Diversity is growing: 77 women, 39 African-Americans, 23 Latinos, 5 Asian Americans, 3 Native Americans
Duties of Congress: Pass Laws Represent what they think is best for their constituents Oversee the workings of the federal government Help their constituents solve problems with the federal government VOCAB CHECK: What is a constituent?
The House of Representatives Democrats (Majority Party) Speaker: Nancy Pelosi Leader: Steny Hoyer Whip: James Clyburn Republicans (Minority Party) Leader: John Boehner Whip: Eric Cantor next in line to president after VP; appoints committees; presiding officer Criticizes majority party programs; helps speaker; schedules bills; guides party; helps speaker; schedules bills; guides party; assistant to leader; talks to reps. before a vote an tries to convince them how to vote assistant to leader; talks to reps. before a vote an tries to convince them how to vote What is a caucus?
House Committees Committee: small group of representatives who work on the details of a bill Only 10-20% of bills are “reported out of committee” House Rules Committee: “traffic cop” Decides how fast a bill will be voted on Can keep bills from being voted on Can limit how long a bill is debated on
The Senate President of the Senate: Joseph Biden President Pro Tempore: Robert Byrd Majority Leader: Harry Reid Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell
Filibuster Filibuster: talk until a bill is withdrawn (minority power) Cloture: limit the time length of filibuster (3/5ths majority)
Get Your Congress On! C-SPAN: Cable Television airs non-stop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming.