6 Congress


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6 Congress

  1. 1. Congress: The Lawmaking Branch Objective: What: Understand how members are elected to the Congress and how they perform their jobs
  2. 2. Congress <ul><li>Every odd numbered year Congress starts a new session </li></ul><ul><li>They start the session by taking an oath </li></ul><ul><li>Promising to obey the Constitution </li></ul>
  3. 3. Powers of Congress <ul><li>Main responsibility of Congress is to make laws </li></ul><ul><li>However the Constitution outlines seven other responsibilities </li></ul>
  4. 4. The other powers <ul><li>1. Borrow money- By selling bonds or certificates </li></ul><ul><li>2. Establish courts- Establishes all federal courts below the Supreme court </li></ul><ul><li>3. Coin money- Makes laws to print money </li></ul><ul><li>4. War powers- To declare war </li></ul><ul><li>5. Commerce- Controls all business between states and other nations </li></ul><ul><li>6. Foreign relations- Approve or disapprove treaties </li></ul><ul><li>7. Other powers- Establish post offices, control immigration, etc…. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Job of Congress <ul><li>Most lawmaking work is done by groups called committee </li></ul><ul><li>Each committee deals with such problems like- trade, taxes, education, banking </li></ul><ul><li>The more powerful committees are called major committees </li></ul><ul><li>Committees study the many bills sent to them </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Job of Congress <ul><li>If the committee believes the bill is important they will sent it to the House or Senate for a vote </li></ul><ul><li>If not it will die in committee </li></ul>
  7. 7. Members of Congress <ul><li>There are 100 Senators in the Senate </li></ul><ul><li>They serve for six years </li></ul><ul><li>They must be at least 30 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>Must have been a U.S. citizen for nine years </li></ul><ul><li>There are 435 Representatives in the House of Representatives </li></ul><ul><li>They serve for two years and must be 25 years of age </li></ul>
  8. 8. Members of Congress <ul><li>They must have been a citizen for at least seven years </li></ul><ul><li>Both Senators and Representatives must live in the district they represent </li></ul><ul><li>Every member in Congress belongs to a political party </li></ul><ul><li>The two biggest are the Republicans and Democrats </li></ul>
  9. 9. Members of Congress <ul><li>Members of the House are divided into Congressional Districts in their states </li></ul><ul><li>Every 10 years a census is completed to ensure that each district has a equal number of people in it </li></ul>
  10. 10. Leadership in Congress <ul><li>The Speaker of the House is the most powerful leader in the House </li></ul><ul><li>The Speaker appoints people to work on different committees and sign bills </li></ul><ul><li>The Vice President is the leader in the Senate- but can only vote during a tie </li></ul><ul><li>The most powerful leaders in the Senate are the majority and minority leaders </li></ul>