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The Congress

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Slideshow prepared for a series of lectures on the U.S. Congress for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Fall 2007. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.

Slideshow prepared for a series of lectures on the U.S. Congress for PS 101 American Government at the University of Kentucky, Fall 2007. Dr. Christopher S. Rice, Lecturer.

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  • 1. The Congress Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  • 2. The First Congress
    • First Congress convened March 4, 1789, in Federal Hall, New York City.
    • Strong leadership not needed because both chambers were very small
      • 1st Senate – 26 members from 13 states
      • 1st House of Rep. – 65 members
    • No standing committees
    • Flow of business very manageable because federal government didn’t play a large role in American life at this time.
  • 3. The First Congress
    • First Congress convened March 4, 1789, in Federal Hall, New York City.
    • Strong leadership not needed because both chambers were very small
      • 1st Senate – 26 members from 13 states
      • 1st House of Rep. – 65 members
    • No standing committees
    • Flow of business very manageable because federal government didn’t play a large role in American life at this time.
  • 4. The First Congress
    • First Congress convened March 4, 1789, in Federal Hall, New York City.
    • Strong leadership not needed because both chambers were very small
      • 1st Senate – 26 members from 13 states
      • 1st House of Rep. – 65 members
    • No standing committees
    • Flow of business very manageable because federal government didn’t play a large role in American life at this time.
  • 5. The First Congress
    • First Congress convened March 4, 1789, in Federal Hall, New York City.
    • Strong leadership not needed because both chambers were very small
      • 1st Senate – 26 members from 13 states
      • 1st House of Rep. – 65 members
    • No standing committees
    • Flow of business very manageable because federal government didn’t play a large role in American life at this time.
  • 6. Congress increases in size
    • Today, Senate has grown to 100 members, House to 435.
    • House froze the upper limit at 435 in 1912.
    • PROB: Can representatives effectively represent that many people and the diversity that entails?
  • 7. Congress increases in size
    • Today, Senate has grown to 100 members, House to 435.
    • House froze the upper limit at 435 in 1912.
    • PROB: Can representatives effectively represent that many people and the diversity that entails?
  • 8. Congress increases in size
    • Today, Senate has grown to 100 members, House to 435.
    • House froze the upper limit at 435 in 1912.
    • PROB: Can representatives effectively represent that many people and the diversity that entails?
  • 9. Increase in volume of Congressional Business
    • More responsibilities = greater volume of business handled by Congress.
    • Size of Congressional Staff has significantly expanded.
    • Congress stays in session longer than in the past.
  • 10. Increase in volume of Congressional Business
    • More responsibilities = greater volume of business handled by Congress.
    • Size of Congressional Staff has significantly expanded.
    • Congress stays in session longer than in the past.
  • 11. Increase in volume of Congressional Business
    • More responsibilities = greater volume of business handled by Congress.
    • Size of Congressional Staff has significantly expanded .
    • Congress stays in session longer than in the past.
  • 12. Congress has become more institutionalized & professionalized
    • Congress has become more structured, rule-bound, organized.
    • Elaborate rules of procedure have replaced informal arrangements.
    • Most of the business of Congress is today conducted at the committee and subcommittee level, by subject-matter specialists and professional staff.
    • Congress has become increasingly professionalized – view their office as a long-term career choice.
  • 13. Congress has become more institutionalized & professionalized
    • Congress has become more structured, rule-bound, organized.
    • Elaborate rules of procedure have replaced informal arrangements.
    • Most of the business of Congress is today conducted at the committee and subcommittee level, by subject-matter specialists and professional staff.
    • Congress has become increasingly professionalized – view their office as a long-term career choice.
  • 14. Congress has become more institutionalized & professionalized
    • Congress has become more structured, rule-bound, organized.
    • Elaborate rules of procedure have replaced informal arrangements.
    • Most of the business of Congress is today conducted at the committee and subcommittee level, by subject-matter specialists and professional staff.
    • Congress has become increasingly professionalized – view their office as a long-term career choice.
  • 15. Congress has become more institutionalized & professionalized
    • Congress has become more structured, rule-bound, organized.
    • Elaborate rules of procedure have replaced informal arrangements.
