Notes 10-31 - A B C D E sense of Disfunction Institutional...

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10/31/11 A. sense of Disfunction B. Institutional Design C. Member Behavior D. Polarization E. Action or Inaction A. A sense of Disfunction 1. High levels of skepticism/anger 2. Low approval of Congress 3. Lack or action on major issues B. Institutional Design: Designed to be Slow 1. Separate chambers - House: centralized, responsive, parochial - Senate: deliberative and slower 2. Work organized by committees - Fragmentation: dozens of committees - Parochialism: Self-selection of members - Gate Keeping: most bils die in committee - Exaggerated with divided G (when G is shared by parties) 3. Role of members (435 members in house/100 members in senate) - Delegates or trustees 3..1. Delegates – translate desires of constituents (people they represent) 3..2. Trustees – trusted to do what’s best for the country - Most Members of Congress (MCs) are delegates most of the time 4. Why is behavior dominated by re-election? - Pay: $174,000 - Perks: health care, pension, parking 4..1. Health care = quicker better and nicer 4..2.
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