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Flashcards in Test 2 Deck (126):
1

Protestors

Occupy Wall Street

TEA party

2

Congress gets a bad rap — but is it deserved?

Congress is the most representative branch

Congress is the most accessible branch

Congress is the most deliberative branch

3

Diversity in congress

Is increasing

4

Diversity in congress is increasing

The most recent election was in Nov. 2016

The 115th congress will serve from 2017-2018

5

House: Constitution

Article I(2)

6

House: chosen by

People

7

House: term

2 years

8

House: minimum age

25

9

House: minimum length of citizenship

7 years

10

House: number of members

435 (by population)

11

Senate: Constitution

Article I(3)

12

Senate: chosen by

People (originally, state legislature - 17th amendment)

13

Senate: term

6 years (staggered)

14

Senate: minimum age

30

15

Senate: minimum length of citizenship

9 years

16

Senate: number of members

100 (2 per state)

17

Purpose between the differences of the House and the Senate

The House is intended to be the “immediate representatives of the people”

The House prevents the Senate from becoming an “aristocratic body”

The Senate provides stability as “a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions”

18

Occupy Wall Street

Positive freedom (freedom to)

Protesting wealth, inequality

99% vs. 1%

Wanted the government to regulate Wall Street and redistribute money

19

TEA party

Negative freedom (freedom from)

Too much government spending, too much taxes

Waste

Regulation

20

House of Representatives - current representation

The current House is 55.4% Republican (241R/194D)

The House was majority Democrat prior to the Nov. 2012 elections

The balance of power tends to shift depending on the popularity of the President

21

House of Representatives - leadership

The current Speaker of the House is Paul Ryan, R-WI

The current House Minority Leader is Nancy Pelosi, D-CA

House leaders are assisted by “Whips” who help count votes and “whip up” support for bills

22

House of Representatives - committees

Today we have many specialized areas of law

It is impossible for every lawmaker to be an expert in every area

There are over 20 committees and over 100 sub-committees in the House

23

Representative re-apportioning

Every 10 years based on the U.S. census

States can lose or gain representatives based on population change

Louisiana lost a representative after the 2010 census (Hurricane Katrina)

24

Louisiana losing a representative

Louisiana re-drew its districts (2010)

The “majority minority” district (District 2) was preserved

25

Gerrymandering

The process of drawing districts based on political lines

A gerrymander can give a district a uniform voice (ex. Majority minority districts)

They also allow state legislatures to influence national elections

Louisiana’s 2nd district

Named after Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts in 1812

26

Louisiana’s 2nd District

Top 10 Gerrymander

Is the 2nd District a “safe” seat for minorities, giving them a unified voice?

Or does it “stack” the majority vote in one district...thereby diluting its power in the other districts

27

Number of Louisiana representatives in the House

6

28

Louisiana Representatives: District 1

Steve Scalise (R)

29

Louisiana Representatives: District 2

Cedric Richmond (D)

30

Louisiana Representatives: District 3

Clay Higgins (R)

31

Louisiana Representatives: District 4

Mike Johnson (R)

32

Louisiana Representatives: District 5

Ralph Abraham (R)

33

Louisiana Representatives: District 6

Garret Graves (R)

34

Senators - representation

Elections are staggered - 1/3 of the seats stand for election every 2 years

The current Senate is 52% Republican

The Senate was majority Democrat prior to the Nov. 2014 elections

35

Does Gerrymandering apply to the Senate?

No

36

Senate - leadership

The VP (currently Michael Pence) is the ceremonial leader of the Senate

Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader

Senate Leander’s are also assisted by “Whips”

37

Current Senate Minority Leader

Charles Schumer (D-NY)

38

Current Senate Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

39

Senate - committee

Today we have many specialized areas of law

It is impossible for every lawmaker to be an expert in every area

There are approximately 17 committees and 70 sub-committees in the Senate

40

Louisiana has ___ Senators

2

41

Louisiana Senators

John Kennedy was elected in 2016

Dr. Bill Cassidy was elected n 2014

42

Incumbents

Have an advantage - it is harder to get elected than to get re-elected

Can use their office to help individual votes (constituency services)

Incumbents may be on influential committees and bring benefits to their home state

Incumbents get more media attention and P.R. Support

It is generally easier for incumbents to raise money for their election campaigns

43

It’s not easy to become a law

10,000 bills are proposed every year

BUT only a couple hundred become law

44

How bills become a law - House

Bill proposed in House

House subcommittee hearings

House committee hearings

House vote - limited debate —> senate subcommittee hearings

Joint Conference Committee

Final House vote

President signs or vetoes

45

How bill becomes a law - Senate

Bill proposed in Senate

Senate subcommittee hearings

Senate committee hearings

Senate vote - unlimited debate —> house subcommittee hearings

Joint Conference Committee

Final Senate vote

President signs or vetoes

46

President signs or vetoes

Veto can be overridden by 2/3 majority of both houses of Congress

47

Senate has a tradition of unlimited debate

Filibuster

48

Filibuster

One senator can delay the vote on a bill

Can be defeated by “cloture”, which forces a vote

The record is over 24 hours

49

Cloture

Usually requires a 3/5 majority vote (60 senators)

50

Many people criticize Congress for ____

Gridlock

51

Gridlock

Should we blame the “ideologically extreme” Republicans

But Wilson complained about gridlock 100 years ago!

