Political Science Test Two

  1. Bicameral legislature
    a legislature divided into two houses (Neb. is only U.S. exception)
  2. Apportionment
    number of people for each representatives; currently about 300 million citizens for 435 representatives (reached in 1910, set by statute in 1929)
  3. Bill
    a proposed law; can become law only with consent of both houses, President
  4. The House of Representatives
    • "lower" house; members elected to 2-year terms
    • Larger and majority rules
    • Speaker of the House - leader of the House and head of the majority party; also 2nd in presidential succession
    • notable speakers: Henry Clay (ca. 1811-24), Joe Cannon (1903-10), Tip O'Neill (1977-86), Newt Gingrich (1995-98); now Nancy Pelosi (2007- )
    • other House leaders:
    • Majority leader (second after the speaker) - works with the speaker and the minority leader to schedule the House's work
    • minority leader - head of the R party, and leads the opposition (Ford, 1965-73)
    • Whips - for majority and minority; stay close with members, "count noses" on key votes, and "whip" their caucuses into line
    • committee Chairs - very powerful, especially Appropriations ("Cardinals"); chosen from very loyal majority members
    • as the larger body, the House is organized more tightly, with stricter rules; the House is also more overtly partisan, and the majority has almost total control over proceedings
  5. The Senate
    • "upper" house; members elected to staggered 6-year terms (1/3 every 2 years)
    • Smaller and minority rules
    • senate Majority leader - leader of the Senate and head of the majority party
    • notable majority leaders: Henry Cabot Lodge (1920-26), Lyndon Johnson (1955-60), Mike Mansfield (1961-76), George Mitchell (1989-94)
    • senate minority leader - head of the minority party; leads the R
    • notable minority leaders (also effective opposition leader to the president): Everett Dirksen (1959-71), Bob Dole (1989-94), Tom Daschle (1995-2001, 2003-4)
  6. other Senate leaders:
    • vice president - "presiding" officer; can only vote to break a tie
    • president pro tempore ("pro tem") - ceremonial, presides in absence of VP; also 3rd in presidential succession; most senior member in majority, now Robert Byrd, D-WV
    • committee chairs - very powerful, as in the House
  7. Senate rules
    • give individual senators tremendous power; they are "more active, assertive, and consequently less predictable;" also very ambitious, 100 "presidents-in-waiting"
    • a smaller body, the Senate has fewer formal rules, and more informal ones (�folkways�); senators usually try to be more civil to each other
  8. Congress is organized by
    • political parties; significant recent partisan developments:
    • 1986 - Dems retake the Senate; Bork fight, nomination fights v. Reagan and Bush I
    • 1994 - GOP takeover in both House (Gingrich) and Senate (Dole, then Lott)
    • 1998 - Dem. seats gained and preserved (rare in a president's 6th year); Clinton survives politically, Gingrich retires
    • 2000 - Dems win several close Senate races, gain tie (but broken by GOP VP's vote)
    • 2001 - defection of Jeffords (VT) from GOP gives Senate to Dems in 2001-2 (Daschle becomes majority leader); GOP gets Senate back in 2002; Dems in 2006
    • significance: near-parity in Senate means Dems can block many Bush II nominees
    • caucis or conference - collection of all members of each party: select party officers, review committee assignments, set policy and themes, discipline, plan media strategy

    • The Committee System - types of committees
    • standing - committees to which bills are referred; fewer than 10% of bills ever get voted out of committee; called "standing" because they continue from one Congress to the next; some committees are more powerful or desirable than others (Table 7.3)
    • joint - members from both H & S to effect business between the houses; also focus on the biggest issues, or investigations
    • conference - joint, temporary committee formed to resolve differences between two versions of a specific bill
    • ad hoc, special, or select - temporary, formed for specific purposes, including special studies or investigations
  9. Discharge petition
    a majority of the House can force a bill to the floor for a vote; very unusual: nobody in the majority wants to cross the House leadership (if minority gets enough majority can force bill)
  10. pork barrel
    legislation that lets members "bring home the bacon" to their districts with public works projects, military contracts, or other federal spending; only benefits one location, but drains national money; e.g., Alaska's "bridge to nowhere" (the goal)
  11. Earmark
    member-directed provision in a bill directing funds to a specific project (pork) (the tool)
  12. Committee chairs
    less powerful in the House since 1995; many were kings before
  13. The Members of Congress
    members must appease two sets of constituencies: their voters and supporters at home, and the party leaders, colleagues, and lobbyists in Washington, D.C.
