differences resolved?

If the differences are minor, the last house to act may refer the bill back to the other house, which accepts the alterations. Major differences must be ironed out by a conference committee, but barely any bills require a conference.