    • Most of the business of Congress is today conducted at the committee and subcommittee level, by subject-matter specialists and professional staff.
    • Congress has become increasingly professionalized – view their office as a long-term career choice.
  • 16. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Lawyers and businessmen dominate Congress – more than 80 percent reported in the 108th Congress.
    • Remainder: teachers, journalists, former congressional aides, actors, athletes, etc.
    • The make up of Congress reflects very narrow slice of America’s citizenry.
  • 17. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Lawyers and businessmen dominate Congress – more than 80 percent reported in the 108th Congress.
    • Remainder: teachers, journalists, former congressional aides, actors, athletes, etc.
    • The make up of Congress reflects very narrow slice of America’s citizenry.
  • 18. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Lawyers and businessmen dominate Congress – more than 80 percent reported in the 108th Congress.
    • Remainder: teachers, journalists, former congressional aides, actors, athletes, etc.
    • The make up of Congress reflects very narrow slice of America’s citizenry.
  • 19. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Nearly all members of Congress have been white males – women and racial minorities are significantly underrepresented, esp. in the Senate.
  • 20. The numbers in the 109th Congress:
      • 42 African-Americans in House – all Democrat
      • 1 African-American Senator (Democrat) – Barack Obama (Ill.)
      • Hispanics: 24 in House (5 Republicans, 19 Democrats); 2 in Senate (1 Democrat, 1 Republican)
      • Women in Congress: 68 in House (23 Republicans, 45 Democrats); 14 in Senate (5 Republicans, 9 Democrats).
  • 21. The numbers in the 109th Congress:
      • 42 African-Americans in House – all Democrat
      • 1 African-American Senator (Democrat) – Barack Obama (Ill.)
      • Hispanics: 24 in House (5 Republicans, 19 Democrats); 2 in Senate (1 Democrat, 1 Republican)
      • Women in Congress: 68 in House (23 Republicans, 45 Democrats); 14 in Senate (5 Republicans, 9 Democrats).
  • 22. The numbers in the 109th Congress:
      • 42 African-Americans in House – all Democrat
      • 1 African-American Senator (Democrat) – Barack Obama (Ill.)
      • Hispanics: 24 in House (5 Republicans, 19 Democrats); 2 in Senate (1 Democrat, 1 Republican)
      • Women in Congress: 68 in House (23 Republicans, 45 Democrats); 14 in Senate (5 Republicans, 9 Democrats).
  • 23. The numbers in the 109th Congress:
      • 42 African-Americans in House – all Democrat
      • 1 African-American Senator (Democrat) – Barack Obama (Ill.)
      • Hispanics: 24 in House (5 Republicans, 19 Democrats); 2 in Senate (1 Democrat, 1 Republican)
      • Women in Congress: 68 in House (23 Republicans, 45 Democrats); 14 in Senate (5 Republicans, 9 Democrats).
  • 24. SENATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • 25.  
  • 26.  
  • 27. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Social Class
      • Members of Congress generally tend to be better educated than the rest of the population, and come from very high-income families.
      • Don’t come from a wide range of occupational backgrounds
    • What does this mean for democratic representation?
  • 28. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Social Class
      • Members of Congress generally tend to be better educated than the rest of the population, and come from very high-income families.
      • Don’t come from a wide range of occupational backgrounds
    • What does this mean for democratic representation?
  • 29. Who is Congress, Anyway?
    • Social Class
      • Members of Congress generally tend to be better educated than the rest of the population, and come from very high-income families.
      • Don’t come from a wide range of occupational backgrounds
    • What does this mean for democratic representation?
  • 30. Electoral Districts
    • Senate
      • Each state receives two senators, regardless of size. “At-Large” basis.
      • Equal representation gives a LOT of power to small states in the legislative process.
      • Doesn’t this serve to substantially distort measures of popular opinion, thus diminishing democracy?
      • Think about it: A majority of Senators come from states which collectively make up only about 20% of the US population!
  • 31. Electoral Districts
    • Senate
      • Each state receives two senators, regardless of size. “At-Large” basis.
      • Equal representation gives a LOT of power to small states in the legislative process.