  14. Casework
    solving constituents- problems dealing with the federal government
  15. incumbency factor
    being in office helps a politician to stay in office, because of the benefits of the position
  16. term limits - proposed for Congress, but never enacted; would require a constitutional amendment
  17. Theories of Representation
    • trustees - listen to constituents, then use best judgment to make final decisions (Burke)
    • delegates - vote the way their constituents want them to
    • politicos - representatives act as either trustees or delegates, depending on the issue; on issues of great importance to their constituents, they act as delegates
  18. party
    very important; party unity affects outcomes
  19. constituents
    members vote their way about 2/3 of the time (as does Congress)
  20. colleagues
    advice, logrolling (vote trading), personal lobbying
  21. caucuses
    special-interest groups within Congress for industries, regions, key issues, minorities, etc.; many had special status and funding pre-1995, now more informal
  22. interest groups and lobbyists
    K Street offers information, research, & campaign cash; their PACs provide issue-based campaign funding
  23. think tanks, academia, and foundations
    do academic research, define issues
  24. staff
    invaluable to individuals and committees
  25. support agencies
    include CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and GAO (Government Accountability Office)
  26. three stages of how a bill becomes a law
    committee approval, approval by each house, & conference
  27. hold
    a senator stops a bill from coming to the floor; he/she "asks to be informed" about the bill (or appointment); has objections
  28. filibuster
    halts action on a senate bill by means of unlimited speeches; debate can only be cut off by cloture; prevents any vote on a bill or nominee
  29. closure
    motion requiring 60 senators to cut off debate
  30. pocket veto
    if Congress adjourns in the 10 days after a bill is passed, the bill is considered vetoed if the president doesn't sign it
  31. line-item veto
    Congress created in 1995; tried by Clinton, but struck down by the Supreme Court; proposed as a const. amendment, but never passed by Congress
  32. Congress and the President
    presidential power started to increase ca. 1900, at the expense of Congress: TR, FDR, and LBJ were most conspicuous at it; in 1973 Congress started to fight "the imperial presidency;" but presidents ascended again after 1980
  33. Oversight
    Congressional review of the activities of an agency, department, or office; includes program review, hearings, departmental funding, investigations
  34. foreign affairs
    largely an executive function since early 1900s; technology (air power, nukes, etc.) now necessitates more quick decision-making and more secrecy
  35. War powers Act
    requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of sending troops overseas; prez also needs congressional approval to commit U.S. forces to a combat zone for more than 60 days
  36. Senate confirmation of presidential appointments - can be very contentious
  37. Impeachment
    • arraignment and trial of a judicial or executive officer; only 16 federal officials have been impeached (7 were convicted and removed, 3 resigned)
    • Congress can charge the president and other "civil officers" with "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" (see Table 7.7)
    • the House judiciary Committee first votes on a bill or resolution of impeachment; hearings before a vote may result in an extensive evidentiary report
    • the full house can indict with a majority vote on each article of impeachment
    • Senate trial - on Senate floor, acting as jury; the official is defended by attorneys, and prosecuted by members of the House Judiciary Committee
    • if convicted in the Senate trial - the official is removed from office (and can face criminal charges)
  38. presidential impeachment efforts: charges, results
    • Tyler - corruption and misconduct, 1843; not impeached
    • Johnson - serious misconduct, 1868; impeached, acquitted in Senate by one vote
    • Nixon - obstruction of justice, abuse of power, 1974; resigned before House vote
    • Clinton - obstruction of justice: 4 charges heard / 2 articles approved, 1998; acquitted in Senate
  39. Senatorial courtesy
    a president usually defers to senators on district court appointments
  40. Oversight
    includes the setting of jurisdiction of federal courts, number of judges on each court, including the Supreme Court
  41. Roots of the Office
    • colonial royal governors were appointed by the king, and often at odds with the elected colonial legislatures; after 1776, most state constitutions had weak, largely symbolic chief executives
    • the framers of the Constitution, however, wanted a strong chief executive
  42. presidential qualifications
    must be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a U.S. resident for at least 14 years
  43. presidential term - 4 years; only FDR elected more than twice, TR also ran for a 3rd term; 22nd Amendment (1951) limits president to 2 terms, 10 total years in office
  44. presidential removal
    by impeachment: only for treason, bribery, or other "high crimes and misdemeanors;- "articles of impeachment" are the specific charges brought against the president or federal judge
  45. presidential succession
    • set by Presidential Succession Act of 1947: VP, speaker of the House, president pro tempore of the Senate; then secretaries of state, treasury, defense, etc.
