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Civics & Economics Chapter 8


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  • 1. CIVICS TODAY: Chapter 8 Congress
  • 2. Throughout the next few weeks we will be taking a closer look at the Constitution and how it developed the ideas of Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers. SEPARATION OF POWERS Divide the powers of government – so no one becomes too powerful / avoid misuse of power CHECKS & BALANCES 3 Branches – Each keeps the others in check
  • 3. Preamble Introduction – What it hopes to achieve
  • 4. Article I Legislative Branch To Make Laws CONGRESS
  • 5. ARTICLE II Executive Branch To Enforce Laws PRESIDENT
  • 6. Article III Judicial Branch To Interpret the Laws SUPREME COURT
  • 7. BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE House Senate Term Members Age Citizens Live Salary 2 years 6 years 435 100 25 30 7 years 9 years In the district In the State $165,200 $165,200
  • 8. Senate House of Representatives This is considered the UPPER house. 2 senators from each state are elected to 6 year terms. These terms are staggered – roughly 1/3 every 2 years. The LOWER house. Made up of 435 members. Each state is apportioned a number of Reps based on population. States are divided into districts. The people within a Reps district are called CONSTITUENTS.
  • 9.  
  • 10. North Carolina Congressional Districts North Carolina has 13 districts Johnston County is in the second district The seat is currently held by democrat, Bob Etheridge
  • 11. Gerrymandering Congressional districts are drawn up by State Legislatures……….Can you see a possible issue? Political parties try to draw lines to favor their own party…..this is called GERRYMANDERING. The NC 12 th district is an example of this….
  • 12. "One Person, One Vote" In the past districts were unequal in population. Rural areas had on a few constituents whereas urban districts had many more. Reynolds v. Simms Supreme Court ruled that districts had to be equal in terms of population
  • 13. Congressional Leadership House Senate Seniority System Speaker of the House Majority Leader Minority Leader Chief Whip Chief Whip Party Whip Party Whip Vice President President Pro Tempore Majority Leader Minority Leader
  • 14. COMMITTEES More important in the House, Why? Standing Select Conference Joint Always there Limited period / something special Senate and House resolve issue with Bill Involve both houses – just a few
  • 15. IMPORTANT POWERS OF CONGRESS (Enumerated, or Expressed Powers) You can find the following in Article I of the US Constitution. Collect Taxes Coin & Print Money Regulate Interstate Commerce
  • 16. Declare War Remember – Only Congress has this power. Maintain Army & Navy Post Office
  • 17. IMPLIED POWERS Article I, Section 8 , Clause 18 Elastic Clause Air Force Desegregating Restaurants
  • 18. Appropriations Bills -Bills involving money -Must begin in the House
  • 19. Power to Impeach Accuse government officials of misconduct while in office House = Impeaches Senate holds trial/hearings Chief Justice presides
  • 20. Impeachment is rare – usually federal judges. -There have been two Presidents impeached = Andrew Johnson 1868 Bill Clinton 1998 Both cases involved partisan politics – both were acquitted by the Senate.
  • 21. Important Limits Writ of Habeas Corpus Bills of Attainder Ex Post Facto Laws Congress can’t suspend Habeas Corpus – Accused must be brought before a judge and charges explained. Laws that punish the accused without trial Acts committed before it was a crime.
  • 22. WORKING FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS Casework – looking after people from your home district Working with LOBBYISTS – people hired to influence government.
  • 23. PORK BARREL PROJECTS A military bill goes through Congress. A senator refuses to sign unless $10 mil is given to his state for bridge construction Unrelated items added are called - Riders
  • 24. British Influence = Legislature Parliament Congress House of Commons
  • 25. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES = Closer to the People First to handle Bills involving money/revenue Reelected every 2 years = more aware of needs their constituents Represent a much smaller group of people