      • Doesn’t this serve to substantially distort measures of popular opinion, thus diminishing democracy?
      • Think about it: A majority of Senators come from states which collectively make up only about 20% of the US population!
  • 32. Electoral Districts
    • Senate
      • Each state receives two senators, regardless of size. “At-Large” basis.
      • Equal representation gives a LOT of power to small states in the legislative process.
      • Doesn’t this serve to substantially distort measures of popular opinion, thus diminishing democracy?
      • Think about it: A majority of Senators come from states which collectively make up only about 20% of the US population!
  • 33. Electoral Districts
    • Senate
      • Each state receives two senators, regardless of size. “At-Large” basis.
      • Equal representation gives a LOT of power to small states in the legislative process.
      • Doesn’t this serve to substantially distort measures of popular opinion, thus diminishing democracy?
      • Think about it: A majority of Senators come from states which collectively make up only about 20% of the US population!
  • 34. Electoral Districts: The House of Representatives
  • 35. 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.
  • 36. The Power and Influence of State Legislatures
  • 37. Sushicircus © 2006 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sushicircus/292399888/
  • 38. Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) Supreme Court ruled principle of “one person, one vote” applied to congressional districts.
  • 39. RESULT: congressional districts all now approximately the same size.
  • 40. The Problem of “Mid-Decade” Redistricting
  • 41. Gerrymandering When district boundary lines are drawn to ensure the election of a particular party, group or person.
  • 42. Racial gerrymandering & “Majority Minority” districts
  • 43. Incumbency
  • 44. Today’s U.S. Congress is considered the world’s foremost example of a “professional legislature.”
  • 45. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • 46. Fenno’s Paradox Citizens invariably rate their members of Congress far more favorably than they rate the Congress as a whole.
  • 47. Advantages of Incumbency
    • Incumbents have advantages, use them
      • Congressional resources are used to advertise accomplishments, keep their names before the public.
      • Pork Barrel Projects – the provision of federal dollars to one’s constituency in the form of contracts, facilities and subsidies.
      • Constituent Service – responding to their constituents’ individual needs.
  • 48. +
  • 49. Advantages of Incumbency
    • Incumbents have advantages, use them
      • Congressional resources are used to advertise accomplishments, keep their names before the public.
      • Pork Barrel Projects – the provision of federal dollars to one’s constituency in the form of contracts, facilities and subsidies.
      • Constituent Service – responding to their constituents’ individual needs.
  • 50. Advantages of Incumbency
    • Incumbents have advantages, use them
      • Congressional resources are used to advertise accomplishments, keep their names before the public.
      • Pork Barrel Projects – the provision of federal dollars to one’s constituency in the form of contracts, facilities and subsidies.
      • Constituent Service – responding to their constituents’ individual needs.
  • 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.  
  • 56. 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).
  • 57. Congressional Leadership
    • House and Senate are organized along party lines.
      • House Leadership
      • Senate Leadership
      • Committee Chairs
  • 58. Congressional Leadership
    • House and Senate are organized along party lines.
      • House Leadership
      • Senate Leadership
      • Committee Chairs
  • 59. House Leadership
  • 60. Speaker of the House
    • Right to speak first on legislation during House debate.
    • Power to recognize members (i.e., give permission to speak from the floor).
    • Speaker chooses chairperson and majority-party members of the Rules Committee (controls scheduling of bills for debate).
  • 61. Speaker of the House
    • Right to speak first on legislation during House debate.
    • Power to recognize members (i.e., give permission to speak from the floor).
    • Speaker chooses chairperson and majority-party members of the Rules Committee (controls scheduling of bills for debate).
  • 62. Speaker of the House
    • Right to speak first on legislation during House debate.
    • Power to recognize members (i.e., give permission to speak from the floor).
    • Speaker chooses chairperson and majority-party members of the Rules Committee (controls scheduling of bills for debate).
  • 63. Speaker of the House
    • Assigns bills to committees, places time limits on reporting of bills out of committees.
    • Assigns members to conference committees.
  • 64. Speaker of the House
    • Assigns bills to committees, places time limits on reporting of bills out of committees.
    • Assigns members to conference committees.
