Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - Chapter 6: Congress (from The Logic of American...

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Chapter 6: Congress (from The Logic of American Politics ) WOD: Pork Barrel Legislation: o -comes form the plantation practice of distributing rations of salt pork to slaves from wooden barrels o -when describing a bill, indicates that the legislation is loaded with special projects for members of congress to distribute to their constituents/districts courtesy of the federal tax payer o -Examples? o The bridge to nowhere- build a bridge you don’t need o Bailout bill in the senate Tax cuts-110billion to businesses so repubs would vote Federal logging cutbacks 8 bil for those with nat disasters o Healthcare bill Today’s Congress: Overview: • The House and Senate occupy the center stage in national policymaking. • Electoral politics influences almost everything members of Congress do, collectively and individually. • The majority party, through party leaders, directs and dominates the action in the House and Senate. • The rules and organizational structures the House and Senate adopt have a deliberate and crucial effect on power and policymaking. • It is always easier to stop things from happening in Congress than to make things happen. Ex: healthcare legislation Congress in the Constitution: • The basic structure of Congress is the product of the Great Compromise at the Constitutional Convention. • The Framers created a bicameral legislature with distinct features of each chamber being designed to resolve the conflict. A House of Representatives, with seats allocated by population and members elected by the citizenry A Senate composed of two members from each state chosen by the state legislature.
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The Compromise: • The institutional structure resolved the conflict of large versus small states. Also solved the debate over the appropriate degree of popular influence on government • A two-year term for the House was a compromise between the annual elections advocated by many delegates and the three-year term proposed by James Madison. A short tenure would keep this chamber close to the people. • The Senate would be more insulated from momentary shifts in the public mood by virtue of a longer term (in addition to their selection by state legislatures). Qualification Differences: • Qualifications for office also reflected the Framers’ concept of the Senate as the more “mature” of the two chambers. The minimum age for the House members was set at twenty-five years, whereas it was set at thirty for the Senate. House members were required to be citizens for at least seven years, whereas for senators it was nine years. Both were required to reside in the state they represented. Qualifications for Office Holding: • The property-holding and religious qualifications included in many state constitutions were explicitly rejected. They also rejected a proposal to forbid a member’s reelection to office after
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2010 for the course POL 001 taught by Professor Huckfeldt during the Winter '08 term at UC Davis.

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Chapter 6 - Chapter 6: Congress (from The Logic of American...

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