Congress2 - THE CONGRESS LECTURE OUTLINE 10/11/07 WEEK 7...

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T HE C ONGRESS – L ECTURE OUTLINE 10/11/07 W EEK 7 Congressional Make Up: The Congress is Bicameral- it consists of two separate chambers or houses. Senate Represents: 50 statewide voter constituencies. 2 per state = 100 members House of Representatives: represent 435 districts. The Who’s Who of your Congress: We are Currently in the 110 th Congress The district that includes DBU is the 24 th Congressional District Rep. Kenny Marchant ( R) Our Two Senators: (R’s) Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Sen. John Cornyn Senator Pro-Tempore ( The leader of the Senate, along with the V.P.) Sen. Robert C. Byrd (R )
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Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) **See Table 8.1 Comparing the House and the Senate For Terms, Unique powers, Leadership and Committees I. The Powers of Congress A. The Constitution gives broad powers to the Congress because the Founders envisioned it as the most powerful branch of government, serving at the desire of the citizens. a. Article 1 of the Constitution specifically defines their function, as well as what they may and may not do. b. Operational Duties are: 1. The House of Representatives: will select the President if the Electoral College does not produce a majority vote. The House of Reps has the power to Impeach a President. 2. The Senate: Consents to Treaties made with other countries, approves presidential nominations for Executive and Judicial Branches of the government. It has the power to try an officer of the U.S. Government. 3. Congress (both): may conduct investigations on any topic related to the current administration. Congress can stop presidential initiatives by denying presidential budget requests, delaying appointments or rejecting them. B. Powers Divided 1. Both Houses of Congress must pass a bill for it to become a law. 2. Only the House of Representatives can initiate Revenue- raising bills
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3. The Power of the Purse : Congress’s exclusive constitutional power is to authorize expenditures by all agencies of the federal government. - Consideration of the Budget is the single most important activity of each session. Our domestic and foreign affairs depend on how Congress will provide funds. 4. Congressional Oversight of the Bureaucracy is the process by which Congress reviews activities of the Executive Branch’s Agencies. - Committees usually carry out most oversight responsibilities. - The intent is to ensure that the laws passed by Congress are put into effect the way Congress had intended. 5. Impeaching and removing from office the president or other federal officials is Congress’s most formidable power. 1. The House Brings the Charges 2. The Senate acts as the jury with 2/3 vote necessary for conviction II. Congressional Appointment and Redistricting Apportionment : The allocation of legislative seats to jurisdictions based on population. Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned to the states on the basis of their population after every 10- year census. After every census, the (State Legislature) re-draws district lines
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Congress2 - THE CONGRESS LECTURE OUTLINE 10/11/07 WEEK 7...

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