  • 65. Majority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the majority party.
    • Responsible for day-to-day operations, e.g.:
      • Scheduling legislation
      • Coordinating committee activity
      • Putting together coalitions needed to pass legislation
      • Negotiating with outside institutions.
  • 66. Majority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the majority party.
    • Responsible for day-to-day operations, e.g.:
      • Scheduling legislation
      • Coordinating committee activity
      • Putting together coalitions needed to pass legislation
      • Negotiating with outside institutions.
  • 67. Majority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the majority party.
    • Responsible for day-to-day operations, e.g.:
      • Scheduling legislation
      • Coordinating committee activity
      • Putting together coalitions needed to pass legislation
      • Negotiating with outside institutions.
  • 68. Majority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the majority party.
    • Responsible for day-to-day operations, e.g.:
      • Scheduling legislation
      • Coordinating committee activity
      • Putting together coalitions needed to pass legislation
      • Negotiating with outside institutions.
  • 69. Majority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the majority party.
    • Responsible for day-to-day operations, e.g.:
      • Scheduling legislation
      • Coordinating committee activity
      • Putting together coalitions needed to pass legislation
      • Negotiating with outside institutions.
  • 70. Majority Leader
    • Plays significant role within the party by working to prevent minor spats, internal quarrels from developing into destructive feuds.
  • 71. Minority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the minority party, performs similar role as Majority Leader.
    • Heads the party’s caucus and policy committee.
    • Acts as party’s voice in the chamber.
    • Plays a leading role in developing the party’s policy positions.
  • 72. Minority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the minority party, performs similar role as Majority Leader.
    • Heads the party’s caucus and policy committee.
    • Acts as party’s voice in the chamber.
    • Plays a leading role in developing the party’s policy positions.
  • 73. Minority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the minority party, performs similar role as Majority Leader.
    • Heads the party’s caucus and policy committee.
    • Acts as party’s voice in the chamber.
    • Plays a leading role in developing the party’s policy positions.
  • 74. Minority Leader
    • Elected by full membership of the minority party, performs similar role as Majority Leader.
    • Heads the party’s caucus and policy committee.
    • Acts as party’s voice in the chamber.
    • Plays a leading role in developing the party’s policy positions.
  • 75. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • Solicit votes from party members, inform them when critical votes are scheduled.
    • Whips also perform various other functions that link the parties’ rank and file to their leaders:
      • Explain positions
      • Outline Strategies
      • Count Votes
  • 76. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • Solicit votes from party members, inform them when critical votes are scheduled.
    • Whips also perform various other functions that link the parties’ rank and file to their leaders:
      • Explain positions
      • Outline Strategies
      • Count Votes
  • 77. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • Solicit votes from party members, inform them when critical votes are scheduled.
    • Whips also perform various other functions that link the parties’ rank and file to their leaders:
      • Explain positions
      • Outline Strategies
      • Count Votes
  • 78. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • Solicit votes from party members, inform them when critical votes are scheduled.
    • Whips also perform various other functions that link the parties’ rank and file to their leaders:
      • Explain positions
      • Outline Strategies
      • Count Votes
  • 79. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • Solicit votes from party members, inform them when critical votes are scheduled.
    • Whips also perform various other functions that link the parties’ rank and file to their leaders:
      • Explain positions
      • Outline Strategies
      • Count Votes
  • 80. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • “ Third Base Coach”
    • Desirable position for people wanting to rise to the position of party leader
  • 81. Whips (Majority & Minority)
    • “ Third Base Coach”
    • Desirable position for people wanting to rise to the position of party leader
  • 82. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 83. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 84. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 85. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 86. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 87. Senate Leadership
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
      • Formulates majority party’s policy agenda
      • Encourages party members to support this agenda.
      • Chairs the party’s policy committee and acts as the party’s voice in the Senate.
      • Generates “unanimous consent agreements”.
  • 88. Senate Leadership
    • Majority Whip
      • Sees to it that members know when important votes are scheduled.
      • Makes sure that their party’s strongest advocates on a legislative measure are present for debate when the issue comes to the floor.
    • Minority Leader and Whip
      • Fill essentially the same role as their counterparts in the House.
