The Legislative Branch


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The Legislative Branch

  1. 1. The Legislative Branch:<br />Powers of Congress<br />Congress at Work<br />
  2. 2. Powers of Congress<br /><ul><li>Constitutional Powers
  3. 3. Conflicts
  4. 4. Legislative Powers
  5. 5. Nonlegislative Powers
  6. 6. The Work of Committees
  7. 7. The Committee System
  8. 8. Power to Investigate
  9. 9. Power of Legislative Oversight
  10. 10. Congressional Power & Presidential Power
  11. 11. Conflicts
  12. 12. Limiting Presidential Power</li></li></ul><li>Conflict Over Congress’s Power<br />Strict Constructionist<br />Limited Powers<br />Focus on expressed powers not implied powers<br />Loose Constructionist<br />Living Document<br />Government grows with the changing nation<br />
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15. The Work of Committees<br />Inherent/Implied Powers<br />Investigate issues<br />Legislative Oversight<br />Committees<br />experts on topics<br />Members chosen by party leaders<br />Seniority System<br />The committee system in Congress is made up of:<br /><ul><li>Standing committees
  16. 16. Subcommittees
  17. 17. Select committees
  18. 18. Joint committees
  19. 19. Conference committees</li></li></ul><li>
  20. 20. Power to Investigate<br /><ul><li>Hearings=Investigations
  21. 21. Witnesses testify
  22. 22. Subpoena=legal order to appear before committee
  23. 23. Perjury=lying under oath (illegal)
  24. 24. Immunity=excused for crimes
  25. 25. Contempt=refusing to testify (illegal)</li></ul>Purposes of hearings:<br />Determine if a law is needed<br />Gather information to write a bill<br />Wrongdoing<br />Educate public<br />
  26. 26. Power of Legislative Oversight<br />Congress makes laws<br />Executive carries them out<br />Congress checks on how they are doing it<br />Federal bureaucracy<br />Nonelected employees<br />Departments<br />Yearly reports<br />General Accounting Office (GAO)<br />Budgets<br />Hearings<br />Power of the Purse<br />
  27. 27. Congress at Work<br />How a Bill Becomes a Law<br />Bills and Resolutions<br />The First Steps<br />Floor Action<br />Final Steps<br />Working for the Folks Back Home<br />Handling Casework<br />Bringing Home Jobs and Money<br />
  28. 28. How A Bill Becomes a Law: Problems<br />Difficult process, lots of opportunities for bills to be delayed or killed<br />Sponsors=senators or reps. who introduce a bill to congress<br />Opposition from president, interest groups, or other party<br />Not enough votes<br />
  29. 29. Bills:<br />Public Bill =entire nation<br />Private Bill =certain people/place<br />Rider =amendment that is unrelated to bill<br />Resolution = decisions by congress (not laws)<br />
  30. 30.
  31. 31. First Steps<br />Sources:<br />People<br />President<br />Congress<br />Interest Groups<br />Must be sponsored<br />Bipartisan=support from both parties<br />Steps:<br />First reading<br />Number & title from clerk<br />Printed<br />Sent to Standing Committee<br />Pigeonholed<br />Killed<br />Sent to Subcommittee<br />Act on Bill<br />Hearings<br />“Mark Up”= changes<br />
  32. 32. Floor Action<br />House<br />Time limit<br />Ban on amendments<br />Second reading by clerk<br />Amendments added<br />Third reading<br />Quorum=majority attendance<br />Vote<br />Voice<br />Standing<br />Electronic<br />Senate<br />No time limit<br />No Bans<br />Vote<br />Voice<br />Standing<br />Roll-Call<br />
  33. 33. Final Steps<br />To become a law the bill must be exactly the same in House and Senate<br />Conference Committee<br />Compromise Bill<br />If passed in both houses, sent to president to sign<br />Signs=Becomes a law<br />No action=After 10 days becomes a law<br />Pocket Veto=congress adjourns during 10 days<br />Veto=sends bill back to Congress with reasons for veto<br />Override=both houses need 2/3 majority<br />
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Working for the Folks Back Home<br />Casework=help constituents solve problems<br />Pork-barrel legislation=valuable only to constituents of one senator/reps. <br />Logrolling=supporting each others pork-barrel legislation<br />