Review%20Sheet%20for%20Final%20Exam - Review Sheet for...

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Review Sheet for Final Exam Political Science 2000 (Spring 2008) Review : The Problem of Government from the Midterm Review Sheet. Congress Expertise. In addition to the formal power to authorize spending, Congressional power is derived from expertise. The committee structure of Congress forces members to develop policy specialties and select committees that are relevant to district needs. Norms (such as seniority, reciprocity) reinforce incentives to become an expert. The legislative process gives committees substantial influence over legislation. Committees can stop legislation from reaching the floor. Individual Senators can block legislation by filibuster. Incumbency. Why are members reelected at such a high rate? (1) Incumbency advantages like the franking privilege and name recognition. (2) gerrymander (redrawing district boundaries to benefit incumbents), (3) behavioral change: contemporary members of Congress rarely engage in national lawmaking and instead are likely to deliver pork barrel projects to the district and provide constituency service. Fragmentation. American political parties are decentralized, Congress is organized into many committees and subcommittees, and members have very diverse local constituencies. Congress therefore appears to be very fragmented. Formal party organizations (leaders and whips) attempt to overcome this fragmentation. President Expectations . In addition to the formal role for the Executive outlined in the Constitution, there are informal expectations for Presidential performance. The Constitution provides no formal tools for Presidents to meet these informal expectations related to economic management or control of Congress. We expect Presidents to be able to persuade other elected officials and bureaucrats to act. Persuasion requires popularity and prestige Public Support and Approval . Economic performance increases Presidential popularity and support for the incumbent in Presidential elections. Public evaluation of the President is more positive during the first year of the Administration (the honeymoon period) and during periods of foreign crisis (rally around the flag). Presidents "go public" to use popularity as a tool to manage Congress. Organizing to Govern
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Review%20Sheet%20for%20Final%20Exam - Review Sheet for...

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