political sci. chap. 6 notes

political sci. chap. 6 notes - CHAPTER 6 POLITICAL SCIENCE...

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CHAPTER 6 POLITICAL SCIENCE NOTES EVOLUTION OF CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES Committees of the past were comprised as the House as a whole, delegated little authority, and they were only temporary until the project ended -Committees began becoming permanent -Members appointed by Speaker instead of elected=less transaction costs -Speaker became leader of majority party -appointments became partisan affairs -choice committee assignments became rewards -Senate=slower to set up permanent committees -spent too much time electing new committees for each bill standing committees- those that exist from one Congress to the next unless they are explicitly disbanded -seniority in Senate=criterion for selecting committee chairs: the of±ce was rewarded to the majority party member with the longest term of service on the committee --Reducing transaction and conformity costs, the seniority rule avoided 2 unwelcome alternatives: election, which would have led to divisive, time-consuming intraparty squabbles, and appointment by party leaders, which would have given the leaders more power than senators thought desirable or necessary TYPES OF COMMITTEES Standing committees ±x: jurisdictions and stable memberships -once appointed to a committee, cannot be kicked off unless party suffers large electoral losses -party ratios generally match ratios in House and Senate -standing committees=job security -incentive for members to become knowledgeable about policy issues -committee membership is generally stable but it shifts when legislators move up to committees deemed more important -money committees are at the top because their activities are so central to Congress ʼ s main source of power in the federal system COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS -made by party committees under the ±rm control of senior party leaders and are rati±ed by the party membership -pursue committee assignments that allow them to serve special constituent interests as well as their own policy and power goals -party leaders want to keep followers in of±ce--responsive to arguments that a particular assignment will help a member win reelection -committees may become stacked with members whose views don ʼ t represent that of their party ʼ s majority ---judicious distribution of assignments --a party ʼ s committee members are, like party leaders, the party ʼ s agents, and party majorities use their ultimate control over committee assignments to keep their agents responsive to the party ʼ s desires
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-subcommittees (encourage specialization also) -special/select committees -appointed to deal with specifc problems that in theory, disappear (some last through many Congresses) JOINT COMMITTEES joint committees - permanent committees composed oF members From both chambers; the committee leaderships rotate between the chambers at the beginning oF each newly elected Congress -gather inFormation and oversee executive agencies ad hoc committees - handle bills that are particularly sensitive; appointed by Speaker conFerence committees- appointed to resolve diFFerences between the House and
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political sci. chap. 6 notes - CHAPTER 6 POLITICAL SCIENCE...

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