AP Gov CH 11 & 12

  1. House of Representatives
    • 438 members
    • 25 years old
    • 7 year U.S. citizen
    • Resident of district/state
    • Two‐year term limits
    • more centralized
    • party loyalty is common
    • House Rules committee
  2. Total # of legislative districts and territories
    • 438
    • including 3 territories:Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, D.C
  3. Reapportionment Act of 1929
    • Reapportionment Act of 1929‐ froze numberof representatives at 435, to be rearrangedevery ten years with the census (3 territories)
    • Gerrymandering potential could lead to virtualincumbency for life… aka “safe districts”
    • The (3) territories send a representative whodoes everything but actually cast a vote.
    • ‐Puerto Rico (Resident Commissioner) VirginIslands, Guam, D.C.
  4. Apportionment/Gerrymandering
    • apportionment: the act of distributing the house based on pop
    • gerrymandering: To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections.
    • could lead to incumbency for life b/c they have safe districts.
  5. Constitutional Requirements of Senate
    1) 30 years old• 2) 9 year U.S. citizen• 3) Resident of the State• Six year terms staggerre‐election 1/3 (33)every two years• 100 total‐ two per state
  6. Constitutional Requirements of House members
    1) 25 years old• 2) 7 year U.S. citizen• 3) Resident of district/state
  7. Senate
    • ratify all treaties
    • confirm prez nomination
    • impeach
    • less centralized
    • weaker leadership
    • more prestige
    • influential on foreign affairs
    • less specialized
    • unlimited debate
  8. Equal Representation Method
    • Bi‐cameral legislature (Connecticut compromise) combines both proportional and equal representation systemsand remains•
    • A) Bi‐Cameral: Senate based on equalrepresentation, House based on population (N. J.& Virginia Plans)•
    • B) Congressional Sessions: Begin in January andrun into early November (sometimes later)
  9. 17th Amendment
    direct election of senators
  10. Incumbency (advantages/disadvantages)
    • adv: advertising (franking)
    • issue advocacy/credit claiming (pork barreling & case work)
    • free media attention
    • weak opponents
    • presidential coattails (align w prez)

    • DIS:
    • Scandal/Corruption (Voters get their revengeat the polls….when they want it)
    • 2) Census/Reapportionment
    • 3) It does happen…but not without a coordinatedparty effort! (National Referendum)
  11. Congressional Salaries
    • Congress pays itself but voting pay increasesevery year (cost of living adjustments, etc)
    • In 1787…Congress earned $6 a day…
    • Yearly Base salary= 154,700
    • Speaker of the House/President of the Senate:190,000
    • President Pro‐Tem of the Senate/FloorLeaders: 170,000
  12. Benefits
    • Franking (free postal service forCongressional members)• Lobbyist perks• Travel budgets• Special low‐cost health care• No outside speaking fees allowed• Tax deductions on homes
    • Free from arrest “in all cases except treason,felony, and breach of the press, when inCongress or on the way to or from Congress”
  13. Franking
    • Franking (free postal service forCongressional members)\
    • free advertising
    • reach out to voters
    • stay visible
  14. Legislative Immunity
    “Legislative Immunity”‐ allows “officialconduct” (congressional business) to be freefrom libel/slander lawsuits and protects freespeech rights
  15. Majority and Minority Leader of Senate
    • Senate Majority Leader:
    • Nominates members toparty committees &Affects assignment ofmembers to committees• Influences the election ofparty officers & receivesspecial recognition on thefloor• Appoints party task forcesto study and recommendreforms

    • Senate Minority Leader:
    • Summarizes criticisms ofthe majority party’slegislation• Mobilizes support forminority party positions• Acts as Senatespokesperson for thepresident if both are ofthe same party
  16. Majority & Minority Leaders House
    • House Majority Party Leader:
    • Appointed by parties to shapeand direct the strategy on theHouse floor
    • Maintain their parties’ alliancesto garner voting majorities topass or defeat bills &amendments
    • Formulate the party’s legislativeprogram in cooperation with thespeaker
    • With other party leaders steer their program through the House
    • Ensure committee chairs takenaction on bills

    • House Minority Party Leader:•
    • Appointed by parties to shapeand direct the strategy on theHouse floor (watchdog role)• Maintain their parties’ alliancesto garner voting majorities topass or defeat bills &amendments• Formulate the party’s legislativeprogram against the majorityparty (watchdog role)• With other party leaders steertheir program through the House• Ensure committee chairs takenaction on bills
  17. Speaker of the House Vice-President President Pro- Tempore
    • The Vice President of the United States is president ofthe Senate.
    • May not take part in debates & May vote only in theevent of a tie
    • President Pro Tempore (4th in line of succession)presides when the vice president is not present & isusually the most senior member of the majority party
    • Temporary Presiding Officer presides when neither thevice president nor the president pro tempore ispresent & is usually a senior member of the majorityparty
  18. Majority & Minority Whips
    party leaders who work with majority and minority leaders to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a favored bill by the party

