Congress Part 2


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Congress Part 2

  1. 1. Congress (Part II) Michael P. Fix
  2. 2. The Details of Article I <ul><li>Section One: Bicameral legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Section Two: Length of terms for House members and qualifications for service </li></ul><ul><li>Section Three: Selection of Senators, length of terms </li></ul><ul><li>Section Four: Congressional election process </li></ul><ul><li>Section Seven: How a bill becomes a law </li></ul><ul><li>Section Eight: Powers of the legislative branch </li></ul>
  3. 3. Congressional Powers <ul><li>Enumerated Powers </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional power specifically granted in Article I of the Constitution </li></ul>Implied Powers Powers not specified by the Constitution. Implied as an extension of enumerated powers
  4. 4. Enumerated Powers <ul><li>Examples of enumerated powers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay and collect taxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Borrow money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coin money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulate interstate commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Declare war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raise an army and navy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create inferior courts </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Implied Powers The Congress shall have power …To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. Necessary and Proper Clause Article I, Section 8
  6. 6. Implied Powers <ul><li>The necessary and proper clause is also called the elastic clause </li></ul>
  7. 7. Expansion of Implied Powers <ul><li>“ Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consistent with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” </li></ul>McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
  8. 8. Getting into Congress <ul><li>Only Constitutional requirements deal with age, length of citizenship, and residency </li></ul>
  9. 9. Getting into Congress <ul><li>Aside from the specific requirements set out in the Constitution, other qualifications are just as essential for those seeking election </li></ul>
  10. 10. Getting into Congress: Practical Requirements
  11. 11. Getting into Congress: Practical Requirements From , ,,
  12. 12. Getting into Congress: Practical Requirements From Political parties matter in multiple ways: - Only candidates from the two major parties can win most elections - If one party is dominate in a district, it is difficult to win from even the other major party
  13. 13. Getting into Congress: Practical Requirements From Running against a well-know and powerful opponent often generates an unfair fight.
  14. 14. Getting into Congress: Practical Requirements The recent Congressional elections show the importance of timing. Some incumbents lost reelection in relatively safe districts because of popular dissatisfaction.
  15. 15. Staying in Congress <ul><li>Incumbency Advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Name Recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Franking Privilege </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Constituent service </li></ul><ul><li>PACs, Interest Groups and Lobbyists </li></ul><ul><li>Media Access </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reapportionment and Redistricting The assigning by Congress of congressional seats after each census. State legislatures reapportion state legislative districts The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population Reapportionment Redistricting
  17. 17. Apportionment and the Constitution <ul><li>“ Representatives…shall be apportioned among the several states…according to their respective Numbers” </li></ul><ul><li>Orders an “actual enumeration” (census) every ten years </li></ul><ul><li>Constitution does not specify the size of the House of Representatives </li></ul>
  18. 18. Apportionment and the Constitution <ul><li>Current size of House membership set in 1912 </li></ul><ul><li>Today, each Representative represents 670,000 people </li></ul>
  19. 19. Apportionment and the Constitution <ul><li>The Constitution does not specifically require that all districts be of the same size </li></ul>
  20. 20. Apportionment and the Courts The U.S. Supreme Court originally declared issues of apportionment to be a “political thicket” that the courts should stay out of
  21. 21. Apportionment and the Courts <ul><li>Baker v. Carr (1961) </li></ul><ul><li>“ One person, one vote” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Apportionment and the Courts <ul><li>Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) </li></ul><ul><li>“ One person, one vote” applies to congressional districts </li></ul>
  23. 23. Reapportionment in 2000
  24. 24. Redistricting <ul><li>In almost all states, the process of redistricting must be undertaken every ten years to reflect </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>changes in the state’s overall population relative the the rest of the country </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>population shifts within the state </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Gerrymandering Gerrymandering The drawing of legislative districts for partisan advantage
  26. 26. The Gerrymander
  27. 27. Gerrymandering <ul><li>Packing </li></ul><ul><li>Lumping opposition voters in one area </li></ul><ul><li>Cracking </li></ul><ul><li>Splitting up groups of voters so they do not constitute a majority in any district </li></ul>
  28. 28. Texas Redistricting Battle House Majority Leader Tom Delay worked with Republican state legislative leaders to increase the number of Republican congressional districts in Texas from fifteen to twenty-two
  29. 29. Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering Drawing district boundary lines to maximize minority representation
  30. 30. Redistricting Iowa Style <ul><li>Iowa uses a complex computer system administered by a non-partisan commission to draw geographically compact and equal districts </li></ul>
  31. 31. Redistricting Iowa Style From
  32. 32. Political Parties in Congress <ul><li>Parties play several key roles in organizing the legislative process: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Orientation function </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agenda setting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voting cues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Committee appointment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Majority leadership </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. United vs. Divided Government <ul><li>United Government </li></ul><ul><li>One political party controls the presidency and Congress </li></ul>Divided Government One political party controls the presidency and the other controls at least one house of Congress
  34. 34. United vs. Divided Government <ul><li>Between 1896 and 1968 divided government was a rare occurrence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Divided government occurred approximately 20% of the time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Since then it has become the norm </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Divided government occurred approximately 80% of the time </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Congressional Ethics <ul><li>Congress is the only “distinctly native American criminal class” </li></ul><ul><li>-Mark Twain </li></ul>From
  36. 36. Congress under fire <ul><li>The following members of Congress were subject to ethics investigations in 2006: </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Delay </li></ul><ul><li>Bob Ney </li></ul><ul><li>Randy “Duke” Cunningham </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Foley </li></ul><ul><li>William Jefferson </li></ul>
  37. 43. Congress and the President <ul><li>“ An invitation to struggle” </li></ul>
  38. 44. Congress and the President <ul><li>Domestic vs. Foreign Policy </li></ul>
  39. 45. Congress and the Courts <ul><li>Statutory vs. Constitutional Questions </li></ul>