Congress is the most representative and the most deliberative branch

Gridlock just means that the people are divided on an issue

Gridlock over the budget can be particularly frustrating

52

Gridlock over the budget

“No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law...And a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.” —> Article I(9)

Therefore, under the Constitution, Congress must pass a law to spend money and publish a regular budget

53

Federal budget for fiscal year 2017

4 trillion

This means there was a 700 billion deficit for this fiscal year

Revenue from taxes is estimated at 3.3 trillion

54

The federal government’s fiscal year (FY)

Runs from October 1 to September 30

FY 2018 started on October 1, 2017

55

Current federal debt

Over 20 trillion

Interest on the debt alone is 6% of the federal budget and increasing

56

Most of the federal budget is redistributed through _____

“Mandatory” spending

57

Mandatory spending

Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements

Does not go through annual appropriations

58

Discretionary spending

Half goes to the military

This leaves approximately 16% to full all of the rest of the government

59

Federal spending is a two-step process

1. Create or authorize the program

2. Fund the program through annual appropriations

60

Both the House and the Senate have ____

Appropriations Committees

61

House and Senate Appropriations Committees

Each appropriations committee is broken into Sub-Committees

There are 12 Appropriations Sub-Committees in the House and the Senate

62

Each Appropriations Sub-Committee

Is responsible for preparing an appropriations bill for its portion of the discretionary federal budget

63

The annual budget

All 12 appropriations bills

Must be passed before the fiscal year begins

The President recommends his budget plan in February (not law)

Congress passes a budget resolution in April (not law)

All 12 appropriations bill should be passed between April and September 30

64

When does the fiscal year begin

October 1

65

Process of appropriations law

President’s recommendation (by Feb.) and Joint Budget Resolution (by April)

House, Senate

Joint Conference Committee

Final House vote, final Senate vote

President signs before the new fiscal year (Oct. 1)

66

Process of appropriations law - House

12 Appropriations Subcommittees

Appropriations Committee

House vote

67

Process of appropriations law - Senate

12 Appropriations Subcommittees

Appropriations Committee

Senate vote

68

Government shutdown

If Congress does not pass a budget by Sept. 30

Impacts discretionary spending only

Impacts non-essential functions only

69

Last government shutdown

October 1-16, 2013

70

Avoid government shutdowns

Congress can use continuing resolutions and omnibus bills to avoid shut downs

A combination of CR and omnibus (CRomnibus) was used to avoid shut-down for FY 2015

71

Continuing Resolution (CR)

An extension which temporarily continues the old budget

72

Omnibus bill

Crams the 12 appropriations bills into one mega-bill

73

FY 2018 appropriations bill

Running late again

74

March 16, 2017

President trump made his budget proposal

75

July 19, 2017

House passed a Budget Resolution

Senate did not pass a Budget resolution until October 2017

76

Since July 19, 2017

The house pass 5 of 12 appropriations bills; the Senate passed 0

77

September 2017 - March 2018

Congress passed 5 continuing resolutions (CRs)

78

March 23, 2018

Congress passed an omnibus bill

79

The founders gave Executive power to ____

ONE President

80

The founders giving Executive power to ONE President

One person has more “energy” than multiple people

One person has more accountability than multiple people - the buck stops with the President

BUT the President’s powers were limited compared to a king’s

81

Which article of the Constitution established the Presidency

Article II

82

Terms to become President

Must be 35 years old

Must be a natural born citizen

4 year terms

Max 2 terms (22nd Amendment)

83

How is the President elected

By the Electoral College system

84

Electoral College system

Allows states to have a unified vote

Number of electoral college votes = members in Congress (Plus 3 for D.C.)

435+100+3 = 538

85

Can the electoral college vote differ from the popular vote

Yes, though on rare occasions

86

2016 election

Clinton received more total votes

Clinton: 65.8M (48.2%)
Trump: 63.0M (46.1%)

But Trump won the Electoral College and the Presidency

87

The President holds significant ____

Executive powers

88

Powers of the President

The President is our Head of State

The President has the power to sign Treaties with other countries

Binding treaties must be approved by 2/3 of the Senate

“Executive Agreements”

Holds the power to appoint Supreme Court justices and other officials (Article II(2))

Has power to make “Executive Orders”

89

Executive Agreements

Somewhat less formal than treaties and do not require 2/3 approval of the Senate

90

The President shares ___ with Congress

War powers

91

The President and Congress - war

The president is our Commander in Chief (Article II(2))

