American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship Chapter Thirteen Congress
Chapter Thirteen: Learning Objectives Explain the difference between the delegate and trustee theories of representation and how the members of the Congress were expected to combine elements of both Detail the most important differences between the House and Senate
Chapter Thirteen: Learning Objectives Describe the constitutional powers of Congress Explain the importance of political parties and committees to the structure and functioning of Congress
Chapter Thirteen: Learning Objectives Describe the process by which a bill becomes a law Detail the major functions of Congress and explain their importance Analyze the power of the reelection incentive to mold behavior in Congress
Chapter Thirteen: Learning Objectives Discuss the performance of Congress as a deliberative, representative, ethical, and accountable institution Evaluate the contribution of Congress to deliberative democracy in the United States
Introduction Congresspersons face many challenges and one of those is time. Many are concerned that Congresspersons do not have enough time to be deliberative in the legislative process.
Introduction Two theories of representation Delegate Trustee The framers combined elements of both theories in designing Congress.
Constitutional Structure and Powers What is the structure of Congress? What are the constitutional powers of Congress? What are the purposes of bicameralism and separation of powers?
Constitutional Structure and Powers Congress is bicameral , which means that it consists of two chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate. By creating a bicameral legislature, the framers hoped to curb the branch’s dominance.
International Perspectives Bicameralism throughout the world The number of bicameral legislatures around the world is increasing. Many countries have found benefits to bicameralism as it may allow for better deliberation.
Constitutional Structure and Powers: The House and Senate House Number of representatives based on population Direct election by the citizens Two year terms Senate Each state has an equal number of senators Originally elected by state legislatures Six year terms
Constitutional Structure and Powers: The House and Senate House Work divided through committees Power found in leadership More centralized control Senate Members are generalists Power spread more evenly Less centralized control
Constitutional Structure and Powers: The House and Senate Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Constitutional Structure and Powers: Constitutional Powers Constitutional powers include Lawmaking Impeaching and removing public officials Expelling members
Constitutional Structure and Powers: Constitutional Powers Constitutional powers include Expelling members Ratifying treaties and confirming appointments Proposing constitutional amendments
Constitutional Structure and Powers: Congress and the Other Branches In what ways does Congress check the actions of the other branches of government? Why are these checks important?
Pledges and Promises The Congressional Oath and the PATRIOT Act Members of Congress take an oath before they begin service. During the debate over the PATRIOT Act, some congresspersons referred to that oath.
Congressional Organization What is the role of political parties in Congress? Should political parties have much influence in Congress? Why or why not?
Congressional Organization: Party Control The majority party in each chamber controls the legislative agenda and gets to select the chairmen of all committees and subcommittees. As Lee Hamilton has stated, “party status affects pretty much everything.”
Congressional Organization: Party Control Divided government occurs when the presidency and at least one chamber of Congress are controlled by different parties. What are some advantages or disadvantages to divided government?
Congressional Organization: Party Control Source: Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, &quot;Party Divisions&quot; at www.clerk .house.gov/art_history/house_history/partyDiv.html; U.S. Senate, &quot;Party Divisions in the Senate&quot; at www.senate.gov/pagelayout/histoyr/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm.
Congressional Organization: Party Leaders House Speaker Majority Leader Minority Leader Whips Senate President President Pro-Tempore Majority/Minority Leaders Whips
Congressional Organization: Committees Types of committees Standing (often have subcommittees) Special (or select) Joint Conference
Congressional Organization: Congressional Staff Most congressional staff work for individual members of the House and Senate, although committees hire staffers. Does congressional staff help or hinder deliberation?
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Origins of Bills Congress follows a two-year cycle which begins during the January after a congressional election. Ideas for legislation come from many places including legislators, the White House, executive agencies, and interest groups.
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Origins of Bills Four forms of legislation Bills Companion bills Joint resolutions Concurrent and simple resolutions
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Committee Stage After a piece of legislation is introduced, it goes through the referral process. While in committee and subcommittee, legislation typically goes through markup . If a bill survives the committee stage, it will be ready to go to floor deliberation.
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Consideration by the Full Body In the House, the Rules Committee determines the rule of debate, such as open rules and closed rules . In the Senate, holds , filibuster , cloture , riders , and the unanimous consent agreement are used.
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Beyond the Floor To become law, bills must pass both chambers in the exact form. Presidential action includes Signing legislation Vetoing legislation (may be overridden) Exercising a pocket veto
The Functions of Congress Besides making laws, what does Congress do? Source: Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann and Michael J. Malbin, Vital Statistics on Congress 2001-2002 (Washington, AEI Press, 2002); Resumes of Congressional Activity, at www.senate. gov/pagelayout/reference/two_column_table/Resumes.htm.
The Functions of Congress: Overseeing the Administration How does Congress provide oversight? Reviews agencies when executive branch wants to renew authority for programs Annual budget review assesses performance
The Functions of Congress: Overseeing the Administration How does Congress provide oversight? Standing committees oversee government operations How does the oversight function of Congress contribute to checks and balances?
The Functions of Congress: Educating the Public Congress conducts much of its business in the open, unlike the executive and judicial branches. Members of Congress work to reach the public in a variety of ways, including special order speeches , town hall meetings, and media interviews.
The Functions of Congress: Serving Constituents Two ways to serve constituents Casework Logrolling
The Functions of Congress: The Reelection Incentive Congresspersons must be reelected to accomplish their long-term goals. In general, to be reelected members of Congress need to communicate with constituents, raise money, and do what is in the best interest of their constituents.
The Functions of Congress: The Reelection Incentive Some scholars believe that in the quest for reelection, congresspersons may not deliberate about the broad public good, rather the good of their constituencies. Do you believe that deliberation about the public good is sacrificed for reelection?
Congress and Deliberative Democracy: Deliberation In order to serve the national interest, Congress must be deliberative. Through the existence of information gathering agencies and staff, it appears that Congress may be able to effectively deliberate.
Congress and Deliberative Democracy: Representation Congressional demographics do not represent the demographics of the American population. Do you believe that has an effect on deliberation? Should the demographics of Congress reflect the exact demographics of the population? Why or why not?
Congress and Deliberative Democracy: Ethics There is an expectation that congresspersons should be virtuous, which means that they should be devoted to the common good of society and should love justice. Corrupt behavior is actually atypical in Congress.
Congress and Deliberative Democracy: Accountability Congress is held accountable to the people through elections and the openness of its proceedings. With the emergence of the Internet, citizens may place more scrutiny on the activities of Congress.
Deliberation, Citizenship, and You Monitoring and influencing Congress There are many questions to consider when evaluating Congress. There are many ways for citizens to contribute to congressional deliberation.
Summary Congress is a deliberative institution Bicameralism promotes deliberation Congress has many functions Many ways to evaluate Congress’s contributions to a deliberative democracy
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