GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 3 Outline

GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 3 Outline - T opic #3: C ritics of...

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Topic #3: Critics of Congress argue that there are so many veto points within the legislative process that effective government is impossible. What would the Framers of the Constitution say in response to this argument? Have the changes in American society since 1787 made such a defense out-dated, or is Congress as a legislature fit for governing America in 2009? Information Veto Point #1-The party system Bicameral legislature- House and Senate Representatives serve districts Senators serve states Senate more deliberative of two bodies House more centralized and organized of two bodies Rules give House leadership has more control over legislative process and members specialize in certain areas Rules give Senate leadership little power and discourage specialization Pork barrel, appropriations made by legislative bodies for local projects that are often not needed but that are created so that local representatives can win re-election in their home districts, is a veto point because many congressman may not vote for a bill because there is too much pork attached to it Example 2005 bill to build $2 billion bridge in Alaska to connect a small island to the small town of Ketchikan and replace an existing 5 minute ferry ride and Representative Don Young proudly claimed credit for the project “Bridge to nowhere” failed and became symbol of wasteful congressional spending Function of parties in Congress is 1. Discipline/structure and 2. Party and agenda: agreeing on what to disagree about Conference is held every two years to elect House leaders for Republicans (Democrats call it caucus) Political caucus is a normally closed meeting of a political group to select candidates, plan strategy, and make decisions regarding legislative matters House leaders- Speaker of the House, majority leader, minority leader, whips Senate leaders- President pro tempore, majority leader, minority leader, whips Gridlock occurs when party controlling Congress differs from party controlling presidency Two separate agendas ensue and Congress is fighting the president
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Stick to party agenda through the thick or thin? Example Congressional Republicans reluctant to endorse unpopular President Bush’s initiatives such as Social Security reform in 2005 since they were facing re-election in 2006 Republicans also broke with President Bush on key national security matters including the use of torture in interrogations and the surveillance provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2010 for the course GOVT 1111 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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GOVT 1111 Prelim 1 Topic 3 Outline - T opic #3: C ritics of...

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