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The ObamaAdministration & the 112th Congress Unit One Presentation 2
Three Branches of Your Government _______________ Creates and passes the laws _______________ Administers and enforces the laws _______________ Interprets and reviews the laws Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch Who does the 4th hand represent? __________ The Media
Article #1 Legislative Branch House of Representatives Representatives are elected for _________ terms. Number per state based on ___________. The Senate Senators are elected for _____year terms. Number per state _____. The Senate is usually considered to hold more power. two-year Population Six two We call our 2 houses of congress a _________________. bicameral government
Congressional Oversight Congress, in addition to its lawmaking responsibilities, has oversight over the _____________. What is "congressional oversight?“ Executive Branch Ex-FEMA Chief Michael Brown shifts Blame to Homeland Security during congressional hearings. If the White House screws up congress is there to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. During the Katrina Hurricane debacle the Republican Congress felt it necessary to use their “oversight authority” and find out where things went wrong at the White House.
Politics of Congress There are a total of 435 Representatives in the House and ____Senators in the Senate. The ___________currently hold the majority seats in the House. The Democrats hold the majority seatsin the Senate . Speaker of the House: _______________(Republican) Senate Majority Leader: Harry Reid (_______) Senate Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell(________) 100 Republicans John Boehner Democrat Republican The political party that has the majority seats in each house of congress has more power to effect change. Why?
The Senate (Legislative Branch) The ___________ breaks all ties in the Senate. Republican John McCain lost to Bush in the 2000 Primaries and to Obama in the 2008 General, but is still a U.S. Senator and continues to fight for his main causes __________________ and ____________ reform and holding the ______ accountable. Vice President campaign finance Reform Pork /earmark F.E.C ___________ work like this has made him the candidate in the 2008 presidential election. In a nutshell the issue of money in politics centers on the difference between “Soft Money” (indirect to the party) and “Hard Money” (direct to the candidate). Bipartisan
Article #2 - Executive Branch Presidential elections are run every __________ in November. This is called the General Election. The President has become the most powerful person in our country and sets the political agenda of our country like no one else, especially during ____________. This is not backed up by the Constitution, but is what the people often vote for in times of distress. Presidents have a HUGE advantage on what we believe and how prioritize in our lives. We call this power the ___________. four years times of war If the president has a ___________ i.e. the support of the American people he can speak “over the heads” of congress and get whatever he wants. Bully Pulpit mandate
Commanders in Chief George W. Bush Getting America through 9/11 and protecting the country from further terrorist attacks was Bush’s greatest claim to fame. Running up sky rocketing deficits is probably his biggest failure. His wife and First Lady is___________. Barack H. Obama __________________ and continued federal spending are probably his most controversial decisions. These things along with __________ and the war in ___________will probably define much of his first 4 years as president. His wife and First Lady is______________. Bank & Auto bailouts Healthcare Afghanistan Laura Bush Michele Obama
The Obama Administration
Presidential Cabinet There are generally 15 Cabinet departments; the head of each is called the __________of their respective Cabinet positions. The President appoints these positions, but ________must approve each placement. Presidential Advisors These people are hired by the president and are generally held in very high regard by the people and the press, but they are different then cabinet members in that they are _____________________
Unelected government officials who have a lot of influence on what paperwork or even bills get passed on through to the elected officials.
Secretary congress NOT approved by congress
OBAMA’s Cabinet Timothy Geithner is ______________ _______who is in charge of the confrontational bailouts and stimulus plans put forth by President Obama. Eric Holder is the highest legal authority in the land as Obama’s _______________. Hillary Clinton’s cabinet position is often regarded as the highest position after the President in her role as ________ ______________ Robert Gates is the civilian in charge of thePentagon (military) as the _____________________ Secretary of the Treasury Attorney General Secretary of Defense Secretary of State.
Obama’s Advisors In recent years, the Cabinet has become less and less important as a policy making body. Starting with President Franklin Roosevelt the trend has been for Presidents to act through the Executive Office of the President rather than through the Cabinet. Why? Chief of Staff: _________ usually welds a lot of power. He determines who sees the president. Press Secretary: __________ Works at the liaison between the president and the press. William Daley David Axelrod is Obama’s most senior advisor. Advisors and “Czars” have little de-jure power but often obtain a great deal of de facto power and some become more powerful then cabinet members. Why? Jay Carney
Article #3 Judicial Branch Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President, but must be approved by_________. They serve a lifetime term. The Supreme Court is an Appellate Court. The cases that the Supreme Court reviews are cases that could have a direct impact on the supreme law of the U.S. Otherwise known as the ______________. The Chief Justice - who presides over the other 8 justices on the Supreme Court is _______________. congress Constitution. John Roberts
The Politics of the Court Because most of the Supreme Court Justices where appointed by Conservative Presidents, most observers believe the court _________ Obama recently appointed two new woman Justices _____________ and ____________ 4 of the ____ are now thought to be “liberal” in their political thinking. “leans right”. Sonia Sotomayor Elena Kagan. CURRENT MEMBERS: John Roberts Elena Kagan· Antonin Scalia Anthony Kennedy · Sonia Sotomayor Clarence Thomas · Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer · Samuel Alito 9
Judicial Review Article III of the U.S. Constitution states that “the judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish…” What the heck does that mean? Think of it like this, if the _______________ has “oversight” over the _______________, who has “oversight” over the legislative branch? Should anyone be able to overrule the “Voice of the people”? Most say yes, and the Constitution currently is interrupted to support that point of view. Legislative Branch Executive Branch
Who is in charge of interrupting the Constitution?
Which way does the Court currently “lean”?
Should nine un-elected judges be able to tell our elected representatives what they can and cannot do?
Marbury v. Madison Judicial review was established in the Supreme Court decision in Marbury v. Madison. Is the concept of “Judicial Review” supported by the Constitution or have “Activist” judges found a way to create laws (job of legislators) here in the United States? Gay Marriage, Flag Burning, Gun Rights, Abortion. etc. John Marshall was Chief Justice at the time of this ruling.
States Rights (Federalism)
The Election Process (President) The Race for President is a long drawn out affair. Primaries and caucuses (January 2012) Minnesota uses the caucuses system in presidential races. Where primaries are open to everyone who shows up at the voting both on primary day, caucuses, generally involves people who are affiliated with a specific party. The main goal for both is to… Political Conventions (Summer 2012) General Election (November 2012) Inauguration of a new President (January 2013) narrow down the their candidates so all party members will get behind one strong candidate to beat the opposing party in the general election.
MONEY and Influence Candidates must spend most of their time in the 2 years leading up to the election soliciting money from political parties, special interest groups,corporations, and wealthy individuals. Over the course of the election cycle candidates must accumulate a minimum of $300,000,000 to be considered a serious candidate. “Undo Influence” or “Free Speech” Obama raised over $700,000.000. What might the people who gave the bulk of that $700 million want from YOUR president? Most think that money is the root of the problems in our government. What can be done about it?
Separation of Powers Executive (Enforces Laws) Can Override Veto Can Rule Acts Unconstitutional Nominates Judges for Federal Courts Can Veto Bills Can rule Laws Unconstitutional Approves Judges for Federal Benches Judicial (Interrupts Laws) Legislative (Initiates Laws)