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  • Misunderstood by most Americans, highly controversialCongressmen can’t accept “gifts,” lobbyists communicate, educate, advise, use connectionsDisagree with the health care bill- certain groups will send lobbyist. Like hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, etcTobacco companies lobby, and medical companies lobby against them. Right to petition, first amendment
  • Lobbying was a sickness in 1998, when lobbyists spent $1.44 billion dollars influencing your legislators. Ten years later, that seems quaint. Despite the fact that the number of lobbyists only increased from 10,661 to 14,838, the spending more than doubled: total lobbying spending in 2008 hit $3.3 billion. The recession hasn't slowed much. Through two quarters of 2009, lobbyists have spent $1.63 billion.the big kahuna behind it all is the health insurance industry, via trade group America's Health Insurance Plans. Pay big money to PR firms, use connections
  • But there’s a lot of confusion between these two branches and their powers. US hasn’t declared war officially since WWII- Congress has the sole power to declare war, but Article II says the pres is the CIC. After Pres. Truman bypassed Congress in Korea (1950), Presidents have paid little attention to the constitutional requirementsVietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq- a “military engagement” authorized by CongressWar Powers Act- 73-troop engagement. Congress can check the Pres- refuse to declare war. Pearl Harbor- FDR- Day of Infamy speech to Congress- I ask that Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, a state of war has existed between the US and the Japanese Empire? One check on the President is that Congress must approve a declaration of war.
  • Really gets into the tensions of power between the executive and legislative branch. Gulf of Tonkin1964- the USS Maddox engaged 3 North Vietnamese boats- sea batttle. 4 NV killed, no US casualties, but some boat damage. US said that Vietnam fired first, but now it is stated that the US fired first. There was No Vietnamese attack. Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Res, grants LJB the authority to assist any SE Asian country who is jeopardized by communism. - LBJ’s legal justification for opening warfare against N. Vietnam.
  • Vietnam background- JFK had been introducing troops, is assassinated, and Tonkin happens with LBJ. Containment idea oufot Communism, domino theory. LBJ- asks congress to authorize a military response without declaring war. It made it sound like we were on the defense, and there was no desire for war. There was a guy, Senator Morse, who tried to raise awareness for LBJ lies, but didn’t have any support. Resolution- Congress passes- excuse to escalate vietnam
  • Pres must notify Congress within 48 hours of committing troops, and they can’t remain more than 60 days, without authorization or declaration of war. This was passed by overriding a veto. Congress concerned after Korea/Vietnam- conflict without declaration- and erosion of congressional authority. Cites necessary and proper clause. All Presidents since 73 have said they think its unconstitutional.
  • TERMS: Expressed powers, tax, revenue bills, appropriation, national debt, federal budget, bankruptcy, interstate commerce, implied powers, necessary and proper clause, elastic clause
  • Each state- representatives proportionate to population of the state (even if the population wouldn’t warrant one, you get one rep!)- constitution does not set a max limit, but the number has been fixed by law to 435 (in 1911)- divided among states determined by the census evey ten years.Most highly educatedCurrent youngest Reps- Aaron Schock (R-IL)- 30 , Justin Amash (R-MI 3)- 31Youngest Senators Mike Lee, R-UT, 40. Fun fact- in australia, UK, you can be 18. canada, 19. Pierre-Luc DusseaultWhat do you think about that?
  • President- Native born, 35 yo, live in the US for 14 yrsReps- 2 yrs, senators- 6.
  • The great thing about researching Congress, and the Constitution- is that it is ALL online. All documented, you can get it everywhere. Public scrutiny.17 women in Senate, 76 in HouseQuick quiz: Who is that thing of beauty?
  • Less than half tweet. Growing every day.
  • Sarah palin got in a bit of trouble for this, topic of 2008 presidential race- Gravina Island Bridge (50 residents)- proposed to a little town. Bridge to Nowhere. Would have taken nearly 400 million dollars, was an earmark on another transportation bill (an OK senator offered a change- remove the AK bridge and divert funds to rebuild a katrina bridge)- AK senator Ted Stevens threatened to quit if the funds were removed. It ended up being canceled. McCain labeled it as wasteful spending
  • Carl Levin- 200 million- for energy/water projects, battery development projects in Warren, hybrid energy programs in Auburn Hills, public park near old Tiger stadium, a lot of auto-development projets
  • Expeled- pretty old examples, like treason, supporting confederacy- Some bribes, and some tax evasion
  • Founders gave all legislative powers to Congress- but can’t pass whatever laws it wanted! Is still limited. The powers not delegated to Congress are reserved to the states (the people)
  • Article 1- but very general. Interpretation by Supreme Court
  • Power of the purse- most important power. Power to tax, raise money to finance gvt. All revenue bills- must be in House. All work on tax laws- House Ways and Means.Appropriation- power to authorize gvt spending. Article 1, Sec 9- before natgvt can spend money, Congress must allow it. This gives Congress power to determine national policy!
