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2302 Government Study Questions Exam 1 In preparation for the examinations students MUST complete study questions associated with the chapter readings before each exam. Completing these study questions prior to the exams is MANDATORY. They will be graded from 0-5 points each. The study questions do not have to be lengthy or written in complete sentence form. The point is to focus your mind on the central points raised by the readings. 1. Download the SQ and open in your word processing program. 2. Insert your answers using a different font color for your answers. I prefer blue. 3. Upload your completed SQ using the Assignment Tool. 4. Always make a back-up of your work. ("The computer destroyed my files" is the contemporary version of the "dog ate my homework." It is the student's responsibility to have the questions submitted on time, period. A malfunctioning computer is no excuse for late work.) Do not cut and paste your answers into an e-mail message as this will disrupt the formatting. I will return all files with chaotic formatting. (Take this warning seriously because I will have approximately 75 sets of these questions to grade and, therefore, it is imperative that your assignments are properly formatted. PREPARING FOR EXAMS General Comments for Preparing for Exams Preparation for exams should always begin with careful reading of the texts. It is important to take good notes while reading. Underlining portions of the textbook is NOT advised. Students who cognitively assimilate the reading materials retain more information and material. This is best accomplished by careful note taking. Underlining is a shortcut, and the results will show in your performance on the exam. Before reading and taking notes on the texts, consult the Norton Resources for the appropriate chapter. Here you will find summaries of the learning objectives, key points, and basic concepts for each chapter of reading. Get a general sense of feel for what the textbook reading covers. Do NOT use these Resources as a shortcut for your reading. After you have a general sense of what you will encounter in the readings, turn to the text and begin reading and taking notes. Always find the thesis of every paragraph while you are reading. Always ask yourself: What is it the author is trying to convey here? After completing your reading and note taking, return to the Resources and review the materials again. Have you covered the learning objectives? Are you familiar with the basic terms? Do you know the basic facts and features of the topics? If you are not comfortable with the learning objectives, etc., return to the textbook for a review of those points you need to learn better. Only when you have completed this process should you take the self-test. It is important to take these quizzes as they provide you with some practice and familiarity with how the authors phrase their questions and answers. After you have graded yourself, go back to those sections of the readings and review those sections/topics where you performed poorly. Finally, review the key concepts/terms and imagine how you would write a multiple-choice question regarding each. This is always a good exercise. Put yourself in the position of someone writing the test. What are the key elements? How would you phrase a multiple choice question? What answers might be close to a correct answer, but not the precise one? The more you practice this, the better your performance will be on the real exam. On each exam you can expect questions that demand factual familiarity with topics, analytical understanding of controversial issues, historical knowledge of key figures and events, and conceptualization of the theoretical and philosophical issues. The following is a thumbnail guide to the differences. 1) Factual Question: What are the economic powers of Congress? What are the formal requirements for being elected to the House of Representatives? 2) Analytical Question: Why do members of Congress tend to put the interests of their districts ahead of the national interest? 3) Historical Question: What factors led to the Republican Party gaining a majority of Congress in 1994? 4) Conceptual Question: How does the U.S. Constitution promote gridlock in government? Does the separation of powers always work to promote good government practices and policies? Submitting your finished Study Questions is a 2 step process. You must FIRST upload your completed and saved work to the Assignment Tool. Second, you must select the file and then hit the SUBMIT button. If you have successfully submitted the file, the status indicator on the Assignment Homepage will now read Not Graded. Study Questions will be graded within 5 days of the DUE DATE. When the assignment is graded you should find both a SCORE for your work AND my comments. PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ASSIGNMENTS IN RTF (rich text format) or word doc USING BLUE FONT. We The People: An Introduction to American Politics, Seventh Texas Edition Please insert your answers using BLUE FONT. Chapter 12: Congress 1. What 2 powers (the most important power governments have) does Congress have control over? 1 The government has the power of force (control over military), and the power over money (lay taxes, impose duties, etc). 2. What has happened to the power relationship between the Congress and the presidency in recent years? 1 In the past century, Congress has surrendered its constitutional authority to the President. As well as war power and spending power. Today the president has much greater authority. 3. What two factors limit the ability of Congress to represent all the people? 1 Declining participation by lower income voters and the increase in importance of money in politics has Congress focusing mainly on the interests of higher-income voters and resource-rich interest groups. 4. What is a constituency and what relationship are they suppose to have to their representatives? 1 A constituency is the residents in an area from which an official is elected. Each Congress members primary responsibility is to their constituency, and they must take their views into consideration. 5. What is a bicameral legislature and what are the houses of Congress? 1 Bicameral legislature is one that is composed of two chambers or houses. The house of representatives, and the senate are the two houses of Congress. 6. What are the formal qualifications for holding office in Congress? 1 House: minimum age of 25 yrs; U.S. citizen for 7 yrs; qualified voter. 2 Senate: minimum age of 30 yrs; U.S. citizen for 9 yrs; qualified voter. 7. Who was the Senate originally designed to represent and how were they selected? 1 It was originally designed to represent the elite members of society, and they were appointed by state legislatures for 6 yr terms. 8. According to Table 12.1, what are the differences between the House and the Senate? 