The
Legislative
Branch
Bicameral
A legislative body with two
houses established by the
Constitution- Article I
modeled after the British Parliame...
Term
Length of time between
elections in Congress
terms begin according to the
20th Amendment in January
Terms are numbere...
Session
Formal meetings in which
members perform legislative
work (each term divided into 2 sessions)
until WWII 4 month s...
Congress
ends Jan. 3 2011
CONSTITUENTS the people who
are represented
CONTINUOUS BODY all seats are
never up for election at the same
time
Vocabulary
“I have come to the
conclusion that one
useless man is called a
disgrace, that two are
called a law firm, and that
three o...
“It can probably be shown by
facts & figures that there is
no distinctly native American
criminal class except
Congress.”
...
If the opposite of pro is
con, then the opposite of
progress must be
Congress.
House of Representatives
# of seats not fixed
apportioned distributed based
on population
serve 2 year terms without term
...
Reapportion Redistribute
–every 10 years Census
–435 is “permanent” size
•Congress can change size
Elections ALL re-electe...
Districts
–drawn up to elect reps. to
House (Census)
Gerrymander
–to draw districts to give an
advantage to a political pa...
*25 years of age
*U.S. Citizen for 7 years
*Inhabit state represented
*can’t be arrested while in session unless
commit tr...
Who are OUR elected officials?
House of Representatives (9th District)
Bill Shuster (R) (from Everett)
• first elected in ...
Senate
# of seats fixed by “C” 100
2 from each State
6 year terms
Represent entire State
NO DISTRICTS
Older membership -
House Senate ∅ House
Prestigious less members; tougher to
get elected
HIGH media visibility
staggered t...
Senate Qualifications
*30 years of age
*U.S. Citizen for 9 years
*Inhabit state represented
Who are OUR elected officials?
Pat Toomey (R)
Elected 2010
Bob Casey (D)
Elected 2006
The Powers of
Congress
Expressed
vs.
Implied
The Expressed Powers
of Congress
Powers given by (written in)
the Constitution
NOT clearly defined; subject
to interpretat...
Peace Powers
To collect taxes
To borrow money
To regulate trade
To coin money
To establish post
offices
To grant patents
a...
War Powers
To declare war
To raise and support armies
To provide and maintain a navy
To make laws governing land and
naval...
Implied Powers
The Necessary and Proper Clause
“To make all laws which shall be
necessary and proper for carrying
into exe...
Implied Powers
Often called the “Elastic
Clause” because it has
allowed the Federal
Government to stretch its
powers.
Implied Powers
Examples
-…collect taxes --- IMPLIES the power to
make tax evasion a crime and provide for
its punishment
-...
The Non-legislative Powers
Impeachment
–House has the sole power to
impeach-bring charges
against
–Senate has the sole pow...
The Non-legislative Powers
Constitutional Amendments
Electoral Duties
– Election of a President by House, if
no majority f...
The Non-legislative Powers
Executive Powers
–confirmation of major
appointments by the
President
The Non-legislative Powers
Investigative Power
–Oversee operation of
executive branch
–Expose questionable
activities of p...
Interest group
- a private organization
that tries to “influence”
lawmakers
Lobbying
- the activities of a
person for a pressure or
interest group, usually
influencing lawmakers
The basic job of a
lobbyist is to try to get a
member of Congress to
vote in a beneficial way
toward the group the
lobbyis...
Congressional Voting Options
Trustee-
Members of Congress
vote on issues “as they see
fit.” They are not
influenced by out...
Congressional Voting Options
Delegate -
Member is an agent of
those who elected them.
Vote based on what “the
folks back h...
Congressional Voting Options
Partisan -
Member owes 1st
allegiance to their political
party. Leading factor in
influencing...
Congressional Voting Options
Politico -
tries to balance all three
Congressional Voting Options
Sellout -
gives in to the pressure
put on by lobbyists,
interest groups, & PACs
Congress Organizes
House of Representatives
Speaker of the House
–Maintains order in the House
–supposed to remain biparti...
Congress Organizes
House of Representatives
Majority Leader
– top ranking official of the party with the
most members
– as...
