GovComp2 - Congress, I: Structure and Behavior Key terms:...

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Congress, I: Structure and Behavior Key terms: constituency service, committees, party differences in voting, patterns of leadership, Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott I. Introduction II. The workings of Congress III. Change after 1994? 1. American system designed not to work very well. People will fight, reason for senate and House, disagreement 2. Representation in congress is geographical. We have single-member district. Each member in Congress looks back at state or districts, their constituency. 3. In house 435, district a. Wyoming has one b. Texas has 32 districts 2. In Senate, each state has 2 senators. 3. Entire House is up for election every 2 years. 4. Senate- serves term for 6 yrs. 1/3 of Senate up for election every 2 yrs. 5. Members of congress don’t really think of themselves as representing the u.s. They represent the people in their district. They think “what can I do for the people in my district?” a. Constituency service-they perform favors for the people in their districts or state i. House representatives put 1/3 of their time helping people in their districts. Members put a lot of time and effort to helping their people to get support. ii. Only have constituency service because the country is divided into districts b. Members are constantly attempting to get policies and laws for the benefit of their people and state. 6. Congress is organized to help members help their districts. a. Committees- working sub-groups in Congress specialized by function (agriculture committees, etc) b. 22 standing committees in the house and 20 committees in the senate i. More than 100 subcommittees in Congress c. Structurally, Congress is fragmented on many terms of organizations. Law making is parceled out to committees and subcommittees. The Rules Committee in the House controls the agenda. No Rules Committee in the Senate. Law making can be more chaotic in the senate because of no rules. d. centralized power in the parties e. If there is no party discipline, do people vote at random or is their distinction between democratic and republic votes? Yes. Republicans and democrats tend to vote together but not f. Americans for Democratic Action- paradigmatic liberals; rate the voting of the members of Congress. Numeric liberal ADA score i. 2000, republicans had a score of 7, democrats had 85 ii. 2003- rep, 13 iii. 2006: rep, 19 & dem, g. Even though there is no party discipline, party members tend to vote together on the average. If there were party disciplines, the ADA scores would be 0 and 100 h. The president has very little structural leadership. “All presidential power amounts to is the power to persuade.” He can’t say, “do this.” i. Speaker of the House- most powerful person in Congress and the 2 nd powerful person in Washington. i.
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GovComp2 - Congress, I: Structure and Behavior Key terms:...

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