1 House: minimum age of 25 yrs; U.S. citizen for 7 yrs; serve 2 yr term; 1-53 per state depending on population; constituency is local 2 Senate: minimum age of 30 yrs; U.S. citizen for 9 yrs; serve 6 yr term; 2 per state; constituency is both local and national. 9. Why does the House tend to represent PACs and interest groups more than the Senate? 1 The smaller size and homogeneity of the Houses constituencies, as well as the frequency in which the House members must seek re-election make them more attuned to the legislative needs of local interest groups. 10. What is the difference between sociological and agency representation? 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Sociological is a type of representation in which representatives have the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious, or educational backgrounds as their constituents. It is based on the principle that if two individuals are similar in background, character, interests, and perspectives, then one could correctly represent the others views. The assumption is that sociological similarity helps to promote good representation; thus, the composition of a properly constituted representative assembly should mirror the composition of society. Agency representation = the type of representation in which a representative is held accountable to a constituency if he or she fails to represent that constituency properly. Constituents have the power to hire and fire their representatives. 11. Generally speaking, why is the social composition of Congress important? Because it increases the extent to which the U. S. Congress is representative of the American people in a sociological sense. If congress is highly diversified it can better represent the views of a wider range of people. At the least, the social composition of a representative assembly is important for symbolic purposes to demonstrate to groups in the population that the government takes them seriously. 12. How many women were in the House in 1990 and how many in 2008? 1990: 29 women; 2008: 71 women 13. What are the three main occupational backgrounds of members of Congress? The Legal Profession; Public service or Politics; Business and Industry (this one might be the 3 rd, or Politics is the 3rd main one). 14. How many people does each US Representative represent? The member of Congress represents as many as 660,000 clients in the district, and the senator represents millions of clients in the state. 15. How many communications messages did Congress get in 2006? 333 million communications 16. Why are members of Congress often free to represent their own interests in the legislative process? On many issues constituents do not have very strong views, and representatives are free to act as they think best. Foreign policy issues often fall into this category. 17. Why does the geographical context of representation matter? For example, representatives from districts that grow wheat, cotton, or tobacco probably will not want to exercise a great deal of independence on relevant agricultural legislation. In oil- rich states such as Oklahoma and Texas, senators and members of the House are likely to be leading advocates of oil interests. They geographical context of representation thus matters because representatives want to make sure they arent going to be voting against their districts interests. 18. How much of their time and their staff time is spent on constituency casework? Two thirds of their time. 19. What 3 factors related to the electoral system affect who gets elected & what they do once in office? Basically, what personal or informal qualifications are needed to run for Congress? The first set of issues concerns who decides to run for office and which candidates have an edge over others (includes and individuals ambition; funds necessary to campaign; etc...). The second issue is that of incumbency advantage. Finally, the way congressional district lines are drawn can greatly affect the outcome of an election. (i.e. the way a congressional district overlaps with a states legislative boundaries can affects a candidates decision to run). 20. What is EMILYS List and what has been its impact? EMILYs List, has become one of the most powerful fundraisers of all PACs. Recent research shows that money is no longer the barrier it once was to women running for office. 21. What is the rate of re-election and what is meant by incumbencywhat are the advantages? Specifically, what are the re-election rates in the House and Senate? Rates of re-election for congressional incumbents: as high as 98 percent for House members and 90 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 percent for members of the Senate Incumbency = holding a political office for which one is running. This advantage of Incumbency is that it can help a candidate by scaring off potential challengers. In many races, potential candidates may decide not to run because they fear that the incumbent simply has too much money or is too well liked or too well known. (Members of Congress possess an array of tools that they can use to stack the deck in favor of their re- election. The most important of these is constituency service: taking care of the problems and requests of individual voters). 22. What do the examples of Deborah Pryce and Joe Courtney illustrate? They were both incumbents that continued to win elections, most of the time by large margins. They are thus examples of the advantage that incumbency tends to provide. 23. Why do some people support term limits and who would benefit the most from them? Supporters of term limits argue that such limits are the only way to get new faces into Congress. They believe that incumbency advantage and the tendency of many legislators to view politics as a career mean that very little turnover will occur in Congress unless limits are imposed on the number of terms a legislator can serve. People who benefit the most from term limits would be non-incumbents who might be trying or thinking about running in an election 24. On average, what % of the House and Senate retire each election? Ten perecent. 25. What is apportionment and redistricting and how can it have an impact on the winner? The process of allocating congressional seats among the fifty states is called apportionment. States with population growth gain additional seats; states with population declines or less population growth lose seats. Redistricting = the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives. Districts are shaped to create an advantage for the majority party in the state legislature, which controls the redistricting process. Redistricting can create open seats and may pit incumbents of the same party against one another, ensuring that one of them will lose. Redistricting can also give an advantage to one party by clustering voters with some ideological or sociological characteristics in a single district, or by separating those voters into two or more districts. 26. What is gerrymandering? The manipulation of electoral districts to serve the interests of a particular group is known as gerrymandering. (i.e. the apportionment of voters in districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to one racial or ethnic group or political party). 