Congress 2 - Congress The Organization of Congress: Parties...

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Congress
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The Organization of Congress: Parties and Caucuses
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Congress Not a single organization Complex collection of organization While party doesn’t matter nearly as much as in a parliament, it is still the number one factor in understanding a member of Congress
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Party Organization of the Senate: President Pro Tempore Majority party chooses one of its members (usually with more seniority) to be the president pro tempore Mostly a position of honor
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Presiding officer of the Senate when the Vice-President cannot be there Nobody likes actually doing this job, so the tasks are usually assigned to a junior senator Party Organization of the Senate: President Pro Tempore
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Who is the current president pro tempore?
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Robert C. Byrd Democrat West Virginia
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Majority Leader and Minority Leader Real leadership Chosen by senators of their party
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Majority Leader Schedules the business of the Senate Consults with the minority leader Right to be recognized first in any floor debate
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Example of a strong majority leader… Lyndon Johnson Helped his fellow senators with everything from finding more office space to getting choice committee assignments Great influence over the Senate’s agenda
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Today’s Majority Leader? Minority Leader?
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Majority Leader: Harry Reid, Democrat, Nevada Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell, Republican, Kentucky
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Whip A senator who helps the party leader stay informed about what the party members are thinking Rounds up members when important votes are to be taken Attempts to keep a nose count on how the voting on a controversial issue is likely to go Several assistants to help
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Today’s Whips? Majority Whip Richard Durbin Democrat Illinois Minority Whip John Kyl Republican Arizona
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Policy Committee Composed of about 12 senators Help party leader schedule Senate business Choose what bills are given major attention
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Senate Control Switched back and forth a lot lately Having a small majority does not matter much because the other side can filibuster Having party control of important chairmanships is extremely important
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Party Structure in the House Titles are different, roles are similar Leadership carries more power House rules 435 members Limit debate Schedule business
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Democrat California 2 nd in line in presidential succession
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Speaker of the House Most important person in the House Principal leader of the majority party and in charge of presiding over the entire House
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Speaker of the House Speakers-as-presiders are expected to be fair Speakers-as-party leaders are expected to use their powers to help pass legislation that favors their party
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Speaker of the House Decides who will be recognized to speak on the floor of the House Rules whether a motion is relevant to the business at hand Decides what committees new bills will be assigned to
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course POLY SCI 101 taught by Professor George during the Fall '97 term at American.

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Congress 2 - Congress The Organization of Congress: Parties...

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