    • 25th amendment (1967) allows for appointment to fill VP office, with consent of H & S; also allows for president's incapacitation: VP can become "acting president"
  46. Vice President
    • an office with practically no official authority (ask Garner)
    • constitutional backstop - only there in case the president dies or is incapacitated
    • political uses: ticket balancing; the "Mondale model" (active); Cheney's role
  47. The Constitutional Powers of the President
    • in Article II of the Constitution
    • appointments - 3,000 + (1,125 require Senate confirmation), including ambassadors, federal judges (for life), cabinet and sub-cabinet level officials; for politics, policy
    • cabinet - 15 (now) heads of executive departments: "principal officers" (25th Am.)
    • make treaties - with Senate approval; historically, 70% are ratified; important trade agreements are negotiated under "fast track" approval procedures
    • veto power - formal, constitutional authority to reject bills passed by both houses, preventing them from becoming law (unless overridden by 2/3 votes in each house)
    • commander-in-chief - of the armed forces; now limited by the war powers Act (1973); Bush got wide authority to use force against terrorists, Saddam's Iraq
    • pardon - executive release from the punishment or legal consequences of a crime; restores all rights and privileges of citizenship; Ford and Carter suffered for theirs
  48. The First Three Presidents
    • Washington (1789-1797) set several important precedents:
    • primacy of the national government - e.g., put down the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794
    • met regularly with his advisors: established the informal cabinet system
    • asserted the executive role in foreign affairs: sent envoys to negotiate the Jay Treaty with Britain; assumed authority to negotiate treaties & send them to the Senate
    • asserted "inherent powers" - derived or inferred from the Constitution in Article II
    • Adams (1797-1801) the role of parties increased in federal politics and governance
    • Jefferson (1801-1809), though an Anti-Federalist, also expanded presidential power, and used it to make the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 (doubled the size of the U.S.)
  49. Congressional Triumph: 1804 - 1933
    • most presidents of this era were weak relative to Congress, with a few exceptions:
    • Jackson (1829-37) - used mass appeal and patronage to build the Democratic party; fought Congress� creation of a federal bank
    • Lincoln (1861-65) - assumed many emergency powers to preserve the Union
  50. The Growth of the Modern Presidency
    • Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) is credited with the major expansion of presidential power:
    • asked for, and got, "broad executive powers" to try to improve the economy
    • The New Deal - program of "Relief, Recovery, Reform" to fight the Depression
    • regularly sent a legislative program to Congress (didn't just respond to Congress)
    • increased the federal bureaucracy from under 600,000 to over 1 million
    • "personalized" the presidency with radio addresses ("fireside chats"), newsreels
  51. Vice president
    est. as insignificant, usually chosen to "balance" a presidential ticket; power depends on what the president gives him; Mondale, Gore, Cheney
  52. the cabinet
    has grown as needed for administration, or by political pressure; now 15 cabinet-level departments; informal - not mentioned in constitution
  53. The First Lady - significantly:
    • Edith Wilson - was the de facto chief of staff (president