27. What happened in Texas in 2001-2003 and did the Court agree? In 2003, Texas Republicans took the unprecedented step of redrawing the lines set in 2001. The 2001 lines were drawn by a judicial panel when the politically divided legislature could not agree on a plan. Republican leaders felt that the strong Democratic showing was the result of a fl awed redistricting plan. Finally in 2003 the state legislature quickly approved the new map, which promised to be far more favorable to Republicans. 28. Has the Supreme Court played the role of umpire in controversies surrounding redistricting? Yes. 29. What impact did the 1964 Civil Rights Act have on the number of minorities being elected to Congress? It has greatly increased the number of minority representatives in congress. It encouraged the creation of districts in which members of racial minorities have decisive majorities. 30. What did the Court do in 1995 in the case of Miller v Johnson? The Supreme Court limited racial redistricting in Miller v. Johnson, in which the Court stated that race could not be the predominant factor in creating electoral districts. 31. What is patronage and specifically what is pork barreling? The ability of members of Congress to provide direct benefits for their constituents. This includes opportunities to make partisan appointments to offices and to confer grants, licenses, or special 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 favors to supporters. One of the most important opportunities to provide patronage is called Pork Barreling = This type of legislation specifies a project to be funded within a particular district, that are often not needed but that are created so that local representatives can win re- election in their home districts. 32. What is the most common form of pork barreling and how much was spent on this in 2006? A common form of pork barreling is the earmark. The 2007 military bill cut in half the value of earmarks contained in the 2006 one to $8 Billion. So the 2006 bill must have 33. What is an earmark? What is the trend on the use of earmarks? Earmark = the practice through which members of Congress insert into bills language that provides special benefits for their own constituents. The trend of earmarks is that they have grown largely in number. But in 2007 congress vowed to limit the use of earmarks. 34. What happened to Duke Cunningham? Duke Cunningham was sent to jail in 2005 for accepting bribes by companies hoping to receive earmarks in return. 35. Why are transportation programs a favorite source of pork barrel? These measures often have little to do with transportation needs, instead they serve as evidence that congressional members can bring federal dollars back home. 36. What patronage exists in federal agencies that is considered constituency service? Assistance for senior citizens who are having Social Security or Medicare benefit eligibility problems. They may also assist constituents in finding federal grants for which they may be eligible to apply. A small but related form of patronage is get-ting an appointment to one of the military academies for the child of a constituent. 37. What is a private bill and what are 75% of all private bills about? What did Gene Green do? Private Bill = a proposal in Congress to provide a specific person with some kind of relief, such as a special exemption from immigration quotas. 75% are concerned with providing relief for foreign nationals who do not have resident status in the United States but who the sponsoring member of Congress believes are deserving of citizenship. Green sponsored a private bill to obtain legal status for an undocumented couple in danger of being deported but whose son died as a marine in Iraq. 38. What happens in the congressional conference or caucus and what is it? Every two years, at the beginning of a new Congress, the members of each party gather to elect their House leaders. House Republicans call this the conference. House Democrats call theirs the caucus. 39. What kind of committee does a typical Representative want to serve on? Several individuals often seek assignments to the most important committees, which gives the leadership an opportunity to cement alliances when it resolves conflicting requests. Generally, representatives seek assignments that will allow them to influence decisions of special importance to their districts. Representatives from farm districts, for example, may request seats on the Agriculture Committee. 40. Who is the current Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader? The current speaker is John Boehner. The current Senate Majority Leader is Harry Reid. 41. How are whips, minority and majority leaders and the Speaker of the House selected? The House majority conference or caucus elects a majority leader. The minority party goes through the same process and selects the minority leader. Both parties also elect whips to line up party members on important votes and to relay voting information to the leaders (i.e. the senators from each party elect a whip). The elected leader of the majority party is later proposed to the whole House and is automatically elected to the position of Speaker of the House, with voting along straight party lines. 42. What kind of committee assignments do members of each chamber seek? Seats on powerful committees such as Ways and Means, which is responsible for tax legislation, and Appropriations are especially popular. 43. Who has the real power in the Senate and how powerful is the President and President Pro Temp 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 of the Senate in reality? The President Pro Tempore exercises primarily ceremonial leadership. Since the New Deal, Presidents have taken the lead in creating legislative agendas. Real power is in the hands of the majority leader and minority leader, each elected by party conference. Together they control the Senates calendar, or agenda for legislation. 44. What was the Contract with America? What happened to it in the Senate? When congressional leaders have been faced with a White House controlled by the opposing party, they have attempted to devise their own agendas. The Republican Congress elected in 1994 expanded on this idea, calling its agenda the Contract with America. From 2000 to 2006, with both houses of Congress in the hands of Republicans, congressional leaders worked closely with the Republican White House. In 2007 when Democrats took over Congress they devised a plan to pass six key pieces of legislation in the first hundred hours of Democratic congressional control. Although the House succeeded in passing the six measures, most of them died in the Senate, 45. What is a standing committee and which ones are the very most important? See Table 12.2. Standing committee = a permanent committee with the power to propose and write legislation that covers a particular subject, such as finance or agriculture. Among the most important standing committees are those in charge of finances. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee are powerful because of their jurisdiction over taxes, trade, and expensive entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The Senate and House Appropriations committees also play important ongoing roles because they decide how much funding various programs will actually receive; they also determine exactly how the money will be spent. 46. What is a select committee and what are the 3 exceptions to their normally temporary status? Select committee = a (usually) temporary legislative committee set up to highlight or investigate a particular issue or address an issue not within the jurisdiction of existing committees. The House and Senate Select Intelligence committees are permanent, and so is the House select Homeland Security Committee. 47. What is joint committee and what are the four types? Joint committee a legislative committee formed of members of both the House and the Senate. There are four such committees: economic, taxation, library, and printing. 48. What is a conference committeewhat can happen if one party controls both houses? Conference committee = a joint committee created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation. When a single party controls both houses, the majority party is not obligated to offer any significant representation to the minority party. 49. Seniority is less important to Republicans in determining committee chairs-what is then? Republicans continued to depart from the principle of seniority in selecting committee chairs, often choosing on the basis of loyalty or fund- raising abilities rather than seniority. 50. Were the reforms of the 1970s good or bad--what was the result? Was power centralized or fragmented by these reforms? The reforms were overall bad. They created new problems for Congress. As a con-sequence of the reforms, power became more fragmented, making it harder to reach agreement on legislation. 51. What did the Republicans try to do in the 1990s? The Republicans sought to reverse the fragmentation of congressional power and concentrate more authority in the party leadership. To this end they reduced the number of subcommittees and limited the time committee chairs could serve to three terms. 52. Are committee chairs limited in the terms they can serve? Yes. They can only serve 3 terms. 53. How many personal staff members does Congress employ and what do they do? Representatives and senators together employ 11,500 staffers in their Washington and home offices. 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 Staffers even develop policy ideas, draft legislation, and in some instances, have a good deal of influence over the legislative process. 54. How many committee staff members do they employ and what do they do? In addition to the personal staffs of individual senators and representatives, Congress also employs roughly 2,000 committee staffers. These individuals make up the permanent staff who stay attached to every House and Senate commit-tee regardless of turnover in Congress and who are responsible for organizing and administering the committees work, including doing research, scheduling, organizing hearings, and drafting legislation. 55. What are the three staff agencies that help Congress do its job? The Congressional Research Service; The Government Accountability Office; and the Congressional Budget Office. 56. Identify the major caucuses in Congress? Travel and Tourism Caucus, the Steel Caucus, the Mushroom Caucus, and Concerned Senators for the Arts. The Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Caucus for Womens Issues, and the Hispanic Caucus. The Sportsmens Caucus 57. What is a bill and who can introduce them in the House or the senate? Bill = a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of Congress and submitted to the clerk of the House or Senate. The Speaker of the House or President of the Senate can then introduce them. 58. What happens in committee mark-up and how many bills are introduced in one two-year session of Congress and what happens to most of them? Committee markup = session in which a congressional committee rewrites legislation to incorporate changes discussed during hearings on the bill In a typical congressional session, 95 percent of the roughly 8,000 bills introduced die in committee. 59. What is the closed and open rule? Closed rule = a provision by the House Rules Committee limiting or prohibiting the introduction of amendments during debate. Open rule = a provision by the House Rules Committee that permits floor debate and the addition of new amendments to a bill. 60. Have committees recently gained or lost power and if they lost powerwhere did it go? In recent years, the Rules committee has become less powerful because the House leadership exercises so much influence over its decisions. Committees have lost considerable influence as power has shifted upward to the legislative leadership. This means that committees typically do not deliberate for very long or call witnesses. In some cases, the leadership has bypassed committees altogether, bringing legislation directly to the floor. 61. What is a filibuster and what is cloture specifically and how does it work? Once given the floor, a senator may speak as long as he or she wishes. On a number of memorable occasions, senators have used this right to pre-vent action on legislation that they oppose. Through this tactic, called the filibuster, small minorities or even one individual in the Senate can force the majority to give in. 62. What is a hold and how does it work? What reform on holds was passed in 2007? Senators can also place holds, or stalling devices, on bills to delay debate. Senators place holds on bills when they fear that openly opposing them will be unpopular. In 2007, reformers succeeded in passing the Honest Leadership and Open Govern-ment Act. Although the new law did not eliminate holds, it contained provisions requiring Senators who impose a hold to identify themselves in the Congressional Record after six days and state the reasons for the hold. 63. Besides the filibuster, what are two other ways senators can stall or bills? Under Senate rules, members have a virtually unlimited ability to propose amendments to a pending bill. Each amendment must be voted on before the bill can come to a final vote. The introduction of 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 3 new amendments can be stopped only by unanimous consent. This, in effect, can permit a determined minority to filibuster by amendment, indefinitely delaying the passage of a bill. Also Holds can be used to stall a bill; as well as keeping the vote open. 64. What happened to the efforts to control video-game violence? None of the seven bills introduced in 2005 to regulate video game violence were enacted. Congressional interest in video- game legislation declined by 2007 after the courts struck down several state laws that sought to impose similar types of regulation. Nevertheless, proposing by regulations against sex and violence in video games, regardless of whether or not any of them passed, still serve the purpose of attracting attention to the situation and in-turn shows Congress good morality and interest in the welfare of children. 