  • 89. Senate Leadership
    • Majority Whip
      • Sees to it that members know when important votes are scheduled.
      • Makes sure that their party’s strongest advocates on a legislative measure are present for debate when the issue comes to the floor.
    • Minority Leader and Whip
      • Fill essentially the same role as their counterparts in the House.
  • 90. Senate Leadership
    • Majority Whip
      • Sees to it that members know when important votes are scheduled.
      • Makes sure that their party’s strongest advocates on a legislative measure are present for debate when the issue comes to the floor.
    • Minority Leader and Whip
      • Fill essentially the same role as their counterparts in the House.
  • 91. Committee Chairs
  • 92. What do committee chairs do?
    • schedules committee meetings
    • determines the order in which committee bills are considered
    • presides over committee discussions
    • directs the committee’s majority staff
    • may choose to lead the debate when a committee bill reaches the floor of the chamber for a vote by the full membership.
  • 93. What do committee chairs do?
    • schedules committee meetings
    • determines the order in which committee bills are considered
    • presides over committee discussions
    • directs the committee’s majority staff
    • may choose to lead the debate when a committee bill reaches the floor of the chamber for a vote by the full membership.
  • 94. What do committee chairs do?
    • schedules committee meetings
    • determines the order in which committee bills are considered
    • presides over committee discussions
    • directs the committee’s majority staff
    • may choose to lead the debate when a committee bill reaches the floor of the chamber for a vote by the full membership.
  • 95. What do committee chairs do?
    • schedules committee meetings
    • determines the order in which committee bills are considered
    • presides over committee discussions
    • directs the committee’s majority staff
    • may choose to lead the debate when a committee bill reaches the floor of the chamber for a vote by the full membership.
  • 96. What do committee chairs do?
    • schedules committee meetings
    • determines the order in which committee bills are considered
    • presides over committee discussions
    • directs the committee’s majority staff
    • may choose to lead the debate when a committee bill reaches the floor of the chamber for a vote by the full membership.
  • 97. Committee Chairs
    • Seniority
    • Advantages of the seniority system:
      • Reduces the number of power struggles that would result from open competition for the chair position after each election.
      • Provides experienced and knowledgeable committee leadership.
      • Serves as a reward to members for long years of service on the same committee.
    • Seniority system has been weakened in recent years
  • 98. Committee Chairs
    • Seniority
    • Advantages of the seniority system:
      • Reduces the number of power struggles that would result from open competition for the chair position after each election.
      • Provides experienced and knowledgeable committee leadership.
      • Serves as a reward to members for long years of service on the same committee.
    • Seniority system has been weakened in recent years
  • 99. Committee Chairs
    • Seniority
    • Advantages of the seniority system:
      • Reduces the number of power struggles that would result from open competition for the chair position after each election.
      • Provides experienced and knowledgeable committee leadership.
      • Serves as a reward to members for long years of service on the same committee.
    • Seniority system has been weakened in recent years
  • 100. Committee Chairs
    • Seniority
    • Advantages of the seniority system:
      • Reduces the number of power struggles that would result from open competition for the chair position after each election.
      • Provides experienced and knowledgeable committee leadership.
      • Serves as a reward to members for long years of service on the same committee.
    • Seniority system has been weakened in recent years
  • 101. Committee Chairs
    • Seniority
    • Advantages of the seniority system:
      • Reduces the number of power struggles that would result from open competition for the chair position after each election.
      • Provides experienced and knowledgeable committee leadership.
      • Serves as a reward to members for long years of service on the same committee.
    • Seniority system has been weakened in recent years
  • 102. The Committee System
    • Purposes of Committees
      • Serve as screening devices
      • Permit specialization
      • Allow committee members to generate benefits for their home districts or states.
  • 103. The Committee System
    • Purposes of Committees
      • Serve as screening devices
      • Permit specialization
      • Allow committee members to generate benefits for their home districts or states.
  • 104. The Committee System
    • Purposes of Committees
      • Serve as screening devices
      • Permit specialization
      • Allow committee members to generate benefits for their home districts or states.
  • 105. The Committee System
    • Standing Committees – permanent committees with a responsibility for a particular area of public policy (subject-matter jurisdiction).
