5 Congress


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5 Congress

  1. 1. Congress: The Lawmaking Branch Objective: What: Understand how members are elected to the Congress and how they perform their jobs How: By guided note-taking via PowerPoint
  2. 2. Congress <ul><li>Main responsibility of Congress is to make laws </li></ul><ul><li>Every odd numbered year Congress starts a new session </li></ul><ul><li>They start the session by taking an oath </li></ul><ul><li>Promising to obey the Constitution </li></ul>
  3. 3. Membership of the House <ul><li>There are 435 Representatives in the House of Representatives </li></ul><ul><li>They serve for two years and must be 25 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>They must have been a citizen for at least seven years </li></ul>
  4. 4. Representation and Reapportionment <ul><li>Members of the House are divided into Congressional Districts in their states </li></ul><ul><li>Every 10 years a census is completed to ensure that each district has a equal number of people in it </li></ul>
  5. 5. Membership of the Senate <ul><li>There are 100 Senators in the Senate, two for each state </li></ul><ul><li>They serve for six years </li></ul><ul><li>They must be at least 30 years of age </li></ul><ul><li>Must have been a U.S. citizen for nine years </li></ul><ul><li>Both Senators and Representatives must live in the district they represent </li></ul>
  6. 6. Leadership in the House <ul><li>The Speaker of the House is the most powerful leader in the House and 3 rd in line for the presidency </li></ul><ul><li>The Speaker appoints people to work on different committees and sign bills, schedules bills for action, and refers bills to the proper House committee </li></ul>
  7. 7. Leadership in the Senate <ul><li>The Vice President is the leader in the Senate- but can only vote during a tie </li></ul><ul><li>The most powerful leaders in the Senate are the majority and minority leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Senators are usually allowed unlimited time to debate a bill </li></ul><ul><li>Filibuster is when a senator talks a bill to death </li></ul><ul><li>A filibuster can be stopped when 3/5 (60 members)of the Senate vote for cloture which limits debate to 1 hour for each senator </li></ul>
  8. 8. Committee Work <ul><li>Most lawmaking work is done by groups called committee </li></ul><ul><li>There are five types of committees </li></ul><ul><li>Standing committee: is a committee that continues from one Congress to another </li></ul><ul><li>Subcommittee: is a committee that specializes in a subcategory of the standing committee </li></ul>
  9. 9. Committee Work <ul><li>Select Committee: A temporary committee that studies one specific issue and report their findings to the Senate or the House </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Committee: may be temporary or permanent committees staffed by both parties </li></ul><ul><li>Conference Committee: is a temporary committee set up when the House and Senate have passed different versions of the same bill </li></ul>
  10. 10. Support Agencies <ul><li>Library of Congress- one of the largest libraries in the world as over 100 million items </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was formed to help Congress study the budget proposed by the President </li></ul><ul><li>General Accounting Office (GAO) is the nation’s watchdog over the spending of funds Congress appropriates </li></ul>