AP Gov Congress Flashcards

United States Congress
Terms Definitions
calendar
schedule
restricted rule
allows certain amendments
General Accounting Office
investigates executive branch
politico
lawmaker between trustee and delegate
incumbent
the current holder of elected office
pork-barrel legislation
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
gerrymandering
the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent
select/special committee
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.
earmark
federal funds appropriated by Congress for use on local projects
Majority Leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or Senate
committee chairs
are usually chosen by seniority; select subcommittee chais; can kill bills by ignoring them
resolution
measure relating to business of either house or expressing an opinioin on a matter, does not have force of law, does not need presidents signature
honoraria
Speaking fees accepted by members of Congress. In 1991, the House forbade members to accept honoraria, while the Senate limited such income.
special session
an extraordinary session of a legislative body, called to deal with an emergency situation
impeachment
the charging of a government official (presidential or otherwise) with "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" and bringing him before Congress to determine guilt
discharge petition
when signed by majority of representatives, it allows bill to leave committee
Seniority
a system that gives the most desireable committee assignments to members of congress who have served to the longest
closed rule
Limitation imposed by the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives on the amount of debate time allotted to a bill and on the introduction of amendments from the floor (or of any amendments other than those from the sponsoring committee).
Baker v Carr
1962; reapportionment is a judicial question
whip
A member of Congress who aids the majority or minority leader of the House or the Senate.
Contract with america
..., In the 1994 congressional elections, Congressman Newt Gingrich had Republican candidates sign a document in which they pledged their support for such things as a balanced budget amendment, term limits for members of Congress, and a middle-class tax cut.
double-tracking
A method to keep the Senate going during a filibuster, whereby a disputed bill is temporarily shelved so that the Senate can go on with other business.
bicameral legislature
a legislature divided into two houses; the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures are an example except for Nebraska
Committee system
Members of Congress are assigned to committees to investigate the merits and problems with suggested bills, sometimes holding public hearings to learn more before sending it to the full House or Senate for debate and a vote.
caucus
a meeting of party members designed to select candidates and propose policies
Private bill
A legislative bill that deals with only specific, private, personal, or local matters
franking
the ability of members of Congress to mail letters to their constitutents free of charge by substituting their facscimile signature for postage
conservative coalition
A vote in Congress in which conservative Democrats join with Republicans.
contract w/ america
was working collectively for 1-2 years but went back to individual action
double tracking
A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business.
Christmas tree bill
A bill that has lots of riders.
standing committee
a permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area
minority leader
leader of the minority party in a legislature
steering committee
Committee in the House and Senate that assigns members of the democratic party to the different standing committees.
vote on ties (technically leader of senate)
VP role in Senate
House Rules Committee
reviews most bills coming from a House Committee before they go before the whole House of Reps
quorum call
A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see whether the number of representatives in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official business.
Party caucus or conference
formal gathering of all members of a party
Junior member
...
plurality vote
winner-take-all; Duverger's law
435
# of reps since 1911
Apportionment
Distribution of representatives among the states based on the population of each state
Constituents
the residents of a congressional district or state
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
oversight
the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques to exercise control over the activites of executive agencies
Redistricting
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population.
midterm elections
threat to incumbents of pres party
bill
A proposed law, drafted in precise, legal language. Anyone can draft a bill, but only a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate can formally submit a bill for consideration.
