Houseof reps


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Houseof reps

  1. 1. House of Representatives
  2. 2. Rules for Law Making • Complex Rules • Members of the house set their own rules (i.e. There is a limit of 5-minutes per member • Rules are geared for moving legislation quickly • Members do not have to consult other members before making big decisions
  3. 3. Committee Work • Committees do most of the work (why?) • Representatives tend to specialize in a certain area to help their constituents • Some committees: Agriculture, Armed services, Banking and Financial, Government reform, and Small Business.
  4. 4. Importance of Party Affiliation • Why have parties? • Republicans sit on the right in the chamber and Democrats sit on the left • The party with the most members is called the Majority • The party with the least members is the Minority • Members of each party choose their leaders
  5. 5. Importance of Part Affiliation • Leaders have 6 purposes: 1. Organizing and unifying party members 2. Scheduling the work of the House 3. Making certain that lawmakers are present for key floor votes 4. Distributing and collecting information 5. Keeping the House in touch with the President 6. Influencing lawmakers to support the policies of their political party
  6. 6. House Leadership • Speaker of the House is the presiding officer • A special Caucus (closed meeting) of the majority chooses Speaker, full house must approve • Speaker presides over House sessions • Decides which members get to speak first • Appoints members of some committees • Schedules bills for action • Refers bills to proper Committee • Third in line of succession for President • Who is the Speaker of the House?
  7. 7. House Floor Leaders • The Speaker’s top assistant is the Majority Leader-Who is it? • Plans the party’s legislative program • Steer important bills through the house • Make sure that work is finished on a bill • Floor leader of his/her party • Elected by their party
  8. 8. House Floor Leaders • Majority Leader is aided by Whips • Whips are assistant floor leaders • Main job is to watch how majority-party members intend to vote on bills • Persuade them to vote as the party wishes • Make sure members are are present to vote • Minority Leader-Who is it? • Minority Whips
  9. 9. Lawmaking in the House • House starts sessions Usually before noon • House is in session Monday-Friday – Monday’s are for routine work – Friday is usually set aside to go to visit constituents – Most work is done Tuesday-Thursday
  10. 10. How House Bills Are Scheduled • All Laws start as bills • A bill is dropped in the “hopper,” which is a mahogany box in the front of the chamber • The Speaker then assigns that bill to a committee for review, study and discussion (only 10-20% of bills ever go to a full-house vote) • If a bill survives the committee, it is added to the House Calendar-which lists bills that are up for consideration
  11. 11. The House Rules Committee • The Rules Committee is the “traffic officer” in the House • They direct the flow of major legislation • After a bill is approved it goes to the Rules Committee for review • They have the power to move the bills ahead, hold them back or stop them altogether • Rules committee also is the referee in the house and settles disputes between committees
  12. 12. A Quorum for Business • A quorum is the minimum number of members needed to take official action • In a normal session a quorum is majority-218 members. • When the House amends legislation a quorum is only 100 members: this is called Committee of the Whole