But under the constitution, only Congress can declare war - Article I(8)

Congress has not specifically declared war since WWII

America nonetheless continues to deploy troops around the world

92

President appointing Supreme Court justices and other officials

Appointments must be confirmed by a majority of the Senate

Supreme Court Justices serve for life

Thus, the President’s appointments can significantly outlast the President’s time in office

President Trump with Supreme Court Justic Neil Gorsuch

93

Executive Orders

Not in the Constitution

Allow the President to take quick action without involving Congress

Generally accepted IF the executive order does not conflict with the Constitution or existing law

94

2014 Obama taking executive action

Offers legal status to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants

95

The president can invoke ____ to keep certain conversations confidential

Executive privilege

96

Executive privilege

A privileged communication is legally protected

Protects the communications between the president and certain advisors

The goal is to encourage honesty between the President and his advisors

97

Checks and balances - President

President can veto a law passed by Congress

President appoints judges with Senate approval

98

Checks and balances - Congress

Can override the president’s veto and impeach the President or his appointments

99

Checks and balances - Supreme Court

Judges can declare the actions of the President or Congress unconstitutional

100

The ____ makes it even harder to pass laws

Veto

101

Veto and laws

“The injury which may possibly be down by defeating a few good laws...will be amply compensated by the advantage of preventing a number of bad ones...there would be no greater danger of [the President] not using his power when necessary, than of his using it too often, or too much

102

Congress has power to ____ in a two step process

Remove the President

103

Removing the President

First, the House issues the “Articles of Impeachment”

Second, the President must face trial before the Senate

Conviction requires 2/3 of the Senate

Only two Presidents have been impeached by the House, but no president have been convicted by the Senate

104

The Cabinet

Made up of the Heads or “Secretaries” of federal government departments

Created by the Constitution Article (II(2))

Members are appointed by the President, subject to Senate approval

While Washington’s Cabinet was small, today’s Cabinet is much bigger

105

EOP

Executive Office of the President

Provides advice and support to the President

Established by FDR in 1939

Composed of the President’s closest policy advisors

NOT heads of government departments and they are NOT confined by the Senate

106

Most of the federal government is _____

Bureaucracy

107

The Bureaucracy in ____

Your Life

108

Most of the federal government is ____

Bureaucracy

109

The Bureacracy

Part of the Executive Branch, but it exercises powers delegated by Congress

It writes regulations

It investigates violations

It decides fines and penalties in particular cases

Very active and has very few checks and balances

110

Today, the federal government is involved in every aspect of our lives

Federal agencies passed 80,000 pages of regulations just in 2013

There are over 3 million federal government workers

Almost half the population receives some form of government benefits

111

Federal Bureaucracy: Goal

Implement policy

112

Federal Bureaucracy

Don’t face competition

Slower feedback through elections and lawsuits

Slow and rigid structure

Difficult to fire even bad workers

Funded by involuntary taxpayers

113

Private business: goal

Make a profit

114

Private business

Face competition

Immediate feedback through free market

Flexible structure

Have ability to fire workers

Funded by voluntary investors and customers

115

There are multiple federal agencies that regulate the workplace

Department of Labor

Equal employment opportunity commission

Federal agencies also regulate workplace safety, union rights, special rules for government contracts, unemployment benefits, etc.

All these regulations can be confusing and costly for small (and large!) businesses

116

Department of Labor

Regulates work conditions, including wages and hours

Contains many sub-agencies (Wage and Hour Division)

There is a strong emphasis on employee protection over flexibility

117

Equal employment opportunity commission (EEOC)

Enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace

Issues press releases from its newsroom

Current enforcement priorities include accommodation of transgender individuals and accommodation of service animals

The rights of employers and dissenters are ignored

118

Wage and Hour Division

Regulates wages and hours of work

119

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Heavily regulates food and drugs

Requires drug commercials to include side effects

120

How do you include side effects on social media, in real time, with limited space?

Drug companies have asked the FDA for guidance on the use of social media for year. To date, only “draft guidance” has been published

Bureaucracy can be very slow to keep up with new technology

121

Congress has made some attempt to ...

Regulate the regulators

122

Congress - “regulate the regulators”

Freedom of information act

Administrative procedure act

Sunshine act

Some politicians are calling for elimination of some bureaucratic agencies

123

Freedom of Information Act

FOIA

Requires federal agencies to produce documents if requested

124

Administrative Procedure Actq

Requires federal agencies to give notice of proposed regulations and solicit public opinion

125

Sunshine Act

Requires federal agencies to open their meetings to the public, unless an exception applies

126

Have we traded too much freedom for (the illusion of) security

The government should enforce certain standards of safety, quality, and justice

But once a bureaucracy is created, it can easily become overly powerful and overly intrusive

Excruciatingly detailed regulations can take the place of freedom and common sense

Under a bureaucratic state, people can be harshly punished for violating rules they didn’t know existed and doing things that caused no harm