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  • U.S. History and Government II 06/01/09
  • Legislativebranch

    1. 1. The U.S. Congress: The People’s Branch <ul><li>The Role of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>A Bicameral Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Senate vs. House </li></ul><ul><li>Organization & Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>The Committee System </li></ul><ul><li>Lame Duck Session </li></ul>
    2. 2. Key Functions of Congress Representation: expresses the diverse views of the American people Law Making: creates bills to address issues and solve problems in American society Consensus Building: reconciles competing interests Oversight: ensures that laws passed by Congress are effectively carried out by the executive branch Investigation: investigates government agencies, including the White House---impeachment Approval: confirms presidential appointees and treaties (Senate Only)
    3. 3. “ In order to control the legislative authority, you must divide it.” James Madison, Federalist No. 51 How will this set up protect Americans from tyranny? The House Wing The Senate Wing A Bicameral Legislature
    4. 4. House Office Buildings Senate Office Buildings Virtual Tour of the Senate Chamber The Well in the House Chamber
    5. 5. Differences Between the House and Senate <ul><li>Two year Term </li></ul><ul><li>435 members </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller constituencies </li></ul><ul><li>Less personal staff </li></ul><ul><li>Equal populations represented </li></ul><ul><li>Less flexible rules </li></ul><ul><li>Limited Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Less media coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Less prestige </li></ul><ul><li>Less reliance on staff </li></ul><ul><li>More powerful committee leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Very important committees </li></ul><ul><li>Nongermane amendments (riders) not allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Important Rules Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Some bills are not allowed to be amended from the floor </li></ul><ul><li>Six year Term </li></ul><ul><li>100 members </li></ul><ul><li>Larger constituencies </li></ul><ul><li>More personal staff </li></ul><ul><li>States represented </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible rules </li></ul><ul><li>Extended Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Policy generalists </li></ul><ul><li>More media coverage </li></ul><ul><li>More prestige </li></ul><ul><li>More equal distribution of power </li></ul><ul><li>20 major committees </li></ul><ul><li>Nongermane amendments (riders) allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Filibuster allowed </li></ul>The House The Senate
    6. 6. Non Voting Members of the House 1 representative each: >>can participate in debate and on committees >>cannot vote The District of Columbia Puerto Rico American Samoa Virgin Islands
    7. 7. The House of Representatives: Requirements Must live in state and district Must be 25 years or older Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years Term begins on January 3 and last for 2 years. One of 435 other members of the House Must be elected by the majority of people in his/her district  650,000 people on average Compare to the Senate
    8. 8. The Senate: Requirements Must live in state Must be elected by the majority of registered voters living in the state Term begins January 3 rd and lasts for six years. 1 of 100 other Senators: 2/state Must be 30 years old Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years. Compare to the House
    9. 9. What do they both enjoy? Perks of the Office Salary: $165,200/year Free Office Space in D.C. Free Office Space in State Free Parking on the Hill Office Expenses: $127,000 (House) $474,000 (Senate) Staff Salaries: $632,000 (House) $2 million (Senate) Several Free Trips Home Franking Privilege: mailing “official business” (not campaign business) for free. Full Access to the Congressional Gym and Spa Immunity from Lawsuits for anything you say when in Congress Inexpensive Health Care
    10. 10. Leadership in the House & Senate How things are done in the two chambers affects what is done in the two chambers. The House is four times as big as the Senate. How do you think this affects how things are done?
    11. 11. <ul><li>Speaker of the House: Visit official web site . </li></ul><ul><li>Presides over the Chamber </li></ul><ul><li>Decides Points of Order During Debate </li></ul><ul><li>Refers bills and resolutions to the appropriate committees </li></ul><ul><li>Schedules legislation for floor action </li></ul><ul><li>Appoints House members to committees </li></ul>Majority Leader Minority Leader <ul><li>Majority & Minority Leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Appointed by parties to direct strategy on the House floor </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains alliances to gain votes and to pass/defeat bills </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates the party’s legislative agenda w/Speaker </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures that committee chairs take action on bills </li></ul>Majority Whip Minority Whip <ul><li>Majority & Minority Whips </li></ul><ul><li>Aids the floor leader in developing & implementing party’s program </li></ul><ul><li>transmits information to party members </li></ul><ul><li>assists leaders in developing a count and a strategy for key votes </li></ul><ul><li>builds coalition to pass bills and amendments </li></ul><ul><li>gathers intelligence & uses persuasive tactics to garner more votes </li></ul>Leadership in the House of Representatives: Democratic
