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SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 3


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Edited version of a presentation prepared by the Leon County Schools Social Studies Dept.

Published in: Education, Business, Career
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SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 3

  1. 1. Chapter Six, Section Three
  2. 2. “ Representing the People”
  3. 3. The U.S. Congress
  4. 4. Want to be a U.S. Senator? <ul><li>Requirements to be a Senator: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be at least 30 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must live in state you represent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be a citizen of the U.S. for at least 9 years </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Want to be a U.S. Representative? <ul><li>Requirements to be a Representative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be at least 25 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must live in state you represent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be a citizen of the U.S. for at least 7 years </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Career Backgrounds <ul><li>Nearly half of all Senators and Representatives are lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>They are also “ joiners ” (people who are actively involved in community organizations) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Benefits of being in Congress <ul><li>In 2011, the salary for a member of the U.S. Congress is $174,000 a year (for both houses) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Benefits of being in Congress <ul><li>Members also get an office space, free parking, and transportation to their home state. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Benefits of being in Congress <ul><li>Members get free “ franking privileges ” (sending job-related mail without paying postage) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Benefits of being in Congress <ul><li>Members get “ immunity ” (legal protection) in some cases so they may speak or act freely. </li></ul><ul><li>This does NOT allow them to break the law. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Congressional Staff
  12. 12. Personal Staff <ul><li>The “ personal staff ” of a member of Congress run their Washington and state offices. </li></ul><ul><li>They handle the day to day business for the member. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Personal Staff <ul><li>The “ personal staff ” also helps the members deal with different “ lobbyist ” groups (people hired by private groups to influence government decision makers) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Personal Staff <ul><li>The “ personal staff ” is sometimes supported by interns and pages (students who volunteer their time to learn more about the political process) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Committee Staff <ul><li>The “ committee staff ” are people who work directly for a specific Congressional committee. </li></ul><ul><li>These people usually have expert knowledge of the issue or topic and keep the process moving. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Support Services <ul><li>The “ support services ” are different agencies that are created to help members of Congress with their work. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Support Services <ul><li>The “ Congressional Research Service (CRS)” is one of these services. </li></ul><ul><li>The CRS is a part of the “ Library of Congress ”. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Support Services <ul><li>The “ General Accounting Office (GAO)” is another service. </li></ul><ul><li>The GAO helps Congress investigate financial matters for the U.S. Government </li></ul>
  19. 19. Support Services <ul><li>The “ Congressional Budget Office (CBO)” is one more service provided. </li></ul><ul><li>The CBO provides information and analysis for budget decisions. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Congress At Work
  21. 21. Congress At Work <ul><li>Congress works in “ sessions ” or regular time periods. </li></ul><ul><li>These sessions begin on January 3 rd each year and continue throughout most of the year. </li></ul><ul><li>Congress has 3 main jobs to accomplish </li></ul>
  22. 22. 1. Lawmaking <ul><li>Making laws is the most important job the Congress accomplishes each session. </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing from the people, writing bills, etc. </li></ul>
  23. 23. 2. Casework <ul><li>“ Casework ” (helping constituents work out a problems) is also very important to keep the member “in touch” with it’s constituents . </li></ul><ul><li>Some members of Congress get over 10,000 requests for help each year. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 3. Helping the District or State <ul><li>Looking out for or helping a member’s home district or state is also very important. </li></ul><ul><li>Pushing issues that help their own constituents is a priority, but they also look out for the interests of the U.S . </li></ul>
  25. 25. 3. Helping the District or State <ul><li>Members of Congress try to work to get their constituents their share of the federal budget each year. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pork barrel projects ” are government projects or grants that benefit the home state of district of a member of Congress. </li></ul>
  26. 26. “ Pork Barrel Projects” <ul><li>The term comes from members of Congress dipping into the “ pork barrel ” ( federal treasury) to pull out a piece of “ fat ” (federal project for their district). </li></ul>
  27. 27. “ Pork Barrel Projects”