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Unformatted text preview: e rest of the congress supports proportionately. 3 reasons people want to be on money committees: 1) More popular back home when you get money for your constituents 2) More attractive to interest groups because you are one of select few who has direct control of federal dollars 3) Everyone reports to chair. The chair has all kinds of formal quirks, so people know he needs to be pleased and therefore he is more powerful. Real power probably more informal; he will know more about the issues than anybody else, what the members of committee are thinking, etc. They have power to know when to call or not call for a vote. Often are chief rivals to party leaders, in conflict. Members w/ more experience and clout are chosen as chairpersons, and they have power as chairs and can argue w/ party leaders. Situation is party leaders (speakers, whips, etc., guys working for the party and its goals) who look at the big picture and are trying to satisfy everyone come into conflict w/ chairs, who are often devoted to their particular committee's interest to the exclusion of other interests, even though they are member's of the same party. Congresspersons gravitate toward committees that they and their constituents are interested in. Bill goes to committee and from committee to floor of house or senate. House bill and senate bill will often be different. Conference committee made w/ influential members from the committees in each house, and this is where the most power involved in changing the bill lies. Rules, particularly in the house, are copious. The norm of seniority clouts get more power, better seat, more representation, first choice in committee assignments, better office space, etc. Office space and the like is official but stuff dealing w/ power is more informal. This norm is not followed as rigidly Downloaded from: www.yumesorah.com POL1040ZilNotes1.pdf Page 4 of 10 POL 1040H American Politics Professor Zilber Spring 2003 Notes Entire Semester as it often was in the past. Norm of seniority has effect of slowing down congress's response time, because old people don't move as quickly. 40s and 50s congress controlled by southern democrats who kept getting reelected, and they were very conservative especially in civil rights. Then there were liberal democrats from the north, who got elected w/ the intention of passing civil rights bills, and they got to congress and their chairs wouldn't let any civil rights bills go to the floor. 1954 Supreme Court made an argument to desegregate schools; took congress ten years to come up w/ first major piece of civil rights legislation in the matter. The norm of reciprocity a lot of political haggling goes on between committees. Committee members were meet outside of their committee and say they'll support the other guy's bill if they supported his. Vote trading, in effect, called "log rolling." Get a lot of bills and grants passed, even if they'll only help one district. Pork barrel. Lend each other staff too. Trade info...
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- Spring '03
- American Politics