    12. 12. The New Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi (D), CA <ul><li>Priorities : </li></ul><ul><li>diminish the role of lobbyists </li></ul><ul><li>insure that lawmakers have time to read legislation before voting on it. </li></ul><ul><li>open House-Senate legislative negotiating sessions to the media </li></ul><ul><li>make sure earmarks are identified by the name of lawmaker who sponsored it </li></ul><ul><li>make sure earmarks are approved by policy making committees (oversight) </li></ul>
    13. 13. New Faces in the Crowd: House Majority Whip James Clyburn, S.C. 6 th District Terms in Office: 7 Previous Leadership: Chair of the Democratic House Caucus Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, IL. 5 th District Terms in Office: 3 Previous Leadership: Chair of the Democratic Campaign Committee House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, MD 5 th District Terms in Office: 12 Previous Leadership: House Minority Whip
    14. 14. <ul><li>9 members from the majority party—chosen by the Speaker </li></ul><ul><li>4 members from the minority party </li></ul>Is the Rules Committee democratic? <ul><li>Regulates floor debate </li></ul><ul><li>Sets limits on amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Influences which bills do and do not get consideration </li></ul><ul><li>Supports the agenda of the majority party </li></ul><ul><li>Click here to view a special rule for a bill . </li></ul>
    15. 15. Leadership in the Senate: Democratic <ul><li>Vice President </li></ul><ul><li>Is the president of the Senate </li></ul><ul><li>May not take part in the debate </li></ul><ul><li>May try to influence a vote through contact with senators </li></ul><ul><li>May recognize members and put questions to a vote </li></ul><ul><li>May vote only in the event of a tie </li></ul><ul><li>President Pro Temp </li></ul><ul><li>Presides when the vice president is not present </li></ul><ul><li>Usually is the most senior member of the majority party </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary Presiding Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Presides when neither the vice president nor the president pro temp is present </li></ul><ul><li>Usually a senior member of the majority party </li></ul><ul><li>Majority & Minority Whips </li></ul><ul><li>Serve the same function in the Senate as they do in the House </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic Whip: Senator Barbara Boxer (California) </li></ul><ul><li>Republican Whip: Senator Robert Bennett (Utah) </li></ul>
    16. 16. The New Majority Leader in the Senate: Harry Reid Age: 67 Party: Democrat Religion: Mormon <ul><li>Political Experience: </li></ul><ul><li>Nevada State Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Lieutenant Governor </li></ul><ul><li>Nevada Gaming Commission </li></ul><ul><li>House of Representatives (1982) </li></ul><ul><li>Senate (1986) </li></ul><ul><li>Minority Leader (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Majority Leader: 2007 </li></ul>Senators Durbin & Reid meet with President Bush on New Footing
    17. 17. New Faces in the Crowd: Senator Specter (R) hands control of the Judiciary Committee to Senator Leahy (D). Senator Durbin (D) is the 2 nd highest ranking member of Congress.
    18. 18. Filibuster Strom Thurmond (1957) 24 hours against civil rights legislation Huey Long filibustered on behalf of the poor Is the filibuster democratic? We’ll debate this more in class! A senator refuses to give up the floor in order to prevent a vote. If 60 senators vote to end a filibuster, a vote must be held within 30 hours. (cloture)
    19. 19. Congressional Committees Letters Requesting Committee Assignments
    20. 20. Concern of the Congress: Full Scope of the Bill The Congress debates Concern of the Committee: The Details of the Bill “ Congress in session is Congress on display. Congress in committee is Congress at work.” President Woodrow Wilson
    21. 21. Standing Committees Select Committees Joint Committees Authorizing Appropriations Rules Budget <ul><li>Make laws </li></ul><ul><li>Hold hearings </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Determines how much $ will be spent </li></ul><ul><li>The Immigration Fence </li></ul><ul><li>Sets the Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Jurisdiction of the Senate Rules Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Raises $ for appropriations to spend </li></ul><ul><li>House Ways and Means Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Address temporary priorities in Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Senate Select Committee on Ethics </li></ul>View All Committees Here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/index.html <ul><li>Address issues of concern to both chambers </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Committee on Economics </li></ul>
    22. 22. Committee Leadership <ul><li>Control your committee’s agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule meetings and hearing of the full committee </li></ul><ul><li>Help schedule subcommittee hearings and meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Handle committee’s budget and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Serve as the committee’s spokesperson </li></ul><ul><li>Sit on House and Senate conference committees </li></ul><ul><li>Steer your party’s legislative agenda in the Senate </li></ul>If you are chosen head of a committee, you will: Find out who’s on the new Democratic team here:
    23. 23. Criteria for Committee Assignments Party Loyalty: Essentially your voting record Seniority: Numbers of years of service on a particular committee Geography: Vacancies tend to be filled with people from the same states Attitude: Civil, cooperative & willing to compromise Preference: Senator Landrieu serves on Energy & Natural Resources, key issues for Louisiana
    24. 24. Closing Questions <ul><li>What are the roles of Congress in our three branch government? </li></ul><ul><li>How is Congress structured and why? How does the structure of Congress affect the way that Congress functions? </li></ul><ul><li>Who has power in Congress and why? </li></ul><ul><li>What role do committees play? Are they democratic? </li></ul>