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Chapt 4
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Chapt 4






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    Chapt 4 Chapt 4 Presentation Transcript

    • Congress
      Altruistic policy-makers
      Single minded seekers of re-election
    • Congress this week
      The structure of Congress
      Incumbency and elections
      Congress and representation
      In depth look at decision-making in Congress
    • Congress
      Founders believed that the bulk of power exercised by the national government should be in the hands of the legislature.
      The Basics
      Article I of the Constitution deals with the powers, structure and operation of the Congress.
      Bicameralism: At founding it balances the interests and numerical majority of common citizens (House) with the interests of the less numerous elites (Senate).
    • Great Compromise
      Balance between small and large states
      Compromise on degree of popular influence.
      Senate switches from appointment by state legislatures to popular election with the 17th Amendment (1913).
    • Difference between House and Senate
      House of Representatives
      435 Seats
      2 year terms
      Must be 25 years old
      Popularly elected
      100 Seats
      6 year terms
      Must be 30 years old
      Popularly elected (17th Amendment, 1913)
    • The institutional functions of Congress and
      Members’ individual goals are connected.
      Functions of Congress
      Goals of Members
      Public Policy
      Political Influence
    • Fig. 5.1
    • Representation Styles
      Members of Congress balance two styles based on the knowledge of their constituents, their own personal feelings, and public attention to an issue.
      Delegates closely follow and act on the preferences of their constituents.
      Trustees act based on their own judgments when they disagree with their constituents.
      Politicos are sensitive to the issue at hand when deciding whether to follow the preferences of constituents or to act based on their own judgments.
    • Representation
      Descriptive Representation
      A congress that looks like us, matches our characteristics
      Why would descriptive representation matter?
      Substantive Representation
      A congress that promotes policies that represents our interests
      What is the appropriate standard for representation?
    • There are important differences between the House and the Senate in how they make legislation.
      The House
      435 Members representing narrow constituencies
      More organized and with centralized authority
      Greater degree of policy specialization
      Generally quicker to act
      The Senate
      100 Senators representing broader, statewide constituencies
      Less organized and more individualistic
      Senators tend to be “generalists”
      More deliberative
    • Because it is larger and represents more specialized, narrow constituency, the House has naturally a greater collective action problem than the Senate.
      Still, to cope with this size difference the House has stronger rules and stronger parties and committees that facilitate legislative work.
    • Rep. Mike McIntyre
    • Rep. Larry Kissell
    • Tracking midterm elections
    • Gerrymandering
      a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage.
    • Gerrymandering
      a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage.
      The Drama part I
      The Drama part II
      Oral Arguments
      Court’s Decision
    • Political Implications
      Packing and Cracking
    • Incumbency advantages
      Advertising– creating a brand name
      Creating name recognition
      Credit claiming– taking personal responsibility for positive a government output
      Legislative record
      Pork Barrel
      Seniority/ committee work
      Position taking– demonstrating agreement with the district
      Roll call votes
      Public statements
    • Incumbent Advantages
      Ties to elites, fundraising
      Allow for retrospective voting
    • Political Implications
    • Fig. 5.2
    • Agenda-Settingor how Congress decides what to decide on
      Committees in Congress
    • Committees
      Screen out the thousands of bills that are introduced into Congress. This is the real work of Congress.
      Manage work load and allow for substantive debate
      Expertise development
      Balanced committees allow for good and substantive representation
      Importance of chair and ranking member
      Geographic representation
    • Free-riders, Congress, and Committees
      Getting on the “right” committee
      Committee control of legislation
      Jurisdiction over legislation
    • Two Ways of Understanding Congressional Voting
      Individual level analysis of decision-making
      Why a single legislator votes the way she does
      Aggregate level analysis of decision-making
      How institutions arrive at the decisions they do
      For today- how to explain when Congress is gridlocked and when it isn’t
    • Individual Decision Rules
      Congress members as “single-minded seekers of re-election.”
      Who matters in an election (and thus in voting on a bill)?
      Attentive publics
      Inattentive publics
      Latent publics
      The truly inattentive
    • Organized Groups and Attentive Publics 
      salient group cost/benefits + traceable to legislator’s action + non-salient general cost/benefit
      Potential Preferences Latent Publics 
      Group costs COULD be salient + possibility of traceability (if Congress gets it wrong)