Ch6Notes - Chapter 6: Congress Jeffords switches parties...

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Chapter 6: Congress Jeffords switches parties and causes major upheaval and switches Congress to a Democratic majority in the Senate House and Senate occupy the center stage in national policymaking Electoral politics influence almost everything members of Congress do, collectively and individually Majority party directs and sometime dominates action in the House and Senate Rules and structure of both houses greatly affect the distribution of power and policymaking Easier to stop things from happening than make them happen Congress in the Constitution Bicameral Legislature House Members elected every two years Meant to be close to the people Minimum age 25 Senate Members elected every six years, but one third up for re-election every other year Meant to be a stable and counterweight to the passions of the House State sovereignty State legislatures pick the officials Stopped with the Seventeenth Amendment Minimum age 30 Powers of Congress Impose taxes Coin Money Regulate interstate and foreign commerce Spend money for the “common defense” and “general Welfare” Necessary and proper clause Most extensive grant of power in the Constitution Declare War Raise and Finance an Army Senate ratifies treaties and approves appointments Revenue bills originate in the House with the Senate having unrestricted right to amend them President's Legislative Powers Recommend new laws Call Congress into emergency sessions Veto laws passed by Congress Electoral System Members of Congress and President chosen separately Plurality vote Not Proportional Representation Legislature gets percentage of representation as votes they got on election day Party leaders then choose who gets a seat Elected from territorial lists Nominations controlled by voters in primaries Electoral Systems
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435 Members Ten year census reapportions it General movement towards the South and West away from Midwest and North State draws districts Wesberry v. Sanders Districts must have equal populations Thornburg v. Gingles May not dilute minority representation May not be drawn with race as dominant consideration Seen by many as demanding minorities concentrated in an area to get a majority of voters Court says this goes too far Gerrymandering to fix elections Davis v. Bandemer Gerrymandering illegal if gives too big an advantage Unequal Representation in the Senate States vary greatly in size of population Nine largest states have 51% of the population Congress and Electoral Politics Candidate Centered versus Party-Centered Post World War II coincides with emergence of candidate-centered politics Candidates as entrepeneurs Do everything themselves Run on local interests and values Political Action Committees (PAC) only helped if campaign showed promise
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Ch6Notes - Chapter 6: Congress Jeffords switches parties...

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