    • Each party elects a whip to aid the floor leader inimplementing the party’s legislative program
    • Help develop a party program & build coalitionsto pass bills and/or amendments
    • Transmit information to party members in thechamber & assist leaders in voting strategies
    • Gather intelligence; know where the key votesare, and use persuasive tactics to get more votes
  19. Non-Legislative Powers
    • 1) Propose a Constitutional Amendment
    • 2) Admit States to the Union
    • 3) House’s selection of President if no majority isreceived through the Electoral College
    • 4) Power to disapprove/approve presidentialappointments (“Advise and Consent” Role of theSenate)
    • 5) Impeachment Powers/Proceedings
    • 6) Oversight and Investigation
  20. Impeachment
    • the Constitution grants the Congress the right toremove federal officials for “treason, bribery, orother high crimes and misdemeanors…”
    • the House of Representatives has “…..sole powerof impeachment.
    • the Senate has “…. the sole power to try all impeachments.”
    • a 2/3 vote is needed in both houses to impeach
    • A. Johnson impeached, Nixon resigned, Clintonone vote short in the Senate
  21. Oversight
    • monitoring the bureaucracy and its administration of policy performed by hearings
    • checks executive
    • Serves the same watchdog function as politicalparties essentially watching the president andhow his administration implements policy
    • Also consists of hearings or bringing attentionto issues of national concern or importance…
    • It can consist of national issues like 9/11security lapses, Hurricane Katrina, immigrationdebate or food and child toy safety.
  22. effective oversight
    Budget Control• ‐Hearings & Committees• ‐Reauthorization or new jurisdiction of governmentagencies (organize/reorganize)• ‐Setting guidelines for new agencies• ‐“Sunset legislation”‐ laws that expire over time• ‐Congressional support agencies• ‐Using representative or senator casework as source ofinformation• ‐Program evaluation• ‐Using Iron Triangle relationship for information
  23. ineffective oversight
    ‐No electoral payoff/political consequences• ‐Oversight is very labor intensive/hard work• ‐Lack of budget control• ‐Interest groups/PAC’s influence• ‐Cozy relationships of Iron Triangles• ‐Enabling legislation is vague• ‐Failure to “use” available powers or ineffectiveuse of them• ‐Oversight work + case work= high chance ofreelection (incumbents)
  24. “Advise & Consent” Role on the Senate
    • power to disapprove or approve presidential appointments
    • find dirt on the ppl
    • watchdog role
  25. Committee Structure (Types, #, Roles/Functions)
    • The House of Representatives has 19 standing committees the Senate has 17 standing committees
    • Nearly 150 sub‐committees the committees responsible for the majority of congressional work.
    • Standing Committees‐ are issues that do not change fromadministration to administration and remain the same.

    • Committee representation usually resembles the ratio ofCongress’s two political parties.
    • Majority party controls committee
    • Committee Chairs are appointed through the unofficial seniority system (schedule hearings, hire staff, appoint subcom., manage com. bills)
    • Usually a long‐term member of Congress and of their party.
  26. joint
    Joint Committees: Membership consists of bothHouses and usually calls for in‐depth study of the issue
  27. select
    Select Committees: Deal with specific issues andusually of a temporary nature. Chairs and membershipappointed by the Speaker and majority leaders.(Watergate, Clinton’s Whitewater Scandal, 9/11,Katrina, Immigration, etc.)
  28. conference
    • Conference Committees: A joint committee for atemporary problem.
    • Always used in drafting the final stages of a bill before it leaves the Legislative Branch.
    • A compromise between different versions of law must bereached by Congress before going to the President
  29. Bill to Law Process (Steps & Specifics)
  30. Types of Legislation (Public, Private, Joint & Concurrent Resolutions)
    • a) public bills‐ effect the nation as a whole (Social SecurityReform)
    • b) private bills‐ apply to certain people or places
    • c) joint resolutions‐deal with unused or temporary mattersof both Houses. Policy statement that has the force of lawand Presidential veto
    • d) concurrent resolutions‐deal with the matters for whichlaw is needed but lack the force of law
    • e) resolutions‐ deal with individual House matters on rulesand procedures
Card Set
AP Gov CH 11 & 12
Interest Groups & Congress