  • Federal budget- financial plan. NBC video- we saw this argument. Executive branch prepares it, proposes it, Congress must adjust the budget.
  • Currency power- out of the Articles of Confederation confusion. All currency is legal and must be accepted.
  • Commerce- trade. Articles- no power, and big rivalries. Chaos. But Commerce is not always clear- Givvonsv. Ogden (commerce is buying, selling, and all commercial activities!) Congress now has broad powers, more than the Founders imagined. Used to pass Civil Rights act of 1964, prohibits discrimination . Also minimum wage. Foreign Relations- control over national defense funding. War powers- Congress can only declare war, and maintain armed forces. Has declared war 5 times, but American troops have been out many times without war declaration (ordered by Pres who said itw as necessary- Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf- no declaration) But pres- CIC. War Powers Resolution (73- Vietnam)- tried to limit Pres power- must inform Congress of military action within 2 days of sending troops. If Congress doesn’t approve after 60 days, troops must withdraw.
  • Loose- Hamilton set up national bank, and Jefferson said they didn’t have this power. Washington authorized it
  • Congress okays licenses to broadcasters on the radio- It gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. Broadcasting is a business. Thus, it is commerce. Airwaves cross over state lines, so it involves interstate commerce.
  • Important, but not used often- Article 1, Sec 2. House brings charges of impeachment (majority)- goes before Senate for a trial to determine guilt/innocence. Conviction- requires 2/3 approval of senate. If convicted, can be removed.
  • Johnson- impeached, acquitted by Senate. First impeachment. 1868- House impeached him, high crimes (violation of tenure of office act- had removed a guy and replaced him with someone else)-. Acquitted. Was mostly unnecessary. Clinton- impeached on two charges (perjury, obstruction of justice), and two other charges failed. From Lewinsky scandal. But acquitted by senate. Voting largely partisan. House- 5 dems voted to impeach, in Senate, none voted for conviction. House investigated I, Newt Gingrich led the investigation. Resigned during it. Second impeachment in American history. Effect- moral character was judged in the next election (Bush/Gore)- people voted for Bush.
  • Watergate- illegal activities, bugged political opponents, used the FBI, CIA, IRS. Had men break into the Dem party HQ- in the Watergate complex. AN informer helped the Washington Post link the men to the administration. Ended up finding secret tapes that recorded his conversations, and were subpoenaed by Watergate investigators. Nixon fired the guy who came with the subpoena and who was leading the investigation. Deleted parts of the tapes. Famously said, I’m not a crook. Nixon- resigned before a full House vote. Didn’t admit anythign in his speech
  • Have them open up book, examine 391, and then look at431Bill becomes a law- tomorrow!


  • 1.  Lobbying- activist (often lawyer) who tries to persuade members of Congress to enact legislation that would benefit their group Represent about every American interest group Can be paid or volunteer Should congressmen vote for what they think is best? What their constituents want (even if the congressman disagrees?) Or for what they‟re getting persuaded to do?
  • 2.  True or false: Congress has not declared war since WWII. › Explain your answer. - clip
  • 3.  Article 1, Sec 8- To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water
  • 4.  From the resolution: That the Congress approves …of the President as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression. MR. MORSE: [Wayne Morse, Dem.-Ore.] . . . I believe this resolution to be a historic mistake. I believe that within the next century, future generations will look with dismay and great disappointment upon a Congress which is now about to make such a historic mistake.
  • 5.  1973- Federal law that checks the President from declaring war without Congressional consent. Disregarded by: › -Pres Clinton, Kosovo „99 › -Pres Obama, Libya „11
  • 6.  House of Representatives: › 25 years old › Citizen of the U.S. for at least 7 years › Residents of the state Senate: › 35 years old › Citizen of the U.S. for at least 9 years › Resident of the state
  • 7. › How long do Representatives and Senators serve?› How are these different from the qualifications of the President?› What reasons can you find for having different qualifications?
