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Congress Congress Presentation Transcript

  • Congress Andrew Martin
  • Theories of Representation
    • Delegate Representation
    Representatives should “act in the same manner as the whole body would act, were they present.” - Thomas Paine From www.billofrightsinstitute.org
  • Theories of Representation
    • Trustee Representation
    Legislators should protect the “general whole” -Edmund Burke From www.nnbd.com
  • Theories of Representation
    • Gyroscopic Representation
    Gyroscope: A device consisting of a spinning mass, typically a disk or wheel, mounted on a base so that its axis can turn freely in one or more directions and thereby maintain its orientation regardless of any movement of the base. - American Heritage Dictionary
  • Theories of Representation
    • Surrogate Representation
    Representing the interests of some marginalized group outside a legislator’s own district
  • Congress & the Constitution
    • Article I of the Constitution deals with Congress
      • This suggests that the founders intended Congress to be the most powerful of the three branches of government
  • The Details of Article I
    • Section One: Bicameral legislature
    • Section Two: Length of terms for House members and qualifications for service
    • Section Three: Selection of Senators, length of terms
    • Section Four: Congressional election process
    • Section Seven: How a bill becomes a law
    • Section Eight: Powers of the legislative branch
  • Bicameral Legislature Bicameral = From www.lshm.net
  • Bicameral Legislature
  • Membership in Congress
    • Constitutional Requirements
    Senate Must be 30 years old US citizen for 9 years State Resident House Must be 25 years old US citizen for 7 years State Resident
  • Membership in Congress
    • Informal Requirements
    From www.wpclipart.com , rifuture.org, www.flashreport.org , projectlogic.blogspot.com
  • Membership in Congress
    • Congressional membership is largely dominated by:
    • Educated
    • White
    • Protestant
    • Men
  • Membership in Congress
  • Membership in Congress
  • Membership in Congress
    • Can a body this different from society as a whole truly be representative of the interests of all groups?
  • Legislative Rules and Norms
    • Until recently, many norms guided the behavior of members of Congress. Members were supposed to specialize in a small number of issues, defer to members with longer tenure in office, never criticize anyone personally, and wait their turn to speak and introduce legislation.
  • Legislative Rules and Norms
    • Specialization
    • Courtesy
    • Institutional Respect
    • Reciprocity
  • Longest-Serving Senator
    • Sen. Robert Byrd , D-W. Va. (1959-) II
  • Reciprocity
  • Pork Sen. Stevens
  • Congressional Leadership
    • Early on there was no true “leaders” in Congress
    • During this period all members were more or less equal
  • Why did Leadership Develop? From www.churchillcounty.org
  • Congressional Leadership
  • Congressional Leadership
  • Congressional Leadership
    • House of Representatives
    • Speaker of the House
    • Majority Leader
    • Majority Whip
    • Minority Leader
    • Minority Whip
    • Senate
    • President of the Senate
    • President Pro Tempore
    • Majority Leader
    • Majority Whip
    • Minority Leader
    • Minority Whip
  • House Leadership
  • Senate Leadership
  • Kentucky Senators
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  • Standing Committee System
    • Members of Congress are assigned to one or more permanent committees
    • These committees – known as standing committees – are where the bulk of Congressional work takes place
  • Advantages to the Committee System
    • Members can become policy experts
    • More issues can be considered
    • Legislators can be on committees relevant to constituents
    • “ Safety valve” function
  • What Do Committees Do?
    • 1946: Legislative Preauthorization Act
      • Every piece of legislation introduced for consideration must first be referred to a committee
    • 1970s: House adopted process of multiple referrals
    Referral and Jurisdiction
  • What Do Committees Do?
    • Ninety percent of all measures get tabled in committee
    • Measures not tabled are given a hearing, occasionally with celebrity witnesses
    Hearings
  • What Do Committees Do?
    • In this stage, the actual language of the bill is forged
    • Prime sponsor: member responsible for crafting the language
    Markup
  • What Do Committees Do?
    • Report : summarizes bill’s provisions and the rationale behind it
    • Rules Report : stipulates whether a bill is open, closed, modified or subject to the time-structured rule
    Reports and Rules Report
  • What Do Committees Do?
    • Special committees may conduct investigations or hold hearings, such as the investigations relating to the firing of several U.S. Attorneys
    Bureaucratic Oversight and Investigations
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees Subcommittees
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees Subcommittees Select Committees
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees Subcommittees Select Committees Rules Committees
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees Subcommittees Select Committees Rules Committees Joint Committees
  • Committees in Congress Standing Committees Subcommittees Select Committees Rules Committees Joint Committees Conference Committees
  • How a Bill becomes a Law
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • The Process:
      • Bill Introduction
  • Bill Introduction
    • Any member of Congress can introduce a bill.
    • Individuals and groups outside of Congress also influence this process.
    From www.aramnaharaim.org , www.hposoft.com , www.dcgiftshop.com
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • The Process:
      • Bill Introduction
      • Committee Process
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • The Process:
      • Bill Introduction
      • Committee Process
      • Floor Action
  • The Filibuster
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • The Process:
      • Bill Introduction
      • Committee Process
      • Floor Action
      • Conference Committee
  • Conference Committee
    • Members of each party from the House and Senate meet to iron out differences between the two versions of a bill
    From www.snopes.com
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
    • The Process:
      • Bill Introduction
      • Committee Process
      • Floor Action
      • Conference Committee
      • Presidential Decision
  • President Bush has used the veto power very little compared with other modern presidents.