Speaker of the House
The constitutionally mandated presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Speaker is chosen in the caucus of the majority party and is empowered to recognize members to speak on the floor, to rule whether a motion is germane, to assign bills to committee, to appoint House members to select and joint committees, and to appoint the majority members of the Rules Committee.
mark-up
committee revisions of a bill; adding, amending, or changing something in a bill that you don't like
whips
"whip" the party into shape, attempts to get bill passed
Senatorial Courtesy
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
casework
work that a lawmaker does to help constituents with a problem
logrolling
An arrangement in which two or more members of Congress agree in advance to support each other's bills
Confrence committee
a committee consisting of senators and representatives that meets to resolve differences in legislation.
term limits
restrictions that exist in some states about how long an individual may serve in state and/or local elected offices
trustee
a legislator who acts according to her or his conscience and the broad interests of the entire society
Safe Districts
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more
constitutents
people who live and vote in a government official's district or state
concurrent resolution
A special type of joint committee appointed to resolve differences in House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation.
cooperate w/ party goals
party leaders grant/withhold favors to members to get them to...
congressional budget office
staff agency that advises Congress on the likely economic effects of different spending programs and provides information on the costs of the proposed policies.
simple resolution
A resolution passed by either house to establish internal chamber rules. It is not signed by the president and has no legal force.
joint resolution
a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the chief executive (or passed over the executive's veto)
confirmation of Presidential appointments
Senate needs majority to approve presidential appointments
cloture rule
Rule 22 of the Senate, providing for the end of debate on a bill if three fifths of the members agree. A cloture motion is brought to the floor if sixteen senators sign a petition. The purpose is typically to terminate a filibuster and to force a vote on a bill.
party unity vote
vote in which majority of one party votes to oppose a majorty of the other
Private Calendar
called on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month, specific bills pertaining to a representative's private matters with constituents (in the House)
President pro tempore
The leader of the majority party in the Senate
Ex post facto laws
laws that take effect after the act takes place. Congress is prohibited from enacting this type of legislation.
Why is the legislative process lenghty?
there are soo many steps. idea is generated from citizens, the bill is written and intrdoduced by members of a chamber. in senate, bill is read alout on the floor. in house, bill is dropped in hopper.the bill is referred for committee action. in senate and house, public hearings occur, expert testimony, markup occurs, and it can be reported fvorably, unfoavorbly, or tabled. It goes to the floor. In senate, unlimited debate and vvoting takes place. in house, limited to 1 hour debate and voting takes place. Approved version of bill crosses ovr to other chamber where it has to go through the same process. Conference committee. In senate and house, members from each chamber meet to reconcile different versions of bill. Majority of both houses must approve revised bill. passed bill sent ot prez. sign bill into law in senate, and veto bill or pocket veto bill in house.
30
Senate age requirement
Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell
Executive Calendar
presidential nominations, treaties, presidential appointments, etc. (in the Senate)
increase
recent ____________ in people voting w/ party
Permanent campaign
The actions officeholders take throughout the election cycle to build support for their reelection.
Discharge Calendar
discharge petitions (in the House)
malapportionment
drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
If supreme court declares a congressional lawunconstitutional, what cna congress do?
amend constitution
Markup
Stage where congress men write all over a bill to change it
Seventeenth Amendment
A constitutional amendment ratified in 1913 requiring the popular election of U.S. senators. Senators were previously chosen by state legislatures.
Separation of powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
filibuster
A prolonged speech or series of speeches made to delay action on legislation in the Senate. The purpose is to kill the measure by talking it to death.
Reynolds v Sims
1964; equal population in state legislative districts
Safe seat
an elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other, so the success of that party's candidate is almost taken for granted.
Congressional caucus
An association or members of Congress based on party, interest, or social group such as gender or race.
party caucus
A normally closed meeting of political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions regarding legislative matters. Called conference by Republicans
pork barrel legislation
the practice of legislators obtaining funds through legislation that favors their home districts.
What are revenue bills?
focuses on methods for raising money.
Article I, Section 7 states that all revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives
prisoner's dilemma
has to do with congress in individual rather than collective action
Majority party
a political party in each house of Congress with the most members.
Party Polarization
A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators
Wesberry v. Sanders
One person, one vote (in redistricting for federal elections, each congressional district was to be approximately the same) In Georgia, the 5th district had 3 to 4 times more people than did the other districts.
Who are the senators and representatives from DE and MD?