  • 8.  Average length of service › Reps- 5+ terms (10 years) › Senators- 2+ terms (13 years) States that have been represented by a woman 93 women (record #, 17% of total) 41 African-American congressmen (one in Senate), 8% of total 29 Hispanic congressmen (1 in Senate) 95% have University degrees
  • 9.  Senate- average age 63 Rep- average age 58
  • 10.  Definition:  An incumbent is a politician who currently holds political office. Incumbency has a large impact on the success of individuals in elections. Why?
  • 11. 1.) Voters know how their representatives vote 2.) More importantly, VISIBILITY 3.) Franking privilege:  Free mail service that is designed to keep voters informed about current issues and their voting record. (p. 382 of your textbook) Random fact: › Incumbents raise on average 6 times more for their reelection campaigns than their challengers
  • 12.  Quick definition: › Bringing federal funds to ones constituents Can come in all different forms › Federal projects › Contracts › Grants Example: › The “Big Dig”  Finished Jan. 31, 2007  Boston, MA  A project to take an existing 3.5 mile interstate highway and move it underground  Ended up costing $14.6 billion  Tip O‟Neill pushed to get this funding while he was Speaker of the House
  • 13.  Salary: › The current salary for members of the Senate and House of Reps is $174,000 per year Other benefits › Tax deductions › Allowances › Subsidized meals, trips, free recreational facilities, and franking privileges. Overall, its not too bad to be a member of congress
  • 14.  The Constitution gives the House and Senate the power to punish members who act out of line. › Censure  Formal reprimand › Expulsion  Forcing the member from office Only 4 members of congress have ever been expelled. 23 representatives and 9 senators have been formally censured
  • 15.  What do you immediately think of?
  • 16.  Article I of the Constitution gives congress the power to make law 3 types of power: › Expressed  Listed right in the constitution › Implied  Powers not specifically listed in the constitution › Nonlegislative
  • 17.  First power listed in the Constitution › “levy and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” › Gives congress the power to collect and spend money  Power of the Purse House Ways and Means Committee Appropriation
  • 18.  Congress has the power to borrow money on the credit of the U.S. Government bonds › Government IOU‟s bought by individuals or companies This takes form in the national debt Debt Clock
  • 19.  ]
  • 20.  Coining money: › The power to make money and regulate it. Bankruptcy › When someone is legally declared unable to pay one‟s debts
  • 21.  Ratified a treaty that the Pres signed granting Oregon to the US in 1846 Signed in Don‟t Ask, Don‟t Tell („93)- and repealed it („11) Investigated President Nixon in the Watergate scandal clip Confirmed first Hispanic Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor „09
  • 22.  Commerce Power  Judicial Power › Regulate commerce › Create federal courts with foreign nations below the level of the › Interstate commerce Supreme Court  Power to establish post Power in foreign relations offices, copyrights, and › Approve treaties patents › Spending on national  Power of naturalization and defense and foreign aid dominion over territories War Powers › Uniform rule of › Declare war naturalizations › Power to Punish Pirates › Governing of territories such as Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico
  • 23.  All implied powers are based off Article 1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution › “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution…” › a.k.a -- NECESSARY AND PROPER CLAUSE (elastic clause)
  • 24.  Strict or Loose Interpretation of this clause has long been debated › Debate over creation of First Bank of United States (National Bank) › McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)  Supreme Court found creation of second bank necessary to carry out national governments‟ monetary powers  Court supported the loose constructionists‟ idea that the necessary and proper clause gave Congress right to make any laws needed to carry out its other powers
  • 25.  Where has this been used since then? › Improve rivers, canals, other waterways › Create the U.S. Air Force › Establishes federal parks › Creates federal laws against pollution › Define and provide punishment for federal crimes › Fix minimum wages
  • 26.  Impeachment  Definition:  Bringing formal charges against any member of the Executive or Judicial branch of government accused of misconduct or wrongdoing.
  • 27. 1.) The House of Reps votes to impeach. - Majority vote required2.) The case then goes to the Senate for a trial. - Senate then decides if the person is guilty or innocent. *Conviction requires 2/3 of the senates approval3.) If convicted, the official is removed from office
  • 28.  Andrew Johnson › Found Innocent Nixon ---- resigns before impeached Bill Clinton
  • 29.  Page 380 › Chart covering the differences between the House and the Senate Page 391 › Powers of Congress Page 431 › How a bill becomes a law
  • 30.  Write down one question you had (that was unclear.