Legislative Branch


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Legislative Branch

  1. 1. Legislative Branch Chapter 5-7
  2. 2. Congress <ul><li>A bicameral body </li></ul><ul><li>Meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C </li></ul><ul><li>May goal is to introduce legislation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Congress <ul><li>Each term lasts two years </li></ul><ul><li>The first term began March 4, 1789 </li></ul><ul><li>Each session convenes on January 3 rd following the November election </li></ul>
  4. 4. Congress <ul><li>The President is the only one who can call special sessions </li></ul><ul><li>The last one was called by President Truman </li></ul>
  5. 5. House of Representatives <ul><li>435 members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set in 1929 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each state must have at least one member </li></ul><ul><li>Membership is based on population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is controlled by the census which is taken every ten years according to the 9 th amendment </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. House of Representatives <ul><li>1959/1960- went to 436 and 437 members because of Alaska and Hawaii. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1961, it went back to 435 members </li></ul>
  7. 7. House of Representatives <ul><li>States with only one representative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delaware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Montana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>North Dakota </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South Dakota </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vermont </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wyoming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alaska </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Gerrymandering <ul><li>Introduced by Elbridge Gerry </li></ul><ul><li>The party in power draws up the districts and it usually works in the favor of the party in power </li></ul><ul><li>This is also done at the local and state levels </li></ul>
  9. 9. Qualifications for Representative <ul><li>Must be at least 25 years old </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. citizen for at least seven years </li></ul><ul><li>Live in the stated elected from </li></ul><ul><li>They serve a 2 year term </li></ul><ul><li>Salary: $161,000 (probably more now) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Senate <ul><li>100 members (2 from each state) </li></ul><ul><li>Elected to a six year term </li></ul><ul><li>Qualifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be 30 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a U.S. citizen for 9 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live in the state elected </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Congress in Action <ul><li>Opening Day </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begins at noon on January 3 rd ; there are no sworn members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clerk of preceding house presides and calls roll </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The clerk is a non-member </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Congress in Action <ul><li>Members answer roll call and choose the speaker of the house </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be from the majority party </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The speaker is sworn in by the “Dean of the House” (the one who has been there the longest) </li></ul><ul><li>The speaker then swears in the other members </li></ul>
  13. 13. Congress in Action <ul><li>Open Day (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans sit on the right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats sit on the right </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independents may sit on either side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members than adopt the house rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They usually remain the same </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standing committees are then appointed </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Congress in Action <ul><li>Opening Day in the Senate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only 1/3 of the senate is new , so it takes less time to swear people in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standing committees are then appointed </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. State of the Union Address <ul><li>When congress notifies the President they are organized the President responds with what he hopes to accomplish while in office </li></ul><ul><li>Members of Congress with the exception of one member from each house will not attend, along with a cabinet member so that if there is a catastrophe, government may go on. </li></ul>
  16. 16. State of the Union Address <ul><li>The President appears in person </li></ul><ul><li>There are many dignitaries invited by the president </li></ul><ul><li>The address includes issues on the economy, domestic issues, and foreign affairs </li></ul>
  17. 17. Officers of House and Senate <ul><li>Speaker of the House </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually has been in the house for a long period of time and highly respected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nancy Pelosi (D)-CA currently holds the office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sam Rayburn held the position for 17 years, 2 months, and 2 days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last Republican to hold the position was Dennis Hastert (R)-IL </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Speaker of the House <ul><li>Duties of Speaker of the House </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain order in the House of Reps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No person may speak unless recognized by the speaker </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Officers of the House and Senate <ul><li>Majority Leader- Steny Hoyer (D) </li></ul><ul><li>Minority Leader- John Boehner (R) </li></ul><ul><li>Majority Whip- James Clayburn (D) </li></ul><ul><li>Minority Whip- Roy Blunt (R) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Officers of the House and Senate <ul><li>President of the Senate- Dick Cheney </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May only vote to break ties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>President Pro-Tempore- Robert Byrd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He replaced Ted Stevens, who replaced 100 year old Strom Thurmond (retired in 2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Majority Leader Harry Reid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Previous to Reid, was Bill Frist, who replaced Trent Lott because of a racist statement given at a birthday party </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Committees <ul><li>Majority party controls all committees </li></ul><ul><li>Standing Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permanent committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>19 in the House has 10-62 members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>17 in the Senate has 9-28 members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually put into effect for investigations like Watergate, Un-American activities, Whitewater </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Committees <ul><li>Joint Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members from both houses serve on committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many believe this is the best kind of committee </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conference Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to push bills through respective houses </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Punishment in Congress <ul><li>People from Congress who have been punished </li></ul><ul><ul><li>15 have been expelled from the Senate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>14 after the Civil War </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The last person was David Durenberger who was denounced and not re-elected </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Punishment in Congress <ul><li>House personnel punished </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reprimanded Adam Clayton Powell, Jim Wright, Barney Frank, and Newt Gingrich </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Myers from Pennsylvania was expelled from the House in 1980 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>James Trafficant recently was convicted of fraud and tampering, but was not re-elected </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Seniority Rule <ul><li>Senior members get the best committees to serve on as well as a preference on seating and offices </li></ul>
  26. 26. Bills becoming Laws <ul><li>Over 20,000 introduced each session </li></ul><ul><li>Only 10% become law </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone may write a bill, but only a congressperson may introduce one to the floor </li></ul><ul><li>Process for introducing a bill is by dropping it in the “hopper” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A box at the end of the clerk’s desk </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Types of Bills <ul><li>Public Bills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General applications like taxes, patents, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Private Bills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply to certain places or persons (MLK day) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Either house for specific item (new money) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Types of Bills <ul><li>Joint Resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temporary measures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concurrent Resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually deals with foreign policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present directive to allow President Bush to attack Iraq </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Committee Status on Bills <ul><li>Groups of Congress people go through the bills to decide which are important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They may “pigeon-hole”- kill the bill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee may take a junket (fact-finding trip) used to be used for vacations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee may discharge (blast bill out of committee) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Rules and Calendars <ul><li>Calendar- is a schedule of when a bill will appear on the floor for consideration </li></ul><ul><li>All bill pending action are read by the committee and then read a second time if they reach the floor </li></ul><ul><li>Debating a bill is limited to one hour in the House </li></ul>
  31. 31. Voting on a Bill <ul><li>Most common way (Yea or Nay) called a voice vote </li></ul><ul><li>Teller vote where each person walks between two people giving their vote to leader </li></ul>
  32. 32. Voting on a Bill <ul><li>Roll call all people in Congress are polled one by one </li></ul><ul><li>When a bill has been approved it is then engrossed and sent to the printers in final form </li></ul>
  33. 33. Bill in the Senate <ul><li>Basically, the same as in the House </li></ul><ul><li>Filibuster- talking a bill to death by trying to delay a vote </li></ul><ul><li>Strom Thurmond holds the current record for filibustering 24 hours + </li></ul><ul><li>The Senate may invoke the cloture rule which limits debate before it starts </li></ul>
  34. 34. Final Stage of the Bill <ul><li>Voted on, engrossed, and finally approved </li></ul><ul><li>Bill then goes to the opposite house for their approval </li></ul><ul><li>Bill may be derailed in either house </li></ul><ul><li>Bill then goes to the President </li></ul>
  35. 35. Final Stage of Bill <ul><li>President’s options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Veto </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pocket veto- when the Congress goes out of session and bill dies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave it lie on the President’s desk and after 10 days it becomes law </li></ul></ul>