Powers of Congress


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PowerPoint to accompany sections 6.2 & 6.3 of the Civics Textbook. Dealing with how Congress represents the people and works on their behalf (or at least should).

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Powers of Congress

  1. 1. Powers of CongressSection 6.2
  2. 2. Why is Clause 18 in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution called the “elastic clause”?  because it has allowed Congress to stretch its powers to meet new needs A. Implied Powers • powers the government exercises but are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution • also known as the “elastic clause” or the “necessary and proper clause”
  3. 3. What are two of Congress’ most important legislative powers? raising and spending money regulating commerce dealing with foreign countries
  4. 4. Expressed Powers also called “delegated powers”, “enumerated powers” these are the powers specifically given to Congress in Article I, section 8 Examine these powers on pages 98-99 in the textbook. Create a Venn Diagram that will illustrate which powers are ECONOMIC, which are MILITARY, which are BOTH, and which are NEITHER.
  5. 5. What is an implied power from the power expressed in Clause 4?  answers will vary
  6. 6. Who has the power to declare war?  ONLY Congress  Also known as “the power of the sword”  Which clause in Article 1, Section 8 states this?  What role does the President have in the military?
  7. 7. What happens after the House votes to impeach a public official?  The Senate acts as the jury and decides the case by a two-thirds vote  Only 2 Presidents have ever been impeached by Congress. Who are they?  How many of those impeached have been removed?
  8. 8. What is a writ of habeas corpus? a court order that requires police to take a prisoner to court to explain why he or she is being held
  9. 9. Non-legislative Powers These are things that Congress does that are not related to making laws (legislating)1. Impeach & Remove Elected Officials2. Propose Amendments to the Constitution3. Approve or Reject Presidential Appointments  including Supreme Court Justices, federal judges, ambassadors, cabinet members
  10. 10. How may the other two branches of government check and balance the powers of Congress?  the Supreme Court can find laws passed by Congress to be unconstitutional  the President may veto laws
  11. 11. Limitations on Congressional Power  the Bill of Rights specifically limits and denies the federal government of certain powers  Denied Powers (Article I, section 9) 1. Congress cannot suspend the writ of habeas corpus 2. Congress may not pass a bill of attainder 3. Congress cannot pass an ex post facto law  Checks and Balances
  12. 12. Representing the PeopleSection 6.3
  13. 13. What are the legal qualifications for senators and representatives?1. Senator 2. Representative Age:  Age:  30  25 Residence:  Residence:  state you plan to  state you plan to represent represent Citizenship:  Citizenship:  current US Citizen for at  current US Citizen for at least 9 years least seven years
  14. 14. Privileges of Members of Congress 1. Salary  $174,000 / year 2. Other Privileges  professional immunity in certain situations to exercise speech and expression in order to make clear their point without outside interference (rule of law still applies)  free parking, trips to their home states  franking privilege  low-cost life insurance  gym, special restaurants, medical clinic
  15. 15. Privileges of Members of Congress 3. Helpers a) Personal Staff  gather information on bills and issues  handle requests from voters  deal with news reporters and lobbyists b) Committee Staff  handle the day-to-day lawmaking duties of Congress, such as…  draft bills  gather information  organized committee hearings  negotiate with lobbyists
  16. 16. Who are lobbyists? People hired by private groups to influence government decision makers (We will talk more about lobbying in Unit 4)
  17. 17. What are the main duties of committee staff members?  They draft bills, gather information, organize committee hearings, and negotiate with lobbyists
  18. 18. What are three main support services available to members of Congress? 1. Library of Congress (LOC)  holds copies of EVERY book published in the United States  is a valuable source of information for lawmakers when drafting bills and learning about issues
  19. 19. What are three main support services available to members of Congress? 2. General Accounting Office (GAO)  investigative arm of Congress in financial issues  reviews spending activities of federal agencies  studies federal programs  recommends way to improve financial performance of government
  20. 20. What are three main support services available to members of Congress? 3. Congressional Budget Office (CBO)  source of financial and economic information to Congress members for making budgetary decisions  helps Congress stick to a budget plan
  21. 21. What are three major jobs of members of Congress? 1. Lawmaking  write and introduce bills  take part in committee work  listen to input from people about the bill  vote on the bill  See section 6.4 “How a Bill Becomes a Law”
  22. 22. What are three major jobs of members of Congress? 2. Casework  help individual constituents deal with the federal government a) Why bother with casework?  helps to get reelected  can better keep an eye on the executive branch ability to carry out the laws and programs  to help average citizens
  23. 23. What are three major jobs of members of Congress? 3. Helping the District or State  members of Congress try to bring money and jobs to their district or state a) Public Works  building projects paid for by the government  creates a new service to the area  building projects bring new jobs to the area
  24. 24. What are three major jobs of members of Congress? 3. Helping the District or State b) Grants  a grant is money given to a district or state for a specific purpose, it does not have to be paid back  grants bring federal money into the state which will be used to help benefit the people in the state  the money usually goes towards things that not just benefit the district or state but the nation
  25. 25. What are three major jobs of members of Congress? 3. Helping the District or State c) Contracts  a contract is an agreement by government with a company for the production of some good or service  contracts ensure money to a company (or companies) for a period of time thus producing jobs  the goods or services produced usually produce the nation
  26. 26. What is a pork-barrel project? a grant or contract that primarily benefit the home district or state members of Congress try to add pork-barrel projects to bills in order to bring more money into their state in order to gain favor with their constituents added favor will mean more votes come election day or services produced usually produce the nation