DE-John Carney SENATOR- Carper, Coons
MD-Andy Harris, Ruberspegger, Sarbanes, Edwards, Hoyer, Bartlett, Cummings, Van Hollen
SENATOR-Cardin, Mikulski
minority and by request
types of bills that ususally die of neglect
House, Senate & POTUS
must approve a bill for it to become a law
Great Compromise
created Congress
Senate Minority Whip
Jon Kyl
coordination
legislative org problem addressed with leadership
Speaker
the representative from the majority party in the House of Representatives who sets the House agenda, presides over House meetings, recognizes speakers, refers bills to committees, answers procedural questions, and declares the outcome of votes.
Cloture
mechanism requiring sixty senators to vote to cut off debate.
Select Committees
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
Which house of Congress operates more formally?
house
reapportionment
process of setting the number of congressional seats in a state after the census
voice vote
a congressional voting procedure in which members shout 'yea' in approval or 'nay' in disapproval, permitting members the vote quickly or anonymously on bills
Enumerated powers
The powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.
Germane amendments
Amendments strictly relevant to the bill at focus.
"mark-up" session
Revisions and additions to legislation made by committees and subcommittees. These changes are not part of a bill unless approved by the house of which the committee is a part.
legislative oversight
makes sure laws are carried out properly; reviews agency, department, or office through hearings
joint committee
committee composed of members both in the House & Senate; such committees oversee the library of Congress & conduct investigations
constituent
One of the persons represented by a legislator or other elected or appointed official.
Riders
amendments to bills, often in the form of appropriations, that sometimes have nothing to do with the intent of the bill itself and many times are considered pork legislation. (Senate only)
17th Amendment
Direct election of senators instead of the previous state legislatures electing them
constituency
the district making up the area from which the official is elected
congressional review
a process whereby Congress can nullify agency regulations by a joint resolution of legislative disapproval.
Veto
the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)
Who holds the real leadership power in Senate?
majority leader
unanimous consent agreement
negotiated by party leaders in Senate; get together to talk it out maturely
franking privilege
the ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage
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
What is the rules committee?
adopts procedures to consider bills, set time for debate, decide if amendments can be added, and place bills on calendar
instructed delegate
A legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal beliefs.
pocket veto
a bill fails to become law because the president did not sign it within ten days before Congress adjourns
Henry Clay (1811 - 1825)
1st powerful speaker of the House; oversaw creation of committees
In what ways do compromise and bargaining come into play in the legislative process?
when bill gets to Conference Committee, must agree on the bill
What is attidunial view of representation?
members vote on the basis of their own beliefs
Senate
...responsible for trying impeachments
outsider
maverick; criticizes congress; wants to change congress from outside rather than inside (newt gingrich)
hold
procedural practice in the Senate whereby a senator temporarily blocks the consideration of a bill or nomination
Consent Calendar
schedules bills (in the House)
rider
unpopular provision added to an important bill certain to pass so that it will "ride" through the legislative process
select committee
a temporary congressional committee created for a specific purpose and disbanded after that purpose is fulfilled
Teller vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, first the yeas and then the nays
authorization
A formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency. Some authorizations terminate in a year; others are renewable automatically without further congressional action.
House Calendar
schedules major bills which don't involve money
divided goverment
political condition in which different political parties control the White House and Congress
public bill
Legislation that pertains to affairs generally.
trustee theory
Edmund Burke; reps consider opinion of constituents but focus more on their best interests
standing committees
The permanent committees of each house with the power to report bills.
conference committees
a joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill
override
an action taken by Congress to reverse the presidential veto, requiring a two-thirds majority in each chamber
quorum
the minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress
open rule
Consent from the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives which permits amendments from the floor on a particular piece of legislation.
seniority system
A custom followed in both chambers of Congress specifying that the member of the majority party with the longest term of continuous service will be given preference when a committee chairperson (or a holder of some other significant post) is selected.
credit-claiming (The Electoral Connection)
when politicians "work" for the constituents by passing bills, ext.
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