Congress Vocab

  1. Bill
    A proposed law
  2. Casework
    • When members of
    • Congress solve problems for constituents, especially problems involving
    • government agencies.
  3. Caucus
    • An informal group of
    • members of Congress who share an interest in the same issues and informally work
    • together to achieve their shared goals. Ex. – Congressional Hispanic
    • Caucus.
  4. Closed Rule
    • – A rule established
    • by the House Rules committee that prohibits bills from being amended during
    • debate on the floor of the House.
  5. Cloture
    • – A vote to end debate
    • in the Senate and bring a bill to a vote; requires 60 votes.
  6. Conference Committee
    • – Committee (composed
    • of both Senators and House members) created to reach a compromise between House
    • and Senate versions of the same bill.
  7. Constituents
    • – The people
    • represented by a particular member of Congress. For example, House
    • member Scott Rigell’s constituents are the people of the Second District of
    • Virginia.
  8. Earmarks / Pork
    Barrel Spending
    • – Money directed to a very
    • specific program or cause; ex. money for the construction of an indoor rain
    • forest. Used by incumbents to gain
    • votes.
  9. Filibuster
    • Debating an issue indefinitely
    • in order to prevent a vote; only used in the Senate.
  10. Franking Privilege
    • – The right of
    • members of Congress to mail non-campaign material for free.
  11. Gerrymandering
    • – When a state
    • legislature draws Congressional (House) district lines to benefit a particular
    • political party
  12. House Rules Committee
    • The House committee
    • that decides what rules will govern debate of a bill on the floor of the
    • House. The Rules committee can place limits on the length of the
    • debate, limit amendments, or may refuse to schedule a bill for a vote
    • altogether.
  13. Impeachment
    • –When the House
    • brings charges against a president or judge in an attempt to remove him or her
    • from office. After impeachment, a trial takes place in the Senate.
  14. Incumbent
    • – A member of
    • Congress running for reelection
  15. Legislative Oversight
    • – Congress’ power to
    • review the actions of the executive branch to determine whether it is enforcing
    • Congress’ laws as intended. For example,
    • a Congressional hearing on progress on the implementation of the health care
    • bill.
  16. Logrolling
    • Vote trading; “I’ll
    • vote for your bill if you vote for mine.”
  17. Marginal District
    • House districts in
    • which candidates tend to win by narrow margins in close elections.
  18. Markup Session
    • – A session at the
    • committee or subcommittee level where a bill is amended (changed).
  19. Open Rule
    • An order from the
    • House Rules Committee that allows a bill to be amended during debate on the
    • floor of the House (as opposed to during committee).
  20. Reapportionment
    • The process of
    • allotting seats in the House to each state following a
    • census. States that have gained population might gain
    • representatives and states that have lost population might lose
    • representatives, but the total number of House members will always remain at
    • 435
  21. Redistricting
    • When a state
    • legislature redraws the Congressional district lines within its state
  22. Resolution
    • An expression of Congressional
    • opinion; ex. congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.
  23. Safe District
    • – House districts in
    • which incumbents tend to win by margins of 55 percent or more.
  24. Standing Committees
    • – Congressional
    • committees that have the power to approve or reject bills. For example, the House Agriculture Committee.
  25. Whip
    • – A member of Congress who acts
    • as a liaison between the party leaders and the party members in Congress; keeps
    • members in line.
Card Set
Congress Vocab
Congress Vocabulary for Test