chapter 11.docx - Congress and the Founders Congress was...

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Congress and the Founders Congress was regarded by the Founders as the preeminent branch of the federal government. Reflects their trust in representative institutions. Congress is divided into two houses (bicameral legislature): The House of Representatives and The Senate. Article I of the Constitution House of Representatives Elected every 2 years At least 25 years old 7 years a citizen of the U.S. Each state must have at least 1 representative Proportional representation Led by a Speaker of the House The Senate Each state has 2 senators Originally chosen by the state legislatures 17th amendment: popular election of U.S. Senators (1913) 6 year terms: 3 “classes” Must be 30 years old Must be a citizen for at least 9 years Vice President: president of the Senate, but has no vote unless equally divided. The Senate tries all impeachments: Need majority Expressed powers - the powers enumerated in the Constitution that are granted to the federal government. Some expressed powers To lay and collect taxes To borrow money Regulate commerce with foreign nations Establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization To establish post offices Necessary and Proper Clause Provides Congress with the authority to make laws “necessary and proper” to carry out other expressed powers. Last clause in Article I, Section 8 Also known as the “Elastic Clause” What does this mean? Congress had more powers than those strictly laid out specifically in the American Constitution Responsibilities of Congress Each House determines the Rules of its proceedings Reps are to be paid for their services by the US Treasury Reps cannot serve in Congress and another civil office at the same time (No double dipping
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Restrictions on Federal Powers No ex post facto laws No preference to specific ports and states for commerce All money drawn from the Treasury must be for a specific law No titles of nobility Restrictions on State Powers No one state can enter into any treaty or alliance with another nation Cannot coin their own money Cannot tax other states Cannot keep troops without the consent of Congress Congressional Leadership Both chambers are organized largely among party lines Party caucus - the groups and interests that support a political party Party unity - members of a party band together on legislation and stand against the opposite party Since 1980’s, “roll call votes” have become divided along partisan lines.
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