week 4 ps40 - week 4 ps40 not complete Some theories of...

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week 4 ps40 not complete 07/15/2015 Some theories of congressional behavior ° Fenno: home style: house members in their districts Congressional careers generally go through various stages Building a “reelection constituency” makes legislators more attentive to their constituents back home Eventually legislators gain a sense of security and seek more than mere re-election “Potomac fever” or going native eventually they seek to create good (national) policy legislators also sometimes seek influence and power within Washington thus they can become less attentive to their constituents the longer they serve in congress ° ° mayhew: congress: the electoral connection congress members are obsessed with re-election, even as a intermediate practical matter so they can create good policy or gain influence and power in Washington to get re-elected legislators engage In the following activites: o advertising : engaging in statements and activities to get your name out in a positive way, but with little to no actual policy content o credit claiming : attempting to tie oneself with a positive policy outcome. There are varying levels of credibility with which one can claim credit for a policy o position taking: can involve voting. But usually involves enunciations on policy. Often they are such non-controversial positions that they may hardly qualify as positions ° ° Arnold. The logic of congressional action Legislators also seek to avoid blame for potential policy costs to constituents Those in credit-claiming positions are also in positions that can carry the most blame
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Congress tries to reduce blame for policy costs in assorted manners, including: o Using voice votes o Hiding costs in larger, must-pass legislation ° ° Mercury, vaccinations, and the creation of the department of homeland security Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines It was believed by some that there was a link between this preservative and the onset of childhood autism Legal protections for vaccine makers were slipped into the bill creating the department of homeland security 2002 Thus any potential costs from and blame (real or imagined) for voting for such a provision were diffused in a must-pass bill This legal protection was removed in 2003 Subsequent scrutiny has placed this mercury preservative-autism link in doubt ° ° ° LEGISLATING AND THE CONGRESS ° What legislators can introduce Bills o Can become law o Prefix H.R., S. o Ex: H.R. 1, S. 42 (read as House of Representative bill number 1”, “senate bill number 42”) o Must get through both chambers o Must be signed by president or veto must be overridden
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o Public laws: applicable to the population at large, most laws are public o Private laws: generally used to address individual issues that are not being taken care of by the proper federal aganecies.
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  • Winter '15
  • N/A
  • American Politics, United States Congress, United States House of Representatives, TX state legislature

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