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The Legislative Branch
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The Legislative Branch

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Transcript

  • 1. The Legislative Branch U.S. Congress
  • 2. Responsibilities of Congress
    • Must Represent
      • Constituents in Region/District
      • Needs of Nation
      • Political Party
      • Interest Groups and lobbyists
        • Try to persuade congressman to vote according to their interests
      • Self and morals
  • 3. Representatives
    • Number based on population
    • House of Rep.
      • Term = 2 years (reelection is unlimited) – 435 total in nation
        • Must
          • Live in state
          • 25 years old
          • US citizen 7 years
  • 4. Senators
    • 2 per state
      • Meets need of state
      • 6 year terms (1/3 of all senators reelected every 2 years)
      • Must
        • Live in state
        • 30 years old
        • US citizen 9 years
    • Deal more with non-domestic issues than House Representatives
  • 5. Powers Given to Congress
    • Each power reflects goal of Preamble
    • Congressional Immunity – Congress members cannot be sued while speaking in Congress
  • 6. Congress Organization
    • Speaker of the House – Presiding officer
      • Large influence on bill passage
    • Vice Pres. – Officer of Senate
      • Cannot debate or vote unless a tie
    • President Pro-Tempore
      • presides in senate when VP gone
    • Floor Leaders
      • Chief officers of parties, guide bills
    • Whips – assistant floor leaders
  • 7. Intro. Of Bill
    • Only rep. or senator can intro. bill to Congress (ie S. 1805 or HR. 1854)
    • Appropriation Bill – Designed to increase spending in specific area; authorizes government to spend money
  • 8. Committees
    • Function of each committee is to study the bills that belong in their specific area
    • Standing Committee
      • 17 in Senate and 19 in House
      • Deal with big issues (educ. Health care)
        • Study bill, Hold hearings, Propose Changes, Decide if vote is necessary by whole house or senate
    • Select Committee
      • Deals with problems not covered in Standing Committee
    • Joint Committee
      • House and Senate members conduct investigations
    • Conference Committees
      • Resolves Differences and sends back to H or S
  • 9. President Role
    • Can sign into law
    • Can veto by
      • Sending back unsigned (overrode by 2/3 of congress)
      • Pocket Veto – hold for 10 days during which Congress ends its session
  • 10. Stopping a Bill
    • Filibuster
      • Senators can block passage of bill by using long speeches in debate) – not in House
    • Cloture
      • Agreement to end debate on bill (requires 3/5 vote)