Chapter 13: Congress Evolution of Congress ➔ Did not want all powers to be concentrated in a single government institution ◆ Most important powers include collecting and levying taxes, borrowing money, coining money, regulating commerce, declaring war, provide militia ★ Bicameral Legislature - lawmaking body made up of two chambers: House of Representatives and Senate ➔ House of Representatives (Phases) 1. Powerful House - overshadowed Senate 2. Divided House - house was split on slavery 3. Speaker Rules - speaker decided business and agenda 4. House Revolts - committee chairs enlarged individual powers 5. Leadership Returns - speaker regains power ➔ Senate ◆ Small enough to run without authority to small groups and fights over slavery rarely came up because of that ◆ Initially people could not directly elect until 17th amendment ● Wealthy businessmen would be elected because senators would be chosen by state legislatures ★ Filibuster - attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely thus preventing Senate from taking action on the bill ○ Became common use but quite unpopular because 60 members are needed to end it - cloture motion Who is in Congress? ➔ Different great diversity of view among seemingly similar people (middle-aged white male lawyer) ◆ Becoming less white and male over time ◆ House changes most but Senate changes at a slower pace ★ Minority-Majority Districts - congressional district where majority of voters are racial/ethnic minorities ○ Most often elects official of their background ★ Descriptive Representation - when citizens are represented by elected officials from their same ethnic background ○ All these drawn out districts could potentially harm minorities because they would not be spread apart into other districts 1. Less minority districts would not respond to minority needs 2. Less likely to vote Democratic in office ★ Substantive Representation - ability of citizens to elect officials who will enact into law policies that the citizen favor ○ Many minority leaders because senior leaders in committees ★ Conservative Coalition - an alliance between Republicans and conservative Democrats
The Senate ➔ Majority party usually chooses one of its members, usually someone with seniority to be present when VP isn’t ★ Majority Leader - legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or Senate ★ Minority Leader - legislative leader elected by party members holding minority of seats in the House or Senate ★ Whip - representative or senator who helps party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking ○ Also rounds up voters and looks over controversial issues ➔ Policy committee made of many to choose bills for attention and the other senators, individual committees are assigned The House of Representatives ➔ Have a lot of the same positions with just different names ★ Speaker - presiding officer of the House and the leader of his/her party ○ Often only pass legislation favoring their party though usually fair 1.
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- Fall '19
- President of the United States, United States Congress