Congress is organized into a bicameral legislature – the House and the Senate.
The challenges that the members of Congress have had to overcome include
acquiring information, coordinating action, resolving conflicts, and collective
Different committees are formed in able to represent their constituents.
How a bill becomes a law:
Bills start by being referred to committees
House Rules Committees – schedules debate, puts clock on debate, decides
whether bill goes on floor on open rule or close rule
Bill is brought to the floor
A bill that passes one chamber starts process again in the other chamber.
Bill goes to President’s desk
Incumbency affects one’s choice to run for office.
Incumbency can help a
candidate by scarring off potential challengers.
This advantage thus tends to
preserve the status quo in Congress.
Party leadership in Congress serves as the vehicles of collective action.
parties are the fundamental building blocks from which policy coalitions are
fashioned to pass legislation and monitor its implementation.
The party leaders in
the House include Speaker of the House, majority leader, minority leader, and
The party leaders in the Senate include President Pro Tempore, majority
leader, assistant majority leader, minority leader, and assistant minority leader.
The committee system is where the business of Congress takes place.
the bills originate from the committees.
The important committees include the
money committees and administration committees.
A caucus is an association of members of Congress based on party, interest, or
social group such as gender or race.
Caucuses seek to advance the interest of the
groups they represent by promoting legislation, encouraging Congress to hold
hearings, and pressing administrative agencies for favorable treatment.
The factors that shape the voting decisions include party affiliation, interest
groups, and constituency.
Distributive tendency is the tendency for Congress to spread the benefits of a
policy over a wide range of members’ districts.
In able to pass a policy, the
benefits must be spread broadly to avoid so many hurdles.
10. Congress has the fiscal power, trade regulation, and military power.
also responsible for establishing rules for citizenship in the United States. They
are required to maintain a post office, make laws for copyrights and patents, and