AP NSL Chapter 11 Congress Flashcards

United States Congress
Terms Definitions
a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
Cloture Rule
a rule used by the senate to end or limit debate
Veto Override
If the President vetoes a bill, the Congress may override the veto by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses. The bill would then become law, the President's objections notwithstanding.
Revenue Bills
Bills that deal with money must originate in the House of Representatives
Party Whip
a legislator appointed by the party to enforce discipline
House ways and means Committee
The House of Representatives committee that, along with the Senate Finance Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.
Speaker of the House
The person who preside over the house when it is in session. A member of the majority party, most powerful officer in the house
create and charge with a task or function
Marginal Districts
Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55 percent of the vote.
Safe Districts
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more.
Majority Leader
In the Senate, this is the first-ranking party position, held by a distinguished senior member of the majority party in the Senate. The Senate majority leader schedules floor actions on bills, and helps guide the majority party's legislative program through the Senate. In the House, the majority leader stands second to the Speaker of the House in party authority. Like the Senate majority leader, the House majority leader helps promote the legislative agenda of the party in the House.
Minority Leader
The head of the minority party in either the House or the Senate. The minority leader represents the interests of the minority party by meeting with the majority leader and, in the case of the House, the House Speaker to schedule bills and rules for floor action.
Discharge Petition
A procedure by which a bill in the House of Representatives may be forced (discharged) out of a committee that has refused to report it for consideration by the House. The petition must be signed by an absolute majority (218) of representatives and is used only on rare occasions.
Franking Privilege
Power of members of Congress to send out mail free, without paying postal charges. This is one of the benefits or perquisites of being a House Representative or Senator, since members of Congress can use mailings to cultivate a positive popular image among their constituents.
Standing Committee
A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area
A group within a standing committee that specializes in a Subcategory of its standing committee's responsibility
Conference Committee
Committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
Congressional Oversight
The United States Congress has the authority to conduct hearings, investigations, and budget reviews of the actions by the executive branch.
Congressional Caucus
A group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic. Most are composed of members from both parties and from both houses.
A clause that is appended to a legislative bill.
Concurrent Resolution
A statement of position on an issue used by the House and Senate acting jointly; does not have the force of law and does not require the President's signature.
House Rules Committee
An institution unique to the House of Representatives that reviews all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriations bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full House.
Minimal number of members necessary to conduct a meeting.
Pork Barrel Spending
The appropriation of government spending for projects that are intended primarily to benefit particular constituents, such as those in marginal seats or campaign contributors.
Majority -Minority District
A congressional district created to include a majority of minority voters; ruled constitutional so long as race is not the main factor in redistricting.
Christmas Tree Bill
A bill on the Senate floor that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments. The amendments which adorn the bill may provide special benefits to various groups or interests.
President Pro Tempore
Officer of the senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president.
Open Rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that permits floor amendments within the overall time allocated to the bill.
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.
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