congress-handout - U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S....

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Unformatted text preview: U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S. Congress GOVT 2302: Congress Patrick Brandt U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Congress: Partisan and Local Members are partisan legislators who are organized by party in Congress. Members serve local interests and are elected by local constituencies U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Examples Members need to win reelection, so they have to cater to district opinions on issues They also need to win favor with fellow members to stay in good graces, function in committees, raise reelection money. U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Congress: love it or hate it? But for all this, people hate Congress as an institution Mark Twain called Congress a distinctly native criminal class. Woodrow Wilson described the House as a disintegrated mass of jarring elements. Members of Congress realize this and typically run for Congress by running against it: claiming they are not like the heathens in D.C. U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Pressure of election Reelection and election are important!!! WHY? Members want Reelection Leadership Good public policy U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Requirements of membership: House members: 25 years old, 7 yrs citizenship Senate members: 30 years old, 9 yrs citizenship All must be residents of the state which they represent U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Who are members? OCCUPATIONS: Atypical occupations; Overrepresent law and business; Underrepresent labor. RELIGION: All major religions are represented, however, most tend to be Protestant EDUCATION: Highly educated, over 90% have advanced degrees. INCOME: above average U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt MINORITIES: well below national averages Blacks are currently about 10% of House, 1% of Senate Hispanics are about 4% of the House, 0% in the Senate Womengaining ground AGE House members average: 51 Senate members average: 58 U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt Congressional Organization Basic facts to keep straight: The Congress is bicameral meaning it has 2 legislative houses or chambers, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. House has 435 members elected from single member districts. Senate has 100 members, 2 from each state U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S. House House is elected every two years and is presumed to be closer to the people. 2 year terms. Representatives based on state population. Apportionment by Bureau of Census: congressional districts tend to have about 750,000 people. Redistricting by state legislatures U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S. Senate Members elected by state-wide constituencies for six year terms in staggered elections....
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2011 for the course GOVT 2302 taught by Professor Casey,walter during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson.

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congress-handout - U.S. Congress Patrick Brandt U.S....

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