65. Specifically how do conference committees work-what is the vote count required? A Conference committee is composed of the senior members of the committees or subcommittees that initiated the bills may be required to iron out differences between the two pieces of legislation. Usually, conference committees meet behind closed doors. Agreement requires a majority of each of the two delegations. 66. How does a veto and pocket veto work? Veto = the presidents constitutional power to turn down acts of Congress. A presidential veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress Pocket veto = a presidential veto that is automatically triggered if the president does not act on a given piece of legislation passed during the final ten days of a legislative session 67. What are the 3 major influences on the congressional vote? External influences include a legislators constituency and various interest groups. Influences from inside government include party leadership, congressional colleagues, and the president. 68. Why do members of Congress try to anticipate the views of their constituents? because these representatives realize that the choices they make may be scrutinized in a future election and used as ammunition by an opposing candidate. 69. What is Astroturf lobbying? When members of Congress are making voting decisions, those interest groups that have some connection to constituents in particular members districts are most likely to be influential. In recent years, interest groups with little grassroots strength have recognized the importance of locally generated activity. They have, accordingly, sought to simulate grassroots pressure, using a strategy that has been nicknamed Astroturf lobbying Interest groups with the ability to mobilize followers in many congressional districts may be especially influential in Congress. 70. What is the K Street Project and what happened to Tom DeLay? Tom DeLay sought to tighten the connection between interest groups and the congressional Republicans with his K Street Project. The K Street Project placed former Republican staffers in key lobbying positions and ensured a large flow of corporate cash into Republican coffers. Tom DeLay eventually resigned after scrutiny for misusing campaign funds. 71. What happened to Jack Abramoff? Abramoff pled guilty in early 2006 to charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax evasion in connection with his lobbying activities, and it became clear that he would name names as part of a plea deal, a group of House Republicans mobilized against the powerful DeLay, who was already under indictment in Texas for misusing campaign funds. 72. What are the party unit vote and the roll-call vote? Which house has more party unity votes? Party unity vote = a roll-call vote in the House or Senate in which at least 50 percent of the members of one party take a particular position and are opposed by at least 50 percent of the members of the other party. Roll-call = vote a vote in which each legislators yes or no vote is recorded as the clerk calls the names of the members alphabetically. Typically, party unity is greater in the House than in the Senate. 73. What are the broad differences between Republicans and Democrats? 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 Republican members of Congress are more likely than Democrats to be drawn from rural or suburban areas. Democrats are likely to be more liberal on economic and social questions than their Republican colleagues. 74. What factors influence the amount or number of party unity voting in Congress? Though it has not reached nineteenth-century levels, party unity has been on the rise in recent years because the divisions between the parties have deepened on many high-profile issues such as abortion, affirmative action, the minimum wage, and school vouchers. Party unity scores rise when congressional leaders try to put a partisan stamp on legislation. 75. What are the 6 major resources that congressional party leaders have at their disposal? (1) leadership PACs, ( 2) committee assignments, ( 3) access to the floor, ( 4) the whip system, ( 5) logrolling, and ( 6) the presidency. 76. What is logrolling what leaders know who owed what to whom? An agreement between two or more members of Congress who have nothing in common except the need for support is called logrolling. (i.e. legislative practice whereby agreements are made between legislators in voting for or against a bill; vote trading). The party whips know who owed what to who 77. Where are interest groups most importantat what stage of a bill and what is more important once legislation reaches the floor of either house? They are most important when gaining access to the floor. In the Senate, the leadership allows ranking committee members to influence the allocation of floor time who will speak for how long; in the House, the Speaker, as head of the majority party (in consultation with the minority leader), allocates large blocks of floor time. 78. What is the WHIP system? This whip system is primarily a communications network that allows party leaders to know if they have enough support to allow a vote as well as whether the vote is so close that they need to put pressure on a few undecided members. Leaders also use the whip system to convey their wishes and plans to the members, but only in very close votes do they actually exert pressure on a member. 79. Why is the president an important influence on party discipline in Congress? He helps to maintain the clarity of party lines in Congress . Presidents each year have identified a number of bills that they want to be considered part of their administrations program. By the mid1950s, both parties in Congress began to look to the president for these proposals, which became the most significant part of Congresss agenda. The Presidents support is a criterion for party loyalty, and party leaders are able to use it to rally some members. 80. Is the text optimistic that Congress will be able to act on a Global Warming Policy? The text is somewhat optimistic. The new select committee held hearings to high-light the issue of global warming and to keep it on the agenda, but it could do little else. In the face of these disagreements, Congress acted where it found common ground by increasing spending to promote green technologies. Al-though this spending conveyed a new sense of purpose in addressing climate change, the hard work of crafting a forceful set of policies to address climate change still lay ahead. 