congress-1 - THE CONGRESS Constitution and the Congress The...

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THE CONGRESS Constitution and the Congress The Constitution gives to Congress the authority to make laws. No bill can become a law without the consent of both houses. This is a joint power because the other branches of government also have a say in creating laws. Many other powers are given to Congress such as the power to: Declare war and make peace. Raise an army and navy. Coin money. Create federal courts. Regulate commerce. Article 1, Section 8 , also gives Congress implied powers through the “necessary and proper clause.” Exclusive Powers given to each house of Congress include: House of Representatives: By tradition all revenue bills originate in the House. In recent years this mandate has become blurred. The power to create a bill of impeachment. It is the responsibility of the House to charge the president, or other civil officers (including federal judges) with “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Senate: Conducts trials of impeachment with a two-thirds vote necessary before an official can be removed from office. Has the sole authority to approve major presidential appointments. Has the sole responsibility of treaty approval. Treaties require a two-thirds vote for ratification. Members of Congress Formal Requirements: House: 25 years of age; U.S. citizen for at least 7 years; residence must be in the district from which elected. Senate: 30 years of age; U.S. citizen for at least 9 years; residence must be in the state from which elected. Informal Requirements: Membership in one of the two major political parties Personal wealth Incumbency Training as a lawyer Changing Face of Congress:
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Historically, members of Congress have been older, richer, better educated, whiter and more male than what is found in the American population. However, change is occurring with more women and minorities winning elections. Representational Function: Delegate vs. Trustee Trustee representation is when elected officials attempt to work in the best interest of the entire nation. Delegate representation is when elected officials work in the best interest of their constituents within their electoral district. Members of Congress rarely subscribe entirely to either notion. The Organization of Congress From the first Congress in 1789, the number of elected members to the House of Representatives has been at least three times greater than the Senate. The House tends to be more tightly organized than the Senate.
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congress-1 - THE CONGRESS Constitution and the Congress The...

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