Governance Chapter 7 Terms

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  1. bicameral legislature
    A two-house legislature.
  2. apportionment
    The process of allotting congressional seats to each state following the decennial census according to their proportion of the population.
  3. bill
    A proposed law
  4. impeachment
    The power delegated to the House of Representatives in the Constitution to charge the president, vice president, or other "civil officers," including federal judges, with "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." This is the first step in the constitutional process of removing government officials from office.
  5. incumbency
    Already holding an office.
  6. redistricting
    The process of redrawing congressional districts to reflects increases or decreases in seats allotted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state.
  7. gerrymandering
    The drawing of congressional districts to produce a particular electoral outcome without regard to the shape of the district.
  8. majority party
    The political party in each house of Congress with the most members.
  9. minority party
    The political party in each house of Congress with the second most members.
  10. party caucus or conference
    A formal gathering of all party members.
  11. Speaker of the House
    The only officer of the House of Representatives specifically mentioned in the Constitution; the chamber's most powerful position; traditionally a member of the majority party.
  12. majority leader
    The head of the party controlling the most seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate; is second in authority to the Speaker of the House and in the Senate is regarded as its most powerful member.
  13. minority leader
    The head of the party with the second highest number of elected representatives in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
  14. whip
    Party leader who keeps close contact with all members of his or her party, takes vote counts on key legislation, prepares summaries of bills, and acts as a communications link within a party.
  15. president pro tempore
    The official chair of the Senate; usually the most senior member of the majority party.
  16. standing committee
    Committee to which proposed bills are referred; continues from one Congress to the next.
  17. joint committee
    Standing committee that includes members from both houses of Congress setup to conduct investigations or special studies.
  18. conference committee
    Special joint committee created to reconcile differences in bills passed by the House and Senate.
  19. select (or special) commmittee
    Temporary committee appointed for a specific purpose.
  20. discharge petition
    Petition that gives a majority of the House of Representatives the authority to bring an issue to the floor in the face of committee inaction.
  21. seniority
    The of continuous service on a committee.
  22. markup
    A session in which committee members offer changes to a bill before it goes to the floor.
  23. hold
    A tactic by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill or nomination is brought to the floor. This request signals leadership that a member may have objections to the bill and should be consulted before further action is taken.
  24. filibuster
    A formal way of halting Senate action on a bill by means of long speeches or unlimited debate.
  25. cloture
    Mechanism requiring sixty senators to vote to cut off debate.
  26. veto
    The formal, constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both houses of Congress, thus preventing them from becoming law without further congressional action.
  27. pocket veto
    If congress adjourns during the ten days the president has to consider a bill passed by both houses of Congress, the bill is considered vetoed without the president's signature.
  28. Congressional Budget Act of 1974
    Act that established the congressional budget process by laying out a plan for the congressional action on the annual budget resolution, appropriations, reconciliation, and any other revenue bills.
  29. reconciliation
    A procedure that allows consideration of controversial issues affecting the budget by limited debate to twenty hours, thereby ending threat of a filibuster.
  30. pork
    Legislation that allows representatives to bring money and jobs to their districts in the form of public works programs, military bases, or other programs.
  31. earmark
    Funds that an appropriations bill designates for specifics projects within a state or congressional districts.
  32. War Powers Act
    Passed by Congress in 1973; the president is limited in the deployment of troops overseas to a sixty-day period in peacetime (which can be extended for an extra thirty days to permit withdrawal,) unless Congress explicitly gives its approval for a longer period.
  33. congressional review
    A process whereby Congress can nullify agency regulations by a joint resolution of legislative disapproval.
  34. senatorial courtesy
    A process by which presidents, when selecting district court judges, defer to the senators in whose state the vacancy occurs.
  35. trustee
    Role played by an elected representative who listens to constituents' opinions and then uses his or her best judgment to make a final decision.
  36. delegate
    Role played by an elected representative who votes the way his or her constituents would want him or her to, regardless of his or her own opinions.
  37. politico
    Role played by an elected representative who acts as a trustee or as a delegate, depending on the issue.
  38. divided government
    The political condition in which different political parties control the presidency and Congress.
  39. unified governement
    The political condition in which the same political party controls the presidency and Congress.
  40. logrolling
    vote trading; voting to support a colleague's bill in return for a promise of future support.
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Governance Chapter 7 Terms
Chapter 7 terms
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