81. What is meant by congressional oversight and what powers does Congress have in this area? Oversight, as applied to Congress, refers to the effort to oversee or to supervise how the executive branch carries out legislation. (i.e. the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies). Oversight is carried out by committees or subcommittees of the Senate or the House. Committees or subcommittees have the power to subpoena witnesses, take oaths, cross- examine, compel testimony, and bring criminal charges for contempt (refusing to cooperate) and perjury (lying under oath). 82. What are some pros/cons of Congress becoming involved in foreign policy? Some argue that Presidents are better equipped than Congress to know what needs to be done to conduct a successful foreign policy. They have a large national security apparatus with extensive expertise, and they are able to keep the big picture in mind. Other critics disagree, arguing that Congress has a vital role to play in foreign policy. The absence of ongoing congressional scrutiny can lead to poor policy, detached from democratic accountability. 3 Congress is more responsive to popular pressures that also have a place in foreign policy. 83. What % of the Senate vote is required to confirm presidential appointments compared to treaties? For treaties, two-thirds of those present must concur; for appointments, a simple majority is required. 84. What is the advice and consent power of the Senate and how does it work? What areas are specifically covered by this power? 1 To appoint top executive officers, ambassadors, and federal judges but only with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. Specific powers = The power to approve or reject presidential requests also involves the power to set conditions. The Senate only occasionally exercises its power to reject treaties and appointments. 85. What is an executive agreement and how have these changed in terms of congressional oversight? Executive agreement an agreement, made between the president and another country that has the force of a treaty but does not require the Senates advice and consent. In the past, presidents sometimes concluded secret agreements without informing Congress of the agreements contents, or even their existence. In 1972, Congress passed the Case Act, which requires that the president inform Congress of any executive agreement within sixty days of its having been reached. This in turn gives Congress the opportunity to cancel agreements that it opposes, and limit the presidents ability to conduct foreign policy through executive agreement by refusing to appropriate the funds needed to implement an agreement 86. How do you impeach a president? 1 Impeachment means to charge a government official (president or otherwise) with Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors and bring them before Congress to determine their guilt. Impeachment is thus like a criminal indictment in which the House of Representatives acts like a grand jury, voting (by simple majority) on whether the accused ought to be impeached. If a majority of the House votes to impeach, the impeachment trial moves to the Senate, which acts like a trial jury by voting whether to convict and forcibly remove the person from office (this vote requires a two- thirds majority of the Senate). 87. What presidents have been impeached? How many have been removed from office? 1 Two U.S. Presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson (trial) and Bill Clinton (trial). Both were acquitted at trial. Thus none of them have been removed from office. 88. What is the difference between the delegate style of representation and the trustee style of representation? 1 As a delegate, a member of Congress acts on the express preferences of his constituents; as a trustee, the member is more loosely tied to constituents and makes the decisions he thinks best. 89. What judgment does the text reach about the 1970 reforms and making Congress more representative? What happened? 1 Congress instituted a number of reforms in the 1970s to make itself more accessible and to distribute power more widely within the institution. These reforms sought to respond to public views that Congress had become a stodgy institution ruled by a powerful elite that made decisions in private. These reforms spread power more evenly throughout the institution and opened new avenues for the public to contact and influence Congress. 90. What does the public think should be the most important factor a Member of Congress considers when making a decision? 1 In a recent poll, 69 percent of respondents agreed that when a congressional representative votes, the views of the district should be the most important; only 25 percent believed that the representatives own principles and judgment should prevail. 91. What does the public most dislike about Congress? 1 What the public dislikes most about Congress stems from suspicions that Con-gress acts as neither a trustee nor a delegate of the broad public interest, but instead is swayed by narrow special interests with lots of money. 2 92. Does Congress tend to represent higher income people or lower income people best? 1 These patterns of group representation and political participation mean that members of Congress are more likely to hear the voices of higher- income Americans. Chapter 23: The Texas Legislature 1 2 3 4 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 1. What is a voice vote? A Division vote? Record vote? How many record votes are typically made in the Texas Legislature? Why do members of the Legislature appear to resist efforts at increasing transparency? In voice votes, no record is made of how particular legislators vote. In division votes, as with voice votes, no re-cord is kept of how particular individuals voted. However, unlike in voice votes, the presiding officer determines at his or her discretion at any time during the process of voicing division votes that the vote is going a particular way and declares the measure approved or killed. In record votes, votes are recorded by legislators names and printed in the House or Senate Journal. Record votes hold legislators ac-countable to their constituency in a way that voice votes and division votes do not. About 1,601 record votes are typically made in the Texas Legislature They resisted efforts at increasing transparency because record votes hold legislators ac-countable to their constituency in a way that voice votes and division votes do not. 2. Texas has a bicameral legislature-how many state senators and state representatives does it have? How often does it convene? It has 31 senators and 150 House members which meet in regular session for 140 days every oddnumbered year. 3. How many people do each state representative represent and each state senator? Members of the Texas House represent approximately 157,000 people. Senators represent about 758,000 constituents. 4. How does amending a bill work in the Texas legislature-what if a sponsor says no? If the author of a bill in one house, which has already been amended by the other body, accepts the bill then the bill moves forward. If they say no however, then the bill is killed. 