AP GOV : Congress Flashcards

United States Congress
Terms Definitions
House
...responsible for impeaching
Senate Majority Whip
Richard Durbin
malapportionment
The creation of congressional districts in a state which are of unequal size. The Supreme Court in 1964 eliminated the practice by requiring that all districts in a state contain about the same number of people.
substantive representation
represent/carry out interests and goals of consituents even if they don't apply to the rep
malapportionament
Drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population.
riders
unrelated amendments added to a bill
Delegate
role played by elected representatives who vote the way their constituents would want them to, regardless of their own opinions.
committee chairs
Leaders of congressional committees, generally members of the majority party with more longevity on the committee.
select committee
Congressional committee appointed for a limited time period and purpose.
electoral imperatives
shape all important aspects of congresssional life
time pressures
legislative org problem that bills need to be finished by end of session; usually budget problem
Override
...Two thirds majority can null a veto
private bill
Legislation that pertains to a particular individual, such as a person pressing a financial claim against the government or seeking special permission to become a naturalized citizen.
27th Amendment
This amendment made it so congresspeople could not increase their pay until the next term
Divided government
the political condition in which different poltical parties could control the White House and Congress.
Division Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
Bill
A proposed law, drafted in precise, legal language. Anyone can draft a bill, but only a member of the House of Representatives of the Senate can formally submit a bill for Consideration.
Seventeenth Amendment
A constitutional amendment ratified in 1913 requiring the popular election of U.S. senators. Senators were previously chosen by state legislatures.
role of committees
conduct research & hearings, re-/write bills, and engage in legis oversight
representation
The function of members of Congress as elected officials representing the views of their constituents.
Discharge petition
Petition that, if signed by majority of the House of Representatives' members, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.
joint committees
committees on which both senators and representatives serve
Restrictive rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the legislative floor
Logrolling
vote trading, voting yea to support a colleagues bill in return for a promise for future support.
bicameral legislature
a legislative assembly composed of 2 chambers, or houses
Appropriations
Committee in the House and the Senate that sets specific expenditures of money by the government of the U.S. It is a standing, exclusive committee.
Incumbency
the term during which some position is held
whip
A member of the party leadership in each house who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, rounds up members when important votes are to be taken, and attempts to keep a nose count of how the voting on a controversial issue is likely to go.
White married 60-year-old Protestant former-lawyer millionaire with a college degree
description of average congressman (ERARJME)
rules committee
A standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considered by the house.
House Rules Committee
group that decides what business comes up for a vote and what the limitations on debate should be
legislative veto
The authority of Congress to block a presidential action after it has taken place. The Supreme Court has held that Congress does not have this power
Simple resolution
An expression of opinion either in the House or in the Senate to settle procedural matters in either body.
War Powers Act
Notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops; had to gain congress' approval to stay longer than 90 days; designed to curtail President's power
sophomore surge
An increase in the number of votes candidates receive between the first time elected and their first time reelected.
Pro tempore
A member of the Senate selected by the majority party who serves as the party leader. They get to pick the committee that a bill is sent to, among other things.
cloture
a rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate. For a bill to pass in the Senate, three-fifths of the entire Senate membership (60) must vote for it
earmark spending
share of money or time set aside to a particular person or cause
Qualifications for Senate
1. At least 30 years old 2. resident from the state in which you are running 3. U.S. citizen for at least 9 years (6 year term)
What are the responsibilites of the speaker of the house?
presides over debates, makes sure that the rules of the House are obeyed , maintains the running order and looks after the administration of the House.
senators
...are more controversial/scandalous
Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid
standing committees
permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area
staff
involved in everything except actual voting in Congress
Gerrymandering
state legislatures, based on political affiliation, create congressional districts, many of which are oddly shaped and favor the political party in power in the state making the changes.
Steering Committee
assigns Democrats to standing committees in the Senate
Oversight
congressional review of the activities of an agency, department, or office.
congressional staff
very important to Congressional members. Help them stay on track. As this grows there is more legislative work.
Which house of congress are usually safer in congressional elections as a whole?
House
conference committee
compromise difference in bills passed by the houses
party caucus
meeting of party members in legislative chamber to select party leaders & develop party policy
Joint committee
congressional committee made up of members of both political parties from the Senate and House of Representatives.
rider
A nongermane amendment to an important bill. It is added so the measure will "ride" to passage through the Congress. When a bill has lots of riders, it is called a Christmas tree bill.
