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Government Notes Spring08

Government Notes Spring08 - Government Notes Government...

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Government Notes 1/30/08 Government Notes -speaker of the house is the key leader of the house of representatives -decides which member will be recognized on the floor -determines committee membership and other assignments -controls patronage jobs and office space -the speaker's power and success rest on informal tactics more than on constitutional mandates -house leaders and whips work closely with the speaker in representing the majority and minority parties interests. -the majority leader is the principal assistant to the speaker. -the minority party in the house selects its minority leader, whose job it is to organize the party's interests. -whips assist floor leaders in keeping track of house members, and in pressuring them to vote the party line (one finger, two fingers). -the leader of the senate is the vice president of the united states, as assigned by the constitution. -because the vice president is rarely present, the position is awarded to a president pro tempore , who holds little power. -the real power of the senate is in the hands of the senate majority leader, because the senate is smaller and composed of more independent members. -the position is not as powerful as that of house speaker. -minority party leader in the senate represents opposition in negotiations on the senate business, as well as serves as the national spokesperson for the minority party. -there are specific paths tracked in acquiring power in either house. In committee -the real work of congress is accomplished in a variety of committees. -standing committees are permanent committees in each house. -senate standing committees each number 15-20 members -house standing committees each number 30-40 members. -principle job of standing committees is concerned with screening and drafting legislation. -there are 8000 to 10000 bills introduced in each session of congress, and the committees reduce the number—to about 10%--that will pass through congress -committees are “little legislatures” in their own policy jurisdictions, with the ability to rewrite, amend, or even write their own bills for presentation to their house. - -subcommittee system grew in the 1970s because of new member interest in diluting power of longtime standing committees - house has about 90 subcommittees - senate has about 70 subcommittees - bills reviewed are researched by subcommittees must be approved by full committee endorsements before they're sent to the house floor for consideration
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2/4/08 government notes - with more than 200 subcommittees and committees in congress, half of the majority party members chair something; all serve on many committees - members of congress seek committee assignments that will give them maximum power and media attention. -
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Government Notes Spring08 - Government Notes Government...

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