5. What are the qualifications for the Texas House and Texas Senate? Under the Texas Constitution, a Senator must be at least twenty-six years old, a U.S. citizen, a qualified voter, and a resident of the state for five years and the district for one year. A House member must be at least twenty-one years old, a U.S. citizen, a qualified voter, and a resident of the state for two years and the district for one year. 6. Describe a typical Texas legislator? Generally, legislators have been white, male, Protestant, college educated, and affluent, and have a professional or business occupation. 7. How much do they make a year and when are they in session? What is the per diem payment and how much is it? Legislators are paid a salary of $7,200 a year plus a $139 per diem during the regular and special sessions. (Legislators also receive a payment of $139 a day when the legislature is in session.) 8. What percentage is Africa-American, Hispanic, Anglo or Asian? See Table 23.1. African American 9% of House membership; 6% of Senate membership Asian 1% of House membership; 0% of Senate membership Anglo 70% of House membership; 74% of Senate membership 9. How long is a special session, what state official calls them and sets the agenda? Historically, what has been the average number of special sessions called a year? A special session only lasts for 30 days, the governor calls them and sets the agenda. The average number of them called in a year has been 1 special session per year. 10. What is wrong with biennial sessions now that Texas is urban and has a huge global economy? Part-time legislators serving biennial 140-day sessions may not work well anymore in allowing the 1 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 state to respond quickly and effectively to crises that arise. 11. What are interim committees? Between legislative sessions, members serve on interim committees that may require a few days of their time each month. They supervise the staff of their district offices and address the needs of their constituents. 12. What is the difference between a bill, local bill, a special bill, and a general bill? Bill = proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of the legislature and submitted to the clerk of the House or Senate. Local bill = a bill affecting only units of local government, such as a city, county, or special district. General bill = a bill that applies to all people and/ or property in the state Special bill = a bill that gives an individual or corporation a special exemption from state law 13. What is the difference between a resolution, concurrent resolution, joint resolution and a simple resolution? Resolution a proposal = made by a member of the legislature, that generally deals with the internal workings of the government; a resolution is similar to a bill, but it has a more limited scope and lacks the force of public law Concurrent resolution = a resolution of interest to both chambers of the legislature, and that must pass both the House and Senate and generally be signed by the governor Joint resolution = a resolution, commonly a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution or ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that must pass both the House and Senate but does not require the governors signature Simple resolution = a resolution that concerns only the Texas House or Senate, such as the adoption of a rule or the appointment of an employee, and does not require the governors signature 14. What are the non-legislative powers of constituent power and electoral powers with specific examples? Constituent powers are those things done for or in the name of constituents. Working on behalf of constituents involves non-legislative activity, such as arranging an appointment for a constituent with a government agency that regulates some aspect of the constituents life, writing a letter of recommendation for a constituent, or giving a speech to a civic group in the legislators district. Electoral powers of the legislature consist of formally counting returns in the elections for governor and lieutenant governor. 15. What are the non-legislative powers of investigative powers and directive and supervisory powers with specific examples of each? Investigative powers = the power, exercised by the House, the Senate, or both chambers jointly, to investigate problems facing the state (i.e. A special investigative committee is established by a simple resolution creating the committee, establishing the jurisdiction of the committee, and explaining the need for the investigation). Directive and supervisory powers enable the legislature to have considerable control over the executive branch of government. The legislature determines the size of the appropriation each agency has to spend for the next two years. 16. What are the non-legislative powers of judicial powers and how do you go about impeaching the governor in Texas? What vote do you need in the House to indict and the Senate to convict? Judicial powers include the ability of the House to impeach members of the executive and judicial branches of state government. On impeachment, a trial takes place in the Senate. A majority vote of the House is required to bring charges, and a two- thirds vote of senators attending is necessary to convict an individual of the impeachment charges. 17. What are the six steps in how a bill becomes law in the Texas legislature? There are only six steps in how a bill becomes law. For a bill that starts in the House these steps are (1) introduction; (2) referral; (3) consideration by standing committee; and (4) floor action. Steps (1) through (4) are repeated in the Senate. Step (5) is action by a conference committee and, finally, (6) is action by the governor. 18. How many times must a bill be read before it can become law? Rules of the legislature require the bill be read on three separate occasions. 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 1 1 19. Where must revenue bills originate? Revenue bills must begin in the House of Representatives. All other bills may start in either the House or the Senate. 20. Who assigns a bill to committee in the Texas House and in the Texas Senate (the referral step)? The Speaker (for House bills) or the lieutenant governor (for Senate bills). 21. What is pigeonholing and what must all bills in the Senate reported by the committee have? Pigeonholing = a step in the legislative process during which a bill is killed by the chair of the standing committee to which it was referred, as a result of his or her setting the bill aside and not bringing it before the committee. In the Senate, all bills reported by the committee must have a public hearing. 