Poli 3 - Congress I. Basic information on Congress: a....

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Congress I. Basic information on Congress: a. Bicameral: two separate and powerful chambers. i. Why? 1. Philosophical and practical reasons 2. Great Compromise 3. Checks and Balances ii. House of Representatives: 1. Representation based on population. 2. Representatives serve two-year terms 3. Seats are reapportioned every ten years iii. Senate: 1. Equal representation 2. Senators serve six-year terms 3. Terms are staggered II. Congressional organization: It’s organized along party lines and it’s decentralized, which means that power is spread out in Congress. a. Where does the power reside? i. Leaders - know the top posts ii. Committees - know the different types iii. Staff – they can influence the congressmen b. What are the advantages of being the majority party? i. Appoint key leaders ii. Assign every committee chairs iii. Control the agenda iv. More vigorous oversight of executive branch c. Which party holds the majority in the House? d. What about the Senate? III. Congressional functions: The two Congresses a. Lawmaking - how a bill becomes law i. Bill must be introduced ii. Committee/subcommittee
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
iii. Floor of the chamber (fewer rules in the Senate) iv. The president b. Representing - ceremonial appearances, speeches c. In each of these roles, representatives can act as delegates or trustees d. 98-99% re-election of incumbents is very common e. Congressional elections in general: Two important regularities: i. Incumbents rarely lose. We like them. Why? 1. They have a host of official resources 2. They have high levels of name recognition 3. If you know one incumbent, you know the other 4. They have an easier time raising money 5. Other advantages: redistricting, campaign experience, etc. ii. President’s party loses seats in a midterm election: Why? 1. Surge and decline theory – Independent voters vote in presidential elections but not so much in congressional elections a. Surge – presidential year (presidential coattails) b. Decline – midterm year 2. Size of the midterm loss depends on three things: a. How many seats the president's party holds b. How well the economy is doing c. Presidential approval iii. Midterm elections have not followed this trend lately 1. 1998 a. Clinton was being impeached b. However, economy was very good and Presidential approval was high c. Democrats still picked up seats 2. 2002 a. Redistricting had just taken place b. Bush was extremely popular, though the economy wasn’t doing well, but no one noticed b/c of 9/11 c. Republicans still picked up seats iv. What happened in the 2006 mid-term elections? Was it a wave election?
Background image of page 2
1. Yes, especially given how difficult it is to win seats held by the other party because of redistricting. v. A brief look at 2008.
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 11

Poli 3 - Congress I. Basic information on Congress: a....

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online