Section1-Congress

Section1-Congress - WethePeople,Sixthedition...

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    We the People,  Sixth edition   by Benjamin Ginsberg, Theodore J. Lowi, and Margaret Weir Chapter 12. Congress
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    The Founders’ Congress The Constitution endowed Congress  with the bulk of the federal  government’s domestic powers and  a great deal of foreign policy power.
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      Among other things, Article I,  Section 8, expressly  authorizes Congress to: Lay and collect taxes Allocate government  spending Regulate interstate  commerce In foreign policy, Congress can: Declare war Raise and regulate the army  and navy Approve treaties and  appointments of  ambassadors (Senate only)
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      Still it seems that with the 20 th   century’s rise of presidential  power many of these functions  are now primarily exercised in  the White House.
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      The changing balance of  power between Congress  and the president is best  understood in the context  of changes in the three  chief functions of  Congress as an institution. Congress’s Functions 1) Representation 2) Legislation 3) Competing in the  separation of powers
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    Representing the People The United States Congress is a  bicameral  legislature in which  power is divided between two  chambers:  the House and the  Senate. There are important differences  between the House and the Senate  in terms of functions and  representation.
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    House and Senate:  Functions The House More representative More organized and with  centralized authority Greater degree of policy  specialization Generally quicker to act The Senate “Filtered” from the people Less organized and more  individualistic Senators tend to be  “generalists” More deliberative
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    Because of the great compromise, the  House was meant to represent the people  whereas the Senate was designed to  represent the states. As a result, the House and the Senate are  of different size and House members and  Senators represent their constituencies  differently.
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      constituency: people of the district or  area from which an official  is elected. The constituency of a House  member is determined by the  congressional district  whereas Senators represent  people from entire states.
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      The House 435 members Two year term Membership per state  varies by population  Tend to have localized,  narrow constituencies The Senate 100 Senators Six year term States represented  equally (2 Senators) Have broader, more  diverse constituencies
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      The size of the average  House district has changed  dramatically through  American history. In 1789, the average 
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2011 for the course POLS 2302 taught by Professor Pen during the Spring '10 term at Lamar University.

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Section1-Congress - WethePeople,Sixthedition...

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