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PS 101 The Congress Fall 2009
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PS 101 The Congress Fall 2009

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  • 1. The Congress Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  • 2. The First Congress
  • 3. Federal Hall, NYC
  • 4. # of Members 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  • 5. 435 # of Members 100 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  • 6. 1912 > 435 # of Members 100 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  • 7. PROBLEM: Can representatives effectively represent that many people and the diversity that entails?
  • 8. Volume of Business # of Responsibilities
  • 9. Volume of Business # of Responsibilities
  • 10. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
  • 11. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
  • 12. (cc) 2008 Flickr User charsplat
  • 13. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Joe Lanman
  • 14. Congress has become more institutionalized
  • 15. Congress has become more professionalized
  • 16. Who is Congress, Anyway?
  • 17. The numbers in the 111th Congress: HOUSE SENATE African- 42 1 Americans Jews 31 13 Hispanics 25 3 Asian- 8 3 Americans Middle- Eastern- 3 0 Americans Native 1 0 Americans
  • 18. SENATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • 19. Does CLASS matter?
  • 20. Thinking About Representation: The Senate
  • 21. 2
  • 22. 100
  • 23. Ratios and Inequities: Small vs. Large States
  • 24. 17%
  • 25. 135?
  • 26. 10 - 2 15 - 1 25 - 0
  • 27. A Senator for D.C.?
  • 28. National Senators?
  • 29. 10
  • 30. Electoral Districts: The House of Representatives
  • 31. 435
  • 32. 1000?
  • 33. Reapportionment The number of seats in the House of Representatives allotted to a state changes every 10 years based on changes in population determined by the Census.
  • 34. The Power and Influence of State Legislatures
  • 35. Sushicircus © 2006 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sushicircus/292399888/
  • 36. Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) Supreme Court ruled principle of “one person, one vote” applied to congressional districts.
  • 37. RESULT: congressional districts all now approximately the same size.
  • 38. The Problem of “Mid-Decade” Redistricting
  • 39. Gerrymandering When district boundary lines are drawn to ensure the election of a particular party, group or person.
  • 40. Racial gerrymandering & “Majority Minority” districts
  • 41. Incumbency
  • 42. Today’s U.S. Congress is considered the world’s foremost example of a “professional legislature.”
  • 43. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • 44. Fenno’s Paradox Citizens invariably rate their members of Congress far more favorably than they rate the Congress as a whole.
  • 45. Advantages of Incumbency
  • 46. (cc) 2007 Flickr user smenzel Franking Privilege
  • 47. Travel Budget (cc) 2006 Flickr user John Wardell (Netinho)
  • 48. +
  • 49. Constituent Service
  • 50. The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
  • 51. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. – Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. – Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  • 52. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. – Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. – Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  • 53. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. – Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. – Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  • 54. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. – Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. – Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  • 55. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. – Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. – Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  • 56. How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • 57. How a Bill Becomes a Law • Types of Legislation • Introducing a Bill • Committee Action • Floor Action • Conference Committee • Presidential Action
  • 58. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  • 59. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  • 60. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  • 61. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  • 62. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  • 63. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  • 64. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  • 65. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  • 66. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  • 67. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  • 68. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  • 69. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  • 70. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 71. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 72. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 73. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 74. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 75. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  • 76. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  • 77. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  • 78. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  • 79. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  • 80. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  • 81. Committee Action • SO, bills can be brought to floor despite committee rejection, but this is EXTREMELY rare.
  • 82. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. – Filibuster – Cloture
  • 83. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. – Filibuster – Cloture
  • 84. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. – Filibuster – Cloture
  • 85. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  • 86. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  • 87. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  • 88. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  • 89. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  • 90. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  • 91. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  • 92. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  • 93. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  • 94. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  • 95. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  • 96. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  • 97. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  • 98. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  • 99. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  • 100. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  • 101. Floor Action • If rule is accepted, bill is considered on the floor by the full chamber. • After debate on proposal, voting on amendments, floor decides whether to adopt the bill.
  • 102. Floor Action • If rule is accepted, bill is considered on the floor by the full chamber. • After debate on proposal, voting on amendments, floor decides whether to adopt the bill.
  • 103. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.
  • 104. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.
  • 105. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.