Chapter 10 Struggle for Democracy

Chapter 10 Struggle for Democracy - Congress: the...

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Congress: the Legislative Branch • Ours is different than most other countries • We have presidential government Basic Duties of Congress • Representation • Law Making • Consensus Building • Overseeing the Bureaucracy • Policy Clarification • Investigating the operation of government agencies • Senate Bicameral Legislature
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2 houses House of Representatives • Entire body elected every 2 years • 435 representatives • Have to be at least 25 years old • Special Powers: originates all tax Why just 435 members? • At the first Congress, there were 65 reps • 1790 census - 105 seats with 1 seat every 33,000 • 1910 - expanded to 435, 1 seat every 200,000
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• 1929 - size was fixed at the 435 number • 2002 - Each seat has about 650,000 people except states with 1 seat (I.e. WY, VT, AK) Reapportionment • Every 10 years = census • Congressional seats get redesigned to account for population changes • When a state gains or loses a seat, their state legislature will redistrict their U.S. House of Representatives districts Manipulation of Districts • Gerrymandering • Creation of 'safe seats'
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• Representation of Minority Interests Cracking Packing Majority- Minority Districts Who are these House members? 2007 Party Gender Race(109 th ) Democrat: 232 Men: Republican: 201 Women: 75 African American:42 Independent: Vacancies: 2 Hispanic: 26 White : 367 Average Age: 55 years(109 th ) Length of Term(109 th )9.3 years 396 House members have a bachelor’s degree 120 House members have a Master’s degree 170 House members have a law degree
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20 House members have doctoral degrees 14 House members have Medical degrees Jobs held by Congressmen and Senators 13 medical doctors 1 psychiatrist 3 dentists 3 nurses 3 vets 2 psychologists 1 optometrist 1 pharmacist 6 ministers 35 mayors 10 state governors 1 former ambassador
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3 state supreme court judges 1 federal judge Former aide in British House of Commons 4 sheriffs 4 police officers 2 state troopers 2 FBI agents 1 CIA agent 1 CIA attache 2 physicists 2 chemists 1 geologist 1 microbiologist 6 accountants 1 commercial airline pilot 1 astronaut
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1 professional magician
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course GOV 310L taught by Professor Kieth during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Chapter 10 Struggle for Democracy - Congress: the...

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