Senate
President of the Senate
–Vice President of the United States
–maintains order in the Senate
–supposed to remain bip...
Senate
President Pro Tempore
–performs the duties of the
President of the Senate in his
absence
–elected by his peers - fr...
Senate
Majority Leader
– top ranking official of the party with the
most members
– assisted by the majority whip
Minority ...
House of
Representatives
Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi-D CA
(John Boehner-R OH
Jan 3, 2011)
Majority Leader
Steny Hoye...
Committees in Congress
standing committees - permanent
committees
– each house has own committees
– chairmen chosen by par...
Committees in Congress
Joint committees
– composed of members of both houses
House Standing Committees
Agriculture
Appropriations
Armed Services
Banking, Finance, and
Urban Affairs
Budget
District of...
Senate Standing Committees
Agriculture, Nutrition
and Forestry
Appropriations
Armed Services
Banking, Housing, and
Urban A...
Joint Committees of Congress
Economic Committee
The Library
Printing
Taxation
How A Bill Becomes a Law
After a bill is
introduced and
passed in one house
it must go to the other
for the same process.
...
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Legislative branch notes

  1. 1. The Legislative Branch
  2. 2. Bicameral A legislative body with two houses established by the Constitution- Article I modeled after the British Parliament
  3. 3. Term Length of time between elections in Congress terms begin according to the 20th Amendment in January Terms are numbered consecutively 9, 10, 11,12, 13,… 1st Congress March 4, 1789
  4. 4. Session Formal meetings in which members perform legislative work (each term divided into 2 sessions) until WWII 4 month sessions currently full year sessions with short recess
  5. 5. Congress ends Jan. 3 2011
  6. 6. CONSTITUENTS the people who are represented CONTINUOUS BODY all seats are never up for election at the same time Vocabulary
  7. 7. “I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress.” 1776, A Musical Play
  8. 8. “It can probably be shown by facts & figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
  9. 9. If the opposite of pro is con, then the opposite of progress must be Congress.
  10. 10. House of Representatives # of seats not fixed apportioned distributed based on population serve 2 year terms without term limitation
  11. 11. Reapportion Redistribute –every 10 years Census –435 is “permanent” size •Congress can change size Elections ALL re-elected –even number years House of Representatives
  12. 12. Districts –drawn up to elect reps. to House (Census) Gerrymander –to draw districts to give an advantage to a political party House of Representatives
  13. 13. *25 years of age *U.S. Citizen for 7 years *Inhabit state represented *can’t be arrested while in session unless commit treason OR felony custom dictates representative must live in district House Qualifications
  14. 14. Who are OUR elected officials? House of Representatives (9th District) Bill Shuster (R) (from Everett) • first elected in 2000
  15. 15. Senate # of seats fixed by “C” 100 2 from each State 6 year terms Represent entire State NO DISTRICTS
  16. 16. Older membership - House Senate ∅ House Prestigious less members; tougher to get elected HIGH media visibility staggered terms 1/3 expire each year Senate
  17. 17. Senate Qualifications *30 years of age *U.S. Citizen for 9 years *Inhabit state represented
  18. 18. Who are OUR elected officials? Pat Toomey (R) Elected 2010 Bob Casey (D) Elected 2006
  19. 19. The Powers of Congress Expressed vs. Implied
  20. 20. The Expressed Powers of Congress Powers given by (written in) the Constitution NOT clearly defined; subject to interpretation
  21. 21. Peace Powers To collect taxes To borrow money To regulate trade To coin money To establish post offices To grant patents and copyrights To create courts
  22. 22. War Powers To declare war To raise and support armies To provide and maintain a navy To make laws governing land and naval forces
  23. 23. Implied Powers The Necessary and Proper Clause “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 in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.”
  24. 24. Implied Powers Often called the “Elastic Clause” because it has allowed the Federal Government to stretch its powers.
