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Chapt 4
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Chapt 4 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Congress
    Altruistic policy-makers
    or
    Single minded seekers of re-election
  • 2. Congress this week
    The structure of Congress
    Incumbency and elections
    Congress and representation
    In depth look at decision-making in Congress
  • 3. 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).
  • 4. 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).
  • 5. Difference between House and Senate
    House of Representatives
    435 Seats
    2 year terms
    Must be 25 years old
    Popularly elected
    Senate
    100 Seats
    6 year terms
    Must be 30 years old
    Popularly elected (17th Amendment, 1913)
  • 6.
  • 7. The institutional functions of Congress and
    Members’ individual goals are connected.
    Functions of Congress
    Representation
    Legislation
    Oversight
    Goals of Members
    Re-election
    Public Policy
    Political Influence
  • 8. Fig. 5.1
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. 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?
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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.
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17. Rep. Mike McIntyre
  • 18. Rep. Larry Kissell
  • 19. Tracking midterm elections
    http://www.politico.com/2010/maps/
  • 20. Gerrymandering
    a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage.
    Incumbency
    Race
  • 21. Gerrymandering
    a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for an electoral advantage.
    Incumbency
    Race
    Partisanship
    The Drama part I
    The Drama part II
    Oral Arguments
    Court’s Decision
  • 22. Political Implications
    Packing and Cracking
  • 23. Incumbency advantages
    Advertising– creating a brand name
    Creating name recognition
    Credit claiming– taking personal responsibility for positive a government output
    Casework
    Legislative record
    Pork Barrel
    Seniority/ committee work
    Position taking– demonstrating agreement with the district
    Roll call votes
    Speeches
    Public statements
  • 24. Incumbent Advantages
    Ties to elites, fundraising
    Allow for retrospective voting
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28. Political Implications
  • 29. Fig. 5.2
  • 30. Agenda-Settingor how Congress decides what to decide on
    Committees in Congress
  • 31. 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
  • 32. Free-riders, Congress, and Committees
    Getting on the “right” committee
    Committee control of legislation
    Jurisdiction over legislation
  • 33. 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
  • 34. 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
  • 35. 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)