      • Currently 19 in House, 16 in Senate
      • House committees have about 35-40 members each. Senate has about half this many.
      • Each standing committee has its own staff.
  • 106. The Committee System
    • Standing Committees – permanent committees with a responsibility for a particular area of public policy (subject-matter jurisdiction).
      • Currently 19 in House, 16 in Senate
      • House committees have about 35-40 members each. Senate has about half this many.
      • Each standing committee has its own staff.
  • 107. The Committee System
    • Standing Committees – permanent committees with a responsibility for a particular area of public policy (subject-matter jurisdiction).
      • Currently 19 in House, 16 in Senate
      • House committees have about 35-40 members each. Senate has about half this many.
      • Each standing committee has its own staff.
  • 108. The Committee System
    • Standing Committees – permanent committees with a responsibility for a particular area of public policy (subject-matter jurisdiction).
      • Currently 19 in House, 16 in Senate
      • House committees have about 35-40 members each. Senate has about half this many.
      • Each standing committee has its own staff.
  • 109. How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • Types of Legislation
    • Introducing a Bill
    • Committee Action
    • Floor Action
    • Conference Committee
    • Presidential Action
  • 110. 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.
  • 111. 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.
  • 112. 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.
  • 113. 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.
  • 114. 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.
  • 115. 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.
  • 116. 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.
  • 117. 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.
  • 118. 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.
  • 119. 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.
  • 120. 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.
  • 121. 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.
  • 122. 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.
  • 123. 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.
  • 124. 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.
  • 125. 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.
  • 126. 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.
  • 127. 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.
  • 128. 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.
  • 129. 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.
  • 130. Committee Action
    • SO, bills can be brought to floor despite committee rejection, but this is EXTREMELY rare.
  • 131. 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
  • 132. 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
  • 133. 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
  • 134. 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 .
  • 135. 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 .
  • 136. 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 .
  • 137. 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.
  • 138. 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.
  • 139. 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.
  • 140. 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.
  • 141. 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)
  • 142. 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)
  • 143. 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)
  • 144. 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)
  • 145. 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)
  • 146. 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.
  • 147. 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.
  • 148. 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.
  • 149. 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.
  • 150. 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.
  • 151. 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.
  • 152. 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.
  • 153. 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.
  • 154. 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.
  • 155. Presidential Action
    • For a bill to pass it must receive the support of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the House or Senate members voting on it.
    • If this standard is met on a bill in the same form in both houses, it goes on to the President for his consideration.
  • 156. Presidential Action
    • For a bill to pass it must receive the support of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the House or Senate members voting on it.
    • If this standard is met on a bill in the same form in both houses, it goes on to the President for his consideration.
  • 157. Presidential Action
    • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take:
      • Sign the bill and it becomes law.
      • Veto the bill and return it to Congress.
      • Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days.
      • Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  • 158. Presidential Action
    • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take:
      • Sign the bill and it becomes law.
      • Veto the bill and return it to Congress.
      • Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days.
      • Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  • 159. Presidential Action
    • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take:
      • Sign the bill and it becomes law.
      • Veto the bill and return it to Congress.
      • Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days.
      • Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  • 160. Presidential Action
    • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take:
      • Sign the bill and it becomes law.
      • Veto the bill and return it to Congress.
      • Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days.
      • Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  • 161. Presidential Action
    • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take:
      • Sign the bill and it becomes law.
      • Veto the bill and return it to Congress.
      • Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days.
      • Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  • 162. Signing Statements
  • 163. Conclusion
    • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made.
    • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee).
    • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  • 164. Conclusion
    • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made.
    • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee).
    • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  • 165. Conclusion
    • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made.
    • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee).
    • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  • 166. Conclusion
    • There are an amazing number of points in the obstacle course at which a bill can be shot down. How on earth does anything get done?
    • But somehow, it does. Remember, the Founders designed the process so that it WOULD be difficult to get things done.
  • 167. Conclusion
    • There are an amazing number of points in the obstacle course at which a bill can be shot down. How on earth does anything get done?
    • But somehow, it does. Remember, the Founders designed the process so that it WOULD be difficult to get things done.