Minority leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Executive privilege
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
Roll-call vote
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names
Newt Gingrich (1995 - 1999)
regained power for speaker
casework
personal work done by a member of Congress for his constituents.
Senority rule
an unwritten custom, holds that the most important posts will be held by those party members with the longests records of service in congress
open rule
an order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
Safe district
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more
Congressional review
a process whereby Congress can nullify agency regulations by a joint resolution of legislative disapproval.
Majority Leader
the elected leader of the party holding a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
"one man, one vote"
principle meaning that election districts would have to be redrawn to provide equal representation for all of states citizens
Expressed powers
powers that congress has that are specifically listed in the constitution
What committe may hinder passage of a bill already in congress?
rules committee
consent or private calendar
what non-controversial bills are put on
Closed rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that prohibits any amendments to bills or provides that only members of the committee reporting the bill may offer amendments.
filibuster
an attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action on the bill
Pigeonholing
When a bill that is submitted to a committee is forgotten
representational view of representation
The theory of congressional voting behavior that assumes that members make voting decisions based on their perception of constituents' wishes to ensure their own reelection. A correlation between district attitudes and members' votes has been found on issues of importance to constituents (e.g., civil rights and social welfare) but not on issues of remote concern to constituents (foreign policy).
first budget resolution
A resolution passed by Congress in May that sets overall revenue and spending goals for the following fiscal year.
Party polarization
defined as a vote in which a majority of voting Democrats oppose a majority of voting Republicans.
speaker of the house
second in line for pres; face of House; Boehner
Committee of the Whole
A device used in the House of Representatives to expedite the passage of legislation. The quorum is reduced from 218 members to 100, and the Speaker appoints a member of the majority party as chair. Time allotted for debating the bill in question is split equally between its proponents and opponents. The committee cannot itself pass legislation but may debate and propose amendments.
line item veto (act of 1996)
pres crosses out certain parts of a bill; hope to cross out pork
25
House age requirement
House Minority Leader
John Boehner
redistricting
the redrawing of congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats alloted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state
candidate-centered elections
shifted to from party-centered elections since WWII; goes along with party dealignment and ticket splitting
Incumbent
those elected officials who are running for new terms of office.
delegates
role played by elected representatives who vote the way their constituents would want them to, regradless of their own opinions
Politico
role played by elected representatives who act as trustees or as delegates, depending on the issue.
Legislative Oversight
Congress' monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings
What function is most importatn to military academy
constituents
Senate
...has more to do with foreign policy
Franking privilege
privilege enjoyed by members of Congress entitling them to free postage for any mailings made as a part of their official duties.
conservative coalition
an alliance between Republican and conservative Democrats
Joint resolution
A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president. Those that propose a constitutional amendment need not be signed by the president.
Ferderalism
division of power between the federal gov. and the states
caucus
an association of members of Congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional or economic interest
Congress
A special type of joint committee appointed to resolve differences in House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation.
Nancy Pelosi (2005 - 2011)
first female speaker; powerful
bicameralism
The division of a legislature into two separate assemblies.
multiple referral
a congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several important committees
whip system
a communications network in each house of Congress; whips take polls of the membership in order to learn their intentions on specific legislative issues and to assist the majority and minority leaders in various tasks
casework (The Electoral Connection)
favors congressional offices perform for supplicants in ways that normally do not require legislative action (part of credit-claiming)
What happens to a bill when the session of congress ends?
it's dead.
Thornburg v Gingles
1986; district lines may not dilute minority representation and race cannot be the predominant consideration
Reserved power amendment
found in the Tenth Amendment, gives states powers not delegated to the national government
What is representational view?
members make voting decisions based on their perception of constituents' wishes to ensure their own reelection.
Elastic clause
found in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, it gives Congress the power to make "all laws necessary and proper" to carry out the other defined powers of Congress.
Congressional District
The area that a member of the House represents
Qualifications for House
25 yrs. old, citizen for 7 years, citizen of the state they represent
clinton v city of NY
sued president; ruled line item veto unconstitutional
Why would a southern conserv. coalition be less important today from in 1960s?
souther dems are being replaced by reps
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