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Congress  Chapter 11

Congress Chapter 11






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    Congress  Chapter 11 Congress Chapter 11 Presentation Transcript

    • Congress – Chapter 11 AP U.S. Government & Politics Mr. S. Kolesar, 3/2008
    • The Ultimate Power Broker?
      • “ First Branch” of American gov’t
      • Power of the purse
      • Can pass a law over exec. veto
      • Can expand or contract the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
    • Congress v. Parliament
      • Candidates elected through primaries, little party influence
      • Less powerful – people select the executive
      • Free to express views and vote as they wish
      • Principal daily work = representation & action (mostly in committees)
      • Membership & loyalty through national party organizations
      • Majority party controls gov’t, i.e. – selects prime minister etc…
      • All party members vote together – won’t get re-nominated if you don’t
      • Principal daily work = debate
    • Congress v. Parliament
      • Independent
      • Decent salary, up to 22 staffers, “franking privilege”, large office budgets
      • More concerned with own constituencies and careers
      • Decentralized institution
      • Lack of independence
      • Poorly paid, tiny staff, tiny budgets
      • More concerned with party activities
      • Centralized institution
    • The Evolution of Congress
      • Founders created a bicameral (two-house) legislature
      • Balance between large & small states
      • HOR elected directly by the people
      • Senate chosen by the state legislatures
      • Adjusted by Constitutional Amendment
      • Senators were elected by state legislatures.
      • In 1913, the 17 th Amendment led to the direct election of Senators (1913)
      • Increased voters’ power and reduced corruption in Senate
      17th AMENDMENT
    • Evolution of Congress
      • Periods of strong central leadership
      • Current trend towards decentralizing decision-making and enhancing the power of the individual member
      • Ex. HOR all-powerful speaker or ?
      • HOR size creates issues in balancing power
    • Evolution of Congress
      • The Senate size avoids some of the HOR issues
      • Easier to balance interests
      • Fixed size per state, not effected by the census
      • Filibuster – prolonged speech, or series of speeches designed to delay action is a part of the history of unlimited debate in the Senate
    • House History: Six Phases
      • The Powerful House - 1st 3 administrations
      • The Divided House – 1830’s through Reconstruction, divisive issue of slavery produced no true majorities or leadership in the House
      • The Speaker Rules - 1880’s to 1910
      • The House Revolts – 1910-1960’s, the speaker loses power to committees
      • The Members Rule – 1960’s to 1990’s, committee chairs lost power (not on seniority), individuals gained positions and power
      • The Leadership Returns – 1990’s to ? – Increased power back to the speaker, reduction in # of committees
    • differences Major Differences Between the House and Senate
      • Larger body 435 members
      • Based on Population
      • Shorter term = 2 years
      • Smaller constituencies
        • elected from districts
      • Younger membership
      • Less prestige
      • Lower visibility in news media
      • Congressmen or Representatives
      • At least 1 rep. per state
      • Elected by popular vote
      • Called the “lower house”
      • $174,000— 27 th Amendment
      • Smaller body 100 members
      • Equal Representation
      • Longer term 6 years - continuous body
      • Larger constituencies -elected from entire state
      • Older membership
      • More prestige
      • Higher visibility in news
      • Called Senators
      • 2 Senators per state
      • Chosen by state congresses until 17 th Amendment ---popular vote
      • Called the “upper house”
      • $174,000--- 27 th Amendment
      House of Representatives Senate
      • Powers only given to the House of Representatives.
      • Bring charges of impeachment.
      • Elects President if there is no majority in the Electoral College.
      • Elects its own officers.
      • Judges the qualifications and disciplines its membership.
      • Expel or censure members of the House.
      • The Constitution directs Congress to
      • Apportion or distribute the seats among the states in the HOR based on their POPULATIONS .
      • Every state is required to have one representative in the HOR.
      • Congress has changed the number of seats in the HOR as the nation has grown.
      • 65 Seats in 1789 to 1793
      • Increased to 106 from 1794 to 1800
      • 142 seats from 1801 to 1810
      • 186 seats from 1811 to 1820
      • By 1912, 435 seats
      • Article 1 of the Constitution directs Congress to
      • Reapportion or redistribute the seats in the HOR after each decennial census ….