22. How does the filibuster work in the Texas Senate? Filibuster = a tactic that members of the Senate use to prevent action on legislation they oppose by continuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down. In Texas, Senate rules require that senators stand upright at his/ her desk and remain on topic while speaking. This is unlike the U.S. Senate, where it is not necessary to remain on topic 23. What is the 2/3 rule and how does it work? The Texas Senate has a rule that bills shall be considered in numerical order. Under this rule, SB1 must be voted on and either pass or fail before the Senate can consider SB2. HB1 may never pass the House, and, by tradition, SB1 dies in committee. In order to conduct business, the Senate must suspend this rule requiring consideration in numerical order. 24. What impact does the 2/3 rule have on the legislative process? A two-thirds vote is required to suspend the rules. Thus, for all practical purposes, legislation in the Senate must have two-thirds support to pass rather than a simple majority. 25. How many members are there in the Texas legislature conference committees and who selects the memberswhere do they usually make sure they select people from? There are usually 10 members in the Texas legislature conference committees. Five from the House appointed by the Speaker, and five members from the Senate appointed by the lieutenant governor. Generally, in the interest of efficiency, conference committee negotiations are left to the House and Senate sponsors of the bill. (i.e. those in the standing committees that sponsored the bill). 26. How does the veto work with the Texas governor and what is the difference between a postadjournment veto and a regular veto and what is a line-item veto? Veto = the governors power to turn down legislation; can be overridden by a two- thirds vote of both the House and Senate During the first 130 days of a regular session, he has ten days from the time a bill arrives on his desk to sign or veto the legislation. If he neither signs nor vetoes the bill in the ten days, it becomes law without his signature. In the last ten days of a session, he has twenty days from the time the bill arrives on his desk to sign or veto the legislation. Again, if he does neither, it becomes law without his signature. Post-adjournment veto = a veto of a bill that occurs after the legislature adjourns, thus preventing the legislature from overriding it The governor also has a line-item veto that allows him or her to sign a bill and draw lines through specific items. Except for the items which the governor drew a line through, the bill becomes law. 27. What does the Speaker of the House do in the Texas Legislature and how are they selected? The Speaker is the most important party and House leader, and can influence the legislative agenda, the fate of individual pieces of legislation, and members positions within the House. Members of the House elect the Speaker at the beginning of the regular session. 28. Who is the current Speaker in Texas? Who is the Lt. Governor? Joe Straus is the current speaker. David Dewhurst is the Lt. Governor. 29. How is the Lt. Governor selected? How does this differ from the selection of the Speaker? The lieutenant governor is elected in a statewide election and is the presiding officer of the Texas Senate. 2 The Speaker of the House is elected from a legislative district and is then chosen by the entire House to serve as the presiding officer of the Texas House. 30. How are committee chairs selected in the Texas Legislature and how is this different from Congress where all the committee chairs come from the majority party in that chamber? 1 Committee assignments and committee chairmanship appointments cross party lines so that in the Texas House, for example, where the majority party is now Republican, a Democrat may chair an important committee and successfully sponsor important legislation . 2 Although there is partisanship in the Texas legislature, it is not at the level found in the U.S. Congress. There is no majority and minority party leadership, for example. 31. Who appoints one-half of all the members of committees in the House and 80% of the members in the Texas Senate? 1 According to rules of the Texas House, the Speaker appoints one-half of the membership of each committee in the House and designates its chairperson. 2 The lieutenant governor designates approximately 80 percent of Senate committee positions and appoints the committee chair. 32. What is redistricting? Did Texas regularly draw the legislative districts fairly? 1 Redistricting = the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives. This happens every ten years to reflect shifts in population or in response to legal challenges in existing districts. 2 For almost fifty years, Texas and other states failed to draw new boundaries, and even after U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Texas did not do so willingly. 33. What happened in Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims? 1 Not until the U. S. Supreme Courts decisions in Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims, compelling the legislature to draw new districts, were boundaries drawn that represented the population fairly. These and subsequent decisions meant that Texas had to draw legislative districts of roughly equal population; a concept known as the one-person, one-vote principle. 34. How is redistricting done in Texas-it is the job of the state legislaturebut what if they fail to do it? What is the LRB? 1 If the legislature fails to redistrict the Texas House or Texas Senate at the first regular session after the census, the task falls to the Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB). 2 The LRB has five ex officio members: the lieutenant governor, the Speaker of the House, the attorney general, the commissioner of the General Land Office, and the comptroller of public accounts. The LRB does not have the power to draw congressional districts, however. 35. Describe the 10-step partisan redistricting battle in Texas in 2002. The first step started when the Republicans took control of the Texas House and Senate in 2002 and ended with DeLay resigning! 1 In 2003 when Republicans sought to alter the Texas congressional districts for partisan advantage. The Republican goal was to increase Republican representation in the Texas congressional delegation and help ensure a continuing Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Republican effort was unconventional in that it occurred in mid-cyclethat is, it was the second redistricting after the 2000 census. The 2000 congressional redistricting gave the Democrats an advantage. With control of the state legislature, however, Republicans argued that the existing redistricting plan was unsatisfactory because it reflected a Democratic majority that no longer existed. Republicans wanted a plan that more clearly reflected Republican voting in Texas. With the a new redistricting plan in 2004, Republicans got 58 percent of the statewide vote and elected twenty- one members of Congress from Texas. Democrats got 41 percent of the statewide vote and elected eleven members of Congress from Texas. Between 2002 and 2004 a total of 3 special sessions were carried out, the third of which finally produced a plan that passed both houses of the legislature. ... View Full Document

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