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lecture5_congress-1 - Congress Who are our representatives...

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Congress: Who are our representatives? Congress: Who are our representatives? PLS 100: Intro to American National Government Professor Lee Michigan State University
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Congress: Who are our representatives? The legislative branch: Congress U.S. Constitution set up structure of national gov’t Checks and balances between 3 branches of gov’t Congress (Legislative), Executive, Judicial Congress writes legislation (bills). Have the force of law once signed by President. Today: Who are our Members of Congress (MCs)? Next few lectures: Organization in Congress: Parties and Committees. How a bill becomes a law Incumbency advantage. Electoral connection.
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Congress: Who are our representatives? Congressional elections Principal-agent relationship Representative democracy: Principle-agent relationship Principal hires (delegates to) an agent (see chapter 1) Examples: Employers hire employees Voters hire representatives Problem: Potential conflict in interests Agent might not do what the principal wants – “agency loss” Don’t give much effort in cleaning or customer service. Pander to special interest groups.
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Congress: Who are our representatives? Congressional elections Principal-agent relationship Elections to hold Members of Congress accountable The need to win elections can help alleviate agency loss
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