Intro to congress


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  • Originally from 70s- preamble, conjunction junction, no more kings,
  • 3 rings, lots of separate stuff going on, but they make up a whole together. Analyze. ringleader Significance- school house rock (still relevance in today’s classroom)
  • Inefficiency- prevents a majority history coming out of the revolution
  • congressional stereotypes- a lot of them are warranted!
  • Should take 5 minutes- discuss.
  • Bicameral as checks on each other! Senate represented the states, and the house reps the people as a whole
  • Can anyone name our state senators (Levin/Stabenaw), or your representative (dingell/Schauer)? If not, we’ll look them up tomorrow! Michigan has 15.
  • Like this year!
  • Why would that be?
  • Also Austin, Phoenix
  • Cartoon- printed in Mar 1812, in reaction to state electoral districts drawn by Mass legislature to favor the Dem party candidate Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists. Bizarre shape like a vulture- Federalist newspapers called it similar to a salamander, which merged with Governor Gerry’s last name for Gerrymander Often in favor of incumbents or a party. PACKING- concentrate as many voters of one type into 1 district that they’ll already win in to reduce influence in other disticts CRACKING- spreading out voters of a type among many districts so they can’t have a bloc of many districts. Wasted vote effect Many other countries have reforms against this- but not the US. Some states have tried, and this may be the way of the future. With technology, mapmakers can predict voter behavior- and this manipulation can taint far elections.
  • IL Hispanics tend to vote 90% democratic- racial gerrymandering
  • QUORUM- min number of members a body needs to conduct business. Quorum-busting- legend has it that Lincoln leapt out of a window in a failed attempt to prevent a quorum from being present (the doors were locked) Actually a lot of fun/cool stories about quorums and busting. TEXAS- Would have favored republicans and displaced 5 democrats. Legal issues. Usually redistricted every 10 years (census)- by 2000, Bush is gov, and Perry is lieutenant gov. in 2003, repucs introduced leg to redraw the lines. This was taken to court and dems could not stop it form passing, so they fled. It would have diluted black and Hispanic voting power. Ended up in the supreme court, - states can redistrict whenever, but this one invalidated the Voting Rights Act.
  • Constituent- individual votor
  • VHS- inside congress- but I couldn’t resist this brand new video They follow tweets! Speaker of the House- next in line after the VP for presidency
  • You saw how twitter is important today, even in the white house. Let’s keep that discussion Check for understanding- one thing you took away from the lesson-10 sec for each person Expectations for the lab will be this-
  • Intro to congress

    1. 1. UNIT 5- Branches of Government <ul><li>3 Units- one for each branch </li></ul><ul><li>TESTS- Mega-test on March 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Some small quizzes </li></ul>
    2. 2. My Stuff <ul><li>DO NOW </li></ul><ul><li>Unit Question, Lesson question </li></ul><ul><li>Key terms </li></ul><ul><li>Previously on… </li></ul><ul><li>Next on… </li></ul><ul><li>Current events </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>My philosophy </li></ul>
    3. 4. Unit Question <ul><li>How are the branches of government like a 3-ring circus ? – Think, Pair, Share </li></ul>
    4. 5. Separation of Powers <ul><li>-The Constitution is deliberately inefficient- </li></ul><ul><li>No one branch has too much power- checks and balances </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative- Article 1, Executive- Article 2, Judicial- Article 3 </li></ul>Example: Congress can pass a law- the President can veto it, and the Supreme Court can rule it unconstitutional. But then Congress can amend the Constitution!
    5. 6. Intro to Congress The Basics of the Legislative Branch
    6. 7. DO NOW <ul><li>Make a list of all of the descriptive terms (characteristics, duties, etc.) that come to your mind when someone mentions “Congress.” </li></ul><ul><li>Circle all of the terms that have a negative connotation. </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you think the population feels this way toward our government? Explain. </li></ul>
    7. 8. Why Congress? <ul><li>The Founders thought a legislature should hold most of the power- nervous from absolutist kings! </li></ul><ul><li>Legislative power- power to make laws </li></ul><ul><li>Voice of the people </li></ul><ul><li>Bicameral legislature- 2 chambers </li></ul>
    8. 9. How Many People Represent Us? <ul><li>According to Article I: </li></ul><ul><li>In the Senate, there are two Senators for every state; there are 100 US Senators . </li></ul><ul><li>In the US House, the number of representatives (435 total) varies based on population . The minimum number of representatives for a state is one ; the most is in California (53!). </li></ul>Districts are randomly shaped as drawn by each state legislature
    9. 11. Length of Terms <ul><li>In the US House: </li></ul><ul><li>2 year terms </li></ul><ul><li>Every member is up for re-election in November of every even-numbered year. </li></ul><ul><li>In the US Senate: </li></ul><ul><li>6 year terms </li></ul><ul><li>In November of even-numbered years, 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2008—33 Senators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2010—34 Senators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2012—33 Senators </li></ul></ul>
    10. 12. How is the House Representation Determined? <ul><li>The House of Reps is based on population </li></ul><ul><li>for each state. On average, it’s about </li></ul><ul><li>650,000 people per representative. </li></ul><ul><li>Here’s how it works: </li></ul><ul><li>There is a census every 10 yrs (2010 most recent) </li></ul><ul><li>If population has shifted, state legislatures are in charge of redrawing the district lines. </li></ul><ul><li>reapportionment —the redrawing of district lines </li></ul><ul><li>What is the current trend of population shift? </li></ul><ul><li>The population is moving from the Midwest and Northeast to the South and West Coast. </li></ul>
    11. 13. The US Population Shift Take a guess: what is the fastest growing metropolitan region in the United States? Answer: Las Vegas, NV
    12. 14. What is gerrymandering? <ul><li>Gerrymandering is redrawing the district lines to favor a particular group, as in a political party or racial group. </li></ul><ul><li>Packing vs. Cracking </li></ul><ul><li>Why does it matter? </li></ul>
    13. 15. <ul><li>IL 4 th district- packs Hispanic voters (at some points no wider than a highway lane) </li></ul><ul><li>OH- Columbus is “cracked” and then separately attached to conservative suburbs </li></ul>
    14. 16. Texas’ “Killer Ds” <ul><li>After gaining a majority in the state legislature in 2002, Republicans in Texas wanted to redistrict the state’s US House districts (and solidify a Republican majority). </li></ul><ul><li>new districts- unfair, 53 Democrats fled the Texas Legislature (first for Oklahoma, then New Mexico) to make a quorum (the minimum number for official business) impossible. </li></ul><ul><li>Under the old plan (2002 Election), Democrats controlled the US House delegation 17-15. </li></ul><ul><li>Under the new plan (2004 Election), Republicans had 21 seats in the US House to 11 for the Democrats. </li></ul>
    15. 18. What Do Members of Congress Do? <ul><li>They represent us; if you have a problem, they are the ones to address it. For example, Social Security payments, appointments to military academies, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Each member of Congress is on at least one committee (probably two or three) and also on a few subcommittees (that are connected to their committee). </li></ul><ul><li>Since Congress is in session Tuesday through Thursday in a typical week, they will often come home on the weekends to be with their constituents . </li></ul>
    16. 19. Inside Congress Video <ul><li>NBC Video </li></ul><ul><li>-From this video, what words would you use to describe Congress? </li></ul><ul><li>- Which names/faces did you recognize? </li></ul><ul><li>What situations did the congressmen work with? </li></ul><ul><li>What roles did they have? </li></ul><ul><li>What were their staffers doing? </li></ul>John Boehner- Speaker of the House
    17. 20. Next On… <ul><li>Lab Day! </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Pork Barrel Activity </li></ul>