  25. 25. Implied Powers Examples -…collect taxes --- IMPLIES the power to make tax evasion a crime and provide for its punishment -... raise armies and a navy --- IMPLIES the power to draft men into the armed forces -…regulate trade ---IMPLIES the power to fix minimum wages and maximum work hours
  26. 26. The Non-legislative Powers Impeachment –House has the sole power to impeach-bring charges against –Senate has the sole power to judge an impeachment case
  27. 27. The Non-legislative Powers Constitutional Amendments Electoral Duties – Election of a President by House, if no majority from the electoral college – Each state receives one vote – Election of V-P by Senate, if no majority from the electoral college
  28. 28. The Non-legislative Powers Executive Powers –confirmation of major appointments by the President
  29. 29. The Non-legislative Powers Investigative Power –Oversee operation of executive branch –Expose questionable activities of public officials
  30. 30. Interest group - a private organization that tries to “influence” lawmakers
  31. 31. Lobbying - the activities of a person for a pressure or interest group, usually influencing lawmakers
  32. 32. The basic job of a lobbyist is to try to get a member of Congress to vote in a beneficial way toward the group the lobbyist represents.
  33. 33. Congressional Voting Options Trustee- Members of Congress vote on issues “as they see fit.” They are not influenced by outside groups OR constituents
  34. 34. Congressional Voting Options Delegate - Member is an agent of those who elected them. Vote based on what “the folks back home” would want
  35. 35. Congressional Voting Options Partisan - Member owes 1st allegiance to their political party. Leading factor in influencing votes.
  36. 36. Congressional Voting Options Politico - tries to balance all three
  37. 37. Congressional Voting Options Sellout - gives in to the pressure put on by lobbyists, interest groups, & PACs
  38. 38. Congress Organizes House of Representatives Speaker of the House –Maintains order in the House –supposed to remain bipartisan in decision-making process –elected by peers - from the majority party
  39. 39. Congress Organizes House of Representatives Majority Leader – top ranking official of the party with the most members – assisted by the majority whip Minority Leader – top ranking official of the party with the least members – assisted by the minority whip
  40. 40. Senate President of the Senate –Vice President of the United States –maintains order in the Senate –supposed to remain bipartisan in decision-making process
  41. 41. Senate President Pro Tempore –performs the duties of the President of the Senate in his absence –elected by his peers - from the majority party
  42. 42. Senate Majority Leader – top ranking official of the party with the most members – assisted by the majority whip Minority Leader – top ranking official of the party with the least members – assisted by the minority whip
  43. 43. House of Representatives Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi-D CA (John Boehner-R OH Jan 3, 2011) Majority Leader Steny Hoyer-D MD Minority Leader John Boehner-R OH Senate President of the Senate Joe Biden-D (VP) President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye-D HI Majority Leader Harry Reid-D NV Minority Leader Mitch McConnell-R KY
  44. 44. Committees in Congress standing committees - permanent committees – each house has own committees – chairmen chosen by party leaders – majority party holds majority in committee
  45. 45. Committees in Congress Joint committees – composed of members of both houses
  46. 46. House Standing Committees Agriculture Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs Budget District of Columbia Education and labor Energy and Commerce Foreign Affairs Government Operations House Administration Interior and Insular Affairs Judiciary Merchant marine and Fisheries Post Office and Civil Service Public Works and Transportation Rules Science, Space and Technology Small Business Standards of Official Conduct Veterans’ Affairs Ways and Means
  47. 47. Senate Standing Committees Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Budget Commerce, Science, and Transportation Energy and Natural Resources Environment and Public Works Finance Foreign Relations Governmental Affairs Judiciary Labor and Human Resources Rules and Administration Small Business Veterans’ Affairs
  48. 48. Joint Committees of Congress Economic Committee The Library Printing Taxation
  49. 49. How A Bill Becomes a Law After a bill is introduced and passed in one house it must go to the other for the same process. Senate BillHouse Bill 1. Referred to a committee 2. Then to a subcommittee 3. Committee decides future • recommend or decline Floor Action •Debate strict limitations limited time to speak must be about the bill Vetoed bill A bill may be presented in either house 1. Referred to a committee 2. Then to a subcommittee 3. Committee decides future • recommend or decline Floor Action •Debate no limitations filibuster “talk a bill to death” Vetoed bill PRESIDENTIAL ACTION sign into law or veto
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