      • Reapportionment Act of 1929
      • Permanent size of the House is 435 members
      • Census Bureau conducts a decennial census and reapportions the seats each state should have.
      • Submitted to the President , sends it to Congress
      • Both Houses have 60 days to approve it…..
      • If neither rejects the plan, it becomes effective.
    • CO 9 (8+ 1) MT 3 GA 15 (13+2)
      • Total Representatives = 535
        • Senate = 2 per state = 100
        • House of Representatives = 435
      • Parenthesis show + or – changes
      NV 5 (4+ 1) CA 55 (53+ 2) TX 34 (32+ 2) OK 7 (8-1) AZ 10 (8+2) WI 10 (11-1) WI FL FL 27 (25+2) MS MS 6 (7-1) NY 31 (33-2) NY PA IL 21 (22-1) CT 7(8-1) MI 17 (18-1) MI IN 11 (12-1) OH 20 (21-1) NC 15(14+1)
    • Who is in Congress?
      • Typical member = middle-aged, white male protestant lawyer
      • See chart on page 289
      • Trend = growth towards diversity (women, Hispanics, African-Americans), more in the HOR than the Senate, but still underrepresented as %’s of total population.
    • Who is in Congress?
      • Incumbency
      • Professional politicians
      • No term limits – 1995 HOR approved constitutional amendment – died in the Senate
      • Approximate 90% rate of incumbent re-election rate
    • Who is in Congress?
      • Marginal districts – winner gets less than 55% of the vote
      • Safe Districts – winner gets more than 55% of the vote
      • HOR trend = more towards safe districts
      • Why? Familiar name, party, franking, re-districting
    • Who is in Congress?
      • Party
      • 1933-1998 – 33 Congresses (a new Congress convenes every 2 years)
      • Democrats controlled both houses in 25, and at least 1 house in 28
    • Who is in Congress?
      • Why? Redistricting by Democratically controlled state leg., incumbency privileges, better, more-experienced candidates
      • 1990’s changes
      • Why? Mess in D.C., scandals, corruption, anti-professional politician attitude, redistricting, etc…
    • Do Members Represent Their Voters? (& the three theories)
      • Representational View – members want to get reelected and vote to please constituents. Big on hot issues, (civil rights, social welfare, gun control, abortion). Constituents often split on key issues.
      • Organizational View – Not essential to please constituents, as most do not know how their rep has voted, but important to please fellow members of Congress. Typically party-line voting, or through info from committees, etc…
      • Attitudinal View – So many conflicting views that they cancel each other out. Reps then vote on the basis of their own beliefs. Liberal v. Conservative, Democrats are more ideologically divided.
    • The Organization of Congress The Senate
      • Senate
      • Majority party chooses the president pro tempore (requirement by Constitution for a presiding officer in absence of the V.P.)
      President Pro Tempore Robert C. Byrd Democrat, West Virginia
    • The Organization of Congress The Senate
      • Majority Leader
        • Schedule business
        • Right to be recognized 1 st in any floor debate
        • Serve additional needs of senators
      • Minority leader
        • Serve the needs of the party
        • Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
      • Whip
        • Party leader who makes certain that party members are present & vote the way of the party
        • Richard Durbin (Illinois)
        • http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/senators/a_three_sections_with_teasers/leadership.htm
      Majority Leader Harry Reid Democrat, Nevada
    • The Organization of Congress The Senate
      • Policy committees – chosen by both parties help schedule Senate biz
      • Dems – Steering Comm.
      • Repubs. – Committee on Committees
      • Both assign senators to standing committees
      • Huge for BOTH individual senators & their constituents
    • The Organization of Congress The Senate
      • Party control helps determine what issues get to the floor for a vote
      • Party leadership also helps set the ideological and regional balance of the committee members
    • The Organization of Congress The House
      • Party structure similar to that of the Senate
      • Leadership is more powerful due to rules due to size (435)
        • Debate restricted
        • Strict scheduling of business
      • Speaker elected by majority party
      • Current – Dem. Nancy Pelosi
    • The Organization of Congress The House
      • Duties of the speaker
        • Presides over all house meetings
        • Decides who is recognized to speak on the floor
        • Rules on relevance
        • Decides (generally) the committees to which new bills shall be assigned
        • Influences what bills will be voted on
        • Appoints members of special/select committees
        • Nominate the majority-party members of the rules Committee
        • Informal – patronage jobs, office space, etc…
    • The Organization of Congress The House
      • Majority Leader
        • The Majority Leader is the second-ranking official in the United States House of Representatives.  Congre-ssman Steny Hoyer, who represents Maryland's Fifth Congressional District, was elected House Majority Leader by the Democratic Caucus on November 16, 2006.
      • Minority Leader
      • Whips
      • See chart on page 300 (Wilson) for Party Leadership Structure of Congress
      • See diagram on page 301 for the layout of the U.S. Congress
    • Party Unity
      • Party polarization – a vote in which a majority of voting Democrats oppose a majority of voting Republicans
      • Seemingly the norm in the House & Senate
      • Ex Clinton’s impeachment
      • Partisanship
    • Caucuses
      • Caucus – an association of members of Congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional or economic interest.
      • Members benefits:
        • Gaining information
        • I.D. as a “leader”
        • Showing concern over the issues
    • Caucuses
      • 6 Types of caucuses
      • Intraparty – members share a similar ideology
        • Ex. Dem Study Group
      • Personal Interest – form around a common interest on an issue
        • Ex. Human Rights
      • Constituency Concerns, National – established to represent certain groups
          • Vietnam Veterans
    • Caucuses
      • 6 Types of caucuses
      • Constituency Concerns, Regional – to represent regional concerns
        • Ex. Sunbelt Council
      • Constituency Concerns, state/district – to represent states/districts
        • Ex. Suburban
      • Constituency Concerns, industry – to represent certain segments of biz
        • Ex. Steel
    • The Committee System
      • “ Most important” organizational feature of the House and the Senate
      • Chairmanship, power, number & jurisdiction are all key components of (sub)committees
      • 3 Types of committees
        • 1. Standing – permanent bodies with specific legislative responsibilities
        • 2. Select – groups appointed for a limited purpose, usually lasting a few Congresses.
        • 3. Joint – both representatives & senators serve
        • Ex. Conference comm. – to resolve differences in the Senate & House versions of the same piece of legislation before passage.
    • The Committee System
      • Majority party typically takes the majority of committee seats, & name the chairman.
      • Ratios of members are (usually) similar to that in Congress
    • The Committee System
      • Standing committees are the most important – only ones that can (typically) propose legislation by reporting a bill to the floor.
      • House members usually serve on 2 standing committees & 4 subcommittees
      • Limited to one if you serve on an “exclusive” committee (Appropriations, Rules, Ways & Means)
      • Senators usually serve on two major and 1 minor committee & 7 subcommittees
    • The Committee System
      • Chairs are typically picked by seniority
      • Committee rules for the House & Senate are on pages 306 & 307 (Wilson)
      • Goals were to increase power of individual members at the expense of party leaders
      • Pros v. Cons ?????
    • The Organization of Congress Staffs an Specialized Offices
      • 1998 – Average Rep.
        • 17 assistants
      • Average Senator
        • 40+ assistants
      • Huge personal staffs + committee & research staffs = huge bureaucracy
    • The Organization of Congress Staffs an Specialized Offices
      • Tasks
      • Constituent Requests
        • Answering mail
        • Sending out newsletters
        • Meeting w/ voters
        • Devising proposals
        • Negotiating agreements
        • Organizing hearings
        • Drafting reports
        • Meeting with lobbyists
    • The Organization of Congress Staffs an Specialized Offices
      • In district or D.C.?
      • Legislators have offices in BOTH
      • Loyal to their “boss”
      • Increasing relied upon by their “bosses”
      • Results in staff to staff relations
      • Results in depersonalization of Congress
    • The Organization of Congress Staffs an Specialized Offices
      • Staff Agencies
      • Work for Congress as a whole
      • Examples –
        • General accounting Office (GAO) – 5,000 employees, head appointed by President
        • Congressional Research Service (CRS) – 900 employees, politically neutral
    • How a Bill Becomes a Law
      • USG_How_A_Bill_Becomes_A_Law.ppt
      • Or See pages 312-313 (Wilson)
    • Miscellaneous Facts About – How a bill Becomes a Law
      • “ All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House”
      • Most bills die in committee
      • A bill may be examined by several committees at one time – multiple-referral
      • Speaker of the House may send the bill to a 2 nd committee, or parts to separate committees – sequential referral
      • House uses several calendars for consideration of bills while the Senate uses only one.
