Organization of Congress & the General Assembly


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This presentation accompanies the Guided Readings for Section 6.1 and 13.1 from the Civics Today textbook (2008).

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Organization of Congress & the General Assembly

  1. 1. + How Congress Is Organized Section 6.1
  2. 2. + How long is each term of Congress, and how many sessions are in a term?  A term of Congress lasts two years; each term has two sessions (one each year).  We are in the 112th Term of Congress. Sometimes referred to as the “112th Congress.”
  3. 3. + On what does Congress base the number of representatives in the House given to each state?  Congress bases the number of representatives each state receives by counting the population every 10 years by the census.  Census Homepage:  Census History Maps: aps/  The Redistricting Game:
  4. 4. + How many representatives are in the House, and how often are they elected?  There are 435 representatives in the House of Representatives. They are elected every two years.  Congressional Apportionment Map:  2010 Census Form:
  5. 5. + How many senators are in the Senate, and how often are they elected?  There are 100 senators in the Senate. They are elected every 6 years.  Senators serve for 6 years but they hold “staggered elections” every 2 years. Class I (2004-2010) Class I (2010-2016) Class II (2006-2012) Class II (2012-2018) Class III (2008-2014)
  6. 6. + What are the main duties of the Speaker of the House?  The Speaker steers legislation through the House, is in charge of floor debates, and influences House business.  leading member of the HOR  runs the meetings of the HOR  is a member of the majority party  directs which bills will be discussed (and not discussed)  is 3rd in line of presidential succession (that is if the Pres and VP should die, the Speaker of the House becomes president)  the Speaker of the House today is John Boehner
  7. 7. + What is the purpose of Congressional Committees?  Committees make it possible to handle many bills at one time.  What are the four types of committees? Describe each type.
  8. 8. + How does the seniority system work?  Members of Congress with the longest service tend to be given the most favored committee assignments, and the longest serving committee member of the majority party usually becomes the chairperson of his or her committee.  This does not mean the oldest person, but the one who has been there the longest. Members with the most seniority: Senate House of Representatives Daniel Inouye 1963 - John Dingle 1955 - Patrick Leahy 1975 - John Conyers 1965 - Richard Lugar 1977 - Charles Rangel 1971 -
  9. 9. + The Legislative Branch Section 13.1
  10. 10. + Who can vote to elect members of the North Carolina General Assembly?  at least 18 years old  United States citizen  resident of North Carolina
  11. 11. + Who was the first African American to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly?  Henry Frye  Born in 1932  Graduated with honors from NC A&T University  Captain in the US Air Force serving in Korea & Japan  Was elected to NC House from 1968 until 1980  Served one term in the NC Senate, 1981-1982  Served on the NC Supreme Court from 1983 - 2000
  12. 12. + What two types of laws can the General Assembly pass?  General Statutes and local or special laws  All Session Laws from NCGA: Type=Law
  13. 13. + What are the age requirements for serving in the North Carolina house and North Carolina Senate?  21 in the house and 25 in the senate
  14. 14. + State Legislature General NC House of NC Senate Assembly Representatives 50 Number 120 25 Age 21•live in NC at •live in district least 2 years for 1 year•live in district before the Residency for 1 year election before the election
  15. 15. + State Legislature General NC House of NC Senate Assembly Representatives 2 years Term Length 2 years none Term Limit none1. Lieutenant 1. Speaker Governor of the2. President House pro Leadership tempore of the Senate
  16. 16. + What key legislation did the General Assembly pass in 2005?  In 2005, the General Assembly passed legislation to put into operation a state lottery.  In 1996 the General Assembly passed 2 pieces of important legislation: 1. Governor gained the power to veto 2. Victims and families of victims of violent crime have the right to attend the trial of the alleged perpetrator of the crime.
  17. 17. + Why do some citizens support legislative redistricting reform in North Carolina?  Because many election races for seats in the legislature are not competitive.