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    Unit 4 academic Unit 4 academic Presentation Transcript

    • Unit 4 – Legislative Branch - Congress
    • 1. Congress (legislative)
            • As a whole:
              • Coin Money
              • Declare War
              • Provide for navy and army
              • Regulate commerce.
              • No ex post facto laws or Bills of attainder
            • House of Representatives
              • Money bills must be introduced here.
              • Based on population
              • CA has most
              • PA has 19
              • Each state has at least 1
              • 435 members
              • Elected every two years.
              • Districts are large = only upper class could run for office.
    • c. Senate
              • Upper house – 100 members
              • Elected by state legislatures until 17 amendment in 1913
              • Six year terms – detached from people
              • Only 1/3 of Senate up for election at a time – continuous body
              • Advice and consent to the President.
    • E. Congressional Members
        • About $160,000 a year plus pension
        • Offices capital & in district, plus personnel.
        • Travel allowances and franking privileges.
        • Often requires 10 to 14 hour days, lots of time away from the family, and lots of pressure from different people to “do the right thing.”
    • The Representatives and Senators
    • Senator Bob Casey Jr. Senator Arlen Specter Congressmen Glenn GT Thompson
    • 2. Structure
      • House of Representatives
        • 435 members
        • Speaker of House keeps order.
        • Nancy Pelosi is elected by majority.
      • Senate
        • 100 members
        • Vice President is President of Senate and casts tie breaking votes.
        • President Pro Tempore takes over occasionally – is senior member of the majority party. Senator William Byrd – 1952
    • 3. Party Organization
      • Each party elects a leader to plan what topics they will discuss.
        • Majority leader in charge of majority party
        • Minority leader in charge of minority party
      • Each party elects a whip to keep party members in line. Second in command.
      • Conference leader in charge of elections – third I n charge.
      • The party with the most people is called the majority and with the least is called the minority.
      • The majority leader decides what issues they will vote on and how to set up committees. In House, Speaker has final say.
    • 4. Business
      • Each house has a manual or rule book.
        • House rules are long and complex to size
        • Senate book is shorter and there is more individuality.
      • The parliamentarian makes sure the rules are followed.
      • Most members do not know all of the rules.
      • Bills are developed on behalf of constituents, lobbyists, party, or president.
      • Bills become laws and have to be passed by both houses.
      • Joint resolutions are shorter and become law, usually for the constitution.
      • Other resolutions do not become law – they are just declarations.
    • 5. Committees
      • Lead by a chairperson – senior member of majority party.
      • Ranking member is the minority member with most seniority.
      • All committees are structured so the majority party holds more of the seats.
      • They decide what bills to review, when to meet, and what hearings to hold.
      • Each committee focuses on a specific topic like the military or science.
      • Most bills “die” in committee.
      • Many bills are referred to subcommittee.
    • h. Policy
          • Standing committees: Permanent committee.
          • Joint committees: few exist. Made of both houses.
          • Conference committees: create identical bills.
          • Select committees: temporary and for something special.
    • i. Assignments
          • Re-election and importance of committee are key.
          • Freshmen members let party leadership know their interests.
          • Support of the party leadership is key
          • Seniority is a big factor.
          • Importance to party electorate is significant.
    • j. Structure of Committees
          • Chair is the best position.
          • Chosen by seniority system unless there is conflict with leadership.
          • Positions and committee assignments can change and are sometimes limited in term.
    • k. Caucus
        • Group of members that share something in common.
        • Place pressure on members to vote a certain way on bills that are important to them.
        • Better than lobbyists.
    • l. Employees
        • In each members’ office is a personal staff and Chief of Staff.
        • Staff of each committee track paperwork, schedule and hearings.
        • Agencies: CRS, GAO, CBO research special areas like the budget, auditing, etc.
    • 6. History of the Congress 1789-1850
      • Meets first time in NYC in 1789.
      • Waited for new members to travel.
      • Hires clerks, sets up procedure.
      • NW territory established.
      • New states admitted (Vermont first).
      • Dominated domestic policy.
      • 1802 – Judiciary Act passed that shapes other branch.
      • 1812 – Declaration of War passed against Britain when asked for by President Madison.
      • Federalists oppose it and the party dies due to “lack of patriotism.”
      • 1820 – Missouri Compromise
        • Missouri became a slave state.
        • Maine becomes a free state.
        • The 36 – 30 line divides the nation between slave and free.
        • Slaveholder John Calhoun is against the bill, Henry Clay supports it.
      • 1824 – Speaker Henry Clay helps Congress choose John Q. Adams to be president, this angers A. Jackson.
      • Jackson becomes president and fights Congress to be the strongest branch.
      • Congress attempts to override vetoes of president.
      • Whig controlled Congress leans nationalist.
      • 1834 – Jackson is censured by Congress.
      • Slavery is most divisive issue and is sectional.
      • 1836 – Gag rule is placed so no one can talk about slavery.
      • Compromise of 1850 passed.
        • Sick Henry Clay designs it, Daniel Webster speaks on his behalf.