    • Misc.Facts About – How a Bill Becomes a Law
      • A bill on a calendar does not assure action
      • House – (Powerful) Rules Committee governs this process
        • Closed rule – sets time limits on debate & forbids amendment except by sponsoring committee
        • Open rule – permits amendments from the floor
        • Restrictive rule – permits some amendments but not others
      • Bypassing the Rules committee
        • A member moves that rules be suspended 2/3 vote to approve
        • Discharge petition is filed
        • “ Calendar Wednesday” procedure
      • Bills stalled in committee can be “discharged” to the full floor
        • House – discharge petition – 218 members sign to get the bill out of committee then the house vote on that petition
        • Senate – a member can move for discharge, and the Senate votes on the motion
    • Misc.Facts About – How a Bill Becomes a Law
      • Senate
      • Bills may be considered at any time in any order by Senate majority
      • Majority leader sets the calendar with consultation from the minority leader.
      • Senate floor Debate
      • No limits on debate
      • Amendments can be offered at any time
      • Amendments do not have to be relevant to the bill
      • Cloture rule – to end or limit debate (to end a filibuster) – 16 senators petition 3/5 th ’s of Senators must vote for it.
      • Limits debate to 1 hour per senator
      • Double tracking allows the senate to set aside the filibustered bill and work on other issues “to keep the process going”
    • Misc.Facts About – How a Bill Becomes a Law
      • House
      • Quorum – minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business = 100 members
      • Committee of the Whole – whoever happens to be on the floor.
        • Can not pass a bill, but recommends it in its final form to the House for action .
        • Amendments are allowed, but must be germane to the purpose of the bill – no riders allowed
        • Bills usually passed in this form though
    • Methods of Voting
      • House
      • Voice vote – shout yea or nay
      • Division vote – members stand and are counted
      • Teller vote – pass between two tellers, one yea, one nay, and names may be recorded
      • Roll-call vote – answer yea or nay to your name. Electronically recorded.
    • Conference Committees
      • To reconcile a bill passed in the House & Senate in different forms
      • 3-15 members from each house, picked by chairman of standing committees
      • Legislation is often substantially rewritten
    • Conference Committees
      • Report from the committee is sent back to both houses for immediate review
      • It can be accepted or rejected, but not amended
      • Majority – accepted
      • Alternative – no bill at all for that session of congress
    • Reducing Power & Perks
      • Pork-barrel legislation
        • Bills that give tangible benefits to constituents in hopes of winning their votes
      • Franking privilege
      • Earmarks
      • See chart on page 322 (Wilson) for rules on congressional ethics
      • Senators and representatives are paid a salary of $174,000 a year.
      • Certain members, Speaker of the House and the Senate’s president pro tem , are paid more.
      • Constitution says that Congress fixes its own “ compensation .”
      • Check and balance: President’s veto and fear of voter backlash against a pay increase.
      • 27th Amendment: Congress can give itself a pay raise but takes affect after the next congressional elections.
      • Fringe Benefits “Perks” a benefit awarded to Congressmen because of their public service.
      • suite of offices
      • expense accounts
      • money to set up office in home district
      • phone & computer & broadcast services
    • BENEFITS Fringe benefits -- money for travel for members of Congress and their staff to home state or district Franking privilege -- free postal service on mail to constituents
      • Fringe Benefits
      • Low-cost health care
      • Low-cost life insurance
      • Generous pension plan
      • Free research service at Library of Congress
      • Low-cost meals at special dining rooms
      • Members of Congress are immune (protected) from arrest for noncriminal offenses while engaged in congressional business.
      • More importantly, the Speech and Debate Clause (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1) protects representatives and senators from suits arising from their official conduct.
      • Freedom From Arrest
      • Constitution grants
      • Freedom from arrest while traveling to and from legislative sessions.
      • This includes minor traffic violations , jury duty , and civil suits (not serious crimes).
      • Freedom of expression
      • “ protected speech”
      • Congressmen cannot be prosecuted or sued for libel or slander for speeches made in committees or on the floor of Congress
      • Or for what is printed in the Congressional Record .
      • Penalties for Misconduct
      • Censure : officially declaring disapproval of a member
      • Expulsion : removing a member from Senate and HOR.
      Privileges and Penalties