idea: to successfully double-tack , force Senate to shelve the issue temporarily o can be forcefully ended w/ cloture rule ● Typical characteristics of a member of Congress o ….? ● Vice President’s role as the President of the Senate o duty: to preside over the senate o cannot vote in the Senate (except to break a tie) ● Women & Minority Groups in Congress o most are older white males o majority-minority districts tend to vote for the majority (descriptive representation ) ▪ disadvantage: decreases substantial representation (ability of citizens to elect officials that enact policies citizens favor) because minority is widely dispersed
▪ advantage: are very stable; congressmen will have seniority and be on committees ● Party Polarization in Congress – Reasons for polarization and effect on legislative process o ● 3 Theories of Congressional Voting Behavior – o Representational ▪ vote to please constituents because they want to get reelected o Organizational ▪ vote to please fellow Congressmen (Rep or Dem) o Attitudinal ▪ conflicting pressures allow Congressmen to vote based on their own beliefs ● influenced by ideologies ● Leadership Positions & Party Organization in Congress – Role of Majority and Minority Party Leaders o House: Speaker ▪ also the leader of the party ▪ elected by majority party ▪ decides who can speak, which topics are relevant ▪ assigns topics to committees ▪ appoints majority-party leaders to committees o Senate: majority leader ▪ appointed by majority party ▪ schedules the business of the Senate ▪ has a whip ● Role of the Majority & Minority Whip position in Congress o Whips inform leaders about the members’ opinions o count votes etc ●
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- Spring '18
- United States Congress