        • California becomes free state
        • Popular sovereignty allowed in Utah and New Mexico.
        • Texas paid for lost land.
        • Slave trade abolished in DC.
        • Fugitive Slave Act forces Northerners to help capture slaves.
    • 7. Civil War and Reconstruction
      • 1856 – Kansas-Nebraska Act is presented by Sen. Stephen Douglas in hopes of winning presidency.
      • 1856 – Rep. Preston Brooks beats Sen. Charles Sumner with cane for insulting the South.
      • Both rewarded as heroes of their sections.
      • 1861 – Congressman who do not show up are kicked out.
      • Post war –
        • Congress passes the Tenure of Office Act.
        • Johnson violates when he fires the Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
        • President Johnson is impeached by House, but not removed by Senate.
      • Radical Republicans in Congress run the nation and reconstruct the South.
        • Charles Sumner of the Senate and Representative Thaddeus Stevens lead.
        • They want equality for blacks.
      • Reconstruction ends when Congressional investigation gives presidency to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. He promises to pull troops out.
    • 8. Twentieth Century Congress
      • Congress is disturbed by overreach of president from TR to Wilson.
      • Isolationist Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge leads charge against League of Nations leading up to 1920.
      • Wilson and White House are weakened.
      • New Deal Democrats take charge of Congress, support FDR from 1930-1945.
      • Congress is weakened.
      • House Un-American Activities Committee and Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations look for Communists.
      • Nixon gains fame in House, but McCarthy is eventually censured.
      • McCarthy went too far and accused the Army of being communist.
      • Pork barrel spending skyrockets, especially with transportation bill in the 1950’s after the first Interstate Highway system was developed.
      • House investigates Watergate scandal, leads to Nixon’s investigation in the 1970’s.
    • 9. Reagan Era
      • Senate investigates Iran-Contra scandal, where guns were traded for people.
      • Senate rejects Robert Bork for Supreme Court.
      • Republicans take back Congress in 1994.
      • Newt Gingrich (R) and Bob Dole (R) declare a “Contract with America.”
        • Balance the budget
        • Lower taxes
        • Have term limits
        • Equal to executive branch
      • Whitewater Investigation in House spreads to Monica Lewinsky affair.
      • Americans are upset over $10 million spent.
      • Republicans lose seats steadily for years.
    • 10. How a Bill becomes a Law
      • Congressman creates a bill.
      • Goes to subcommittee.
      • Reviewed, then killed or moved to floor.
      • Goes to committee.
      • Repeat Step C.
      • Floor Debate occurs – decided by Majority Leaders.
        • House is limited to five minute speeches.
        • Senate may speak indefinitely (filibuster of 1957 over Civil Rights lasted over 24 hours).
      • May go to conference committee so bills are identical in both houses.
      • Repeat Step F
      • President can…
        • Signs into law.
        • Veto – Dies or goes back to Step F.
        • Pocket Veto – ignore it and it becomes law.
    • Congressional Elections
      • Who Wins Elections?
        • Incumbent: Those already holding office.
      Figure 12.1
    • Congressional Elections
      • The Advantages of Incumbents
        • Advertising:
          • The goal is to be visible to your voters.
          • Frequent trips home & newsletters are used.
        • Credit Claiming:
          • Service to individuals in their district.
          • Casework: specifically helping constituents get what they think they have a right to.
          • Pork Barrel: federal projects, grants, etc. made available in a congressional district or state.
    • Congressional Elections
      • The Advantages of Incumbents
        • Position Taking:
          • Portray themselves as hard working, dedicated individuals.
          • Occasionally take a partisan stand on an issue.
        • Weak Opponents:
          • Most opponents are inexperienced in politics.
          • Most opponents are unorganized and underfunded.
        • Campaign Spending:
          • Challengers need to raise large sums to defeat an incumbent.
          • PACs give most of their money to incumbents.
          • Does PAC money “buy” votes in Congress?
    • Congressional Elections
      • The Role of Party Identification
        • Most members represent the majority party in their district.
      • Defeating Incumbents
        • Some incumbents face problems after a scandal or other complication in office.
        • They may face redistricting.
        • They may become a victim of a major political tidal wave.
    • Congressional Elections
      • Open Seats
        • Greater likelihood of competition.
      • Stability and Change
        • Incumbents provide stability in Congress.
        • Change in Congress occurs less frequently through elections.
        • Are term limits an answer?
    • Understanding Congress
      • Congress and the Scope of Government
        • The more policies Congress works on, the more ways they can serve their constituencies.
        • The more programs that get created, the bigger government gets.
        • Everybody wants government programs cut, just not their programs.
    • Questions
      • Who are bills made for and why?
        • Page 116
        • Skip to Bill Referral on page 118.
      • What ways can a bill be referred and what is the difference?
      • What can a committee do with a bill?
      • Why doesn’t a bill go straight from committee to the floor?
      • Who is involved in calling a bill to the floor?
      • What is the difference between debate in the House and Senate?
      • How do amendments impact the bill process?
      • How does a conference committee work to resolve differences and who sits on the committee?