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congressional poli exam 1

congressional poli exam 1 - POSSIBLE QUESTIONS FOR 1ST EXAM...

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POSSIBLE QUESTIONS FOR 1 ST EXAM, SPRING, 2008 Three questions; two from the reading (Binder – STALEMATE), Baker (Chapters 1 and 2 from HOUSE AND SENATE); and Chapters 1,2,7,8,9, and 12 in Smith, et al., THE AMERICAN CONGRESS) Two questions from the reading: If I ask a question from Binder, it will be something like: What is gridlock (or Stalemate); why does it occur; what are its consequences, and how can its frequency be reduced?   Gridlock is legislative inaction. Gridlock is a consequence of separated institutions sharing and competing for power. The consequence of gridlock is If I ask a question from Baker, chapter 1 deals with the evolution of the House and Senate and the question will ask how the two have evolved and what factors influenced their evolution. Originally the House was destined to be the most prestigious and powerful body because of the way it was elected, its preeminence in fiscal matters, and its presumed capacity to generate strong and forceful leadership. The Senate was constructed to be like the House of Lords which would counteract the House, who would be excessively responsive to popular will. In 1831 Henry Clay left the House for the Senate, which revealed something about the changing status of the upper chamber. At this time the Senate and the House were equal, and soon the Senate would surpass it. Before long the Senate had the better pick of House members who changed chambers in addition to their own brilliant members. The House eventually grew to be more than four times as large as the Senate, which required a rule in the house limited the amount of time a bill could be debated (one hour). The debate time in the Senate remains unlimited. The nature of American policy also changed in a way that favored the Senate over the House. The Senate had power over foreign affairs and as the United States grew and became a world power the Senate was granted additional powers. If I ask a question from Chapter 2, which deals with differences between the House and Senate, I will ask something about why office holders view the Senate as a more desirable institution than the House in which to serve. Office holders view the Senate as a more desirable institution than the House for a number of reasons. The Senate is a smaller house with the same number of responsibilities as its larger counterpart. Senators have many more responsibilities than house members. They have much larger offices, more staff members, and more time to debate. They know everyone in their chamber as opposed to the House where one may not know many of his/her colleagues. Chapter 1 in Smith. Describe the modern trends to which the authors refer.
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Low public confidence: The rating of Congress is always below that of the President and Supreme Court. When people feel good about the government the ratings of Congress improve however it is still generally lower than the other branches. People dislike the legislative process. It is very political and requires compromise, which leaves many broken promises in its wake. Scandal of even one member of congress also adds to the
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  • Spring '08
  • Gertzog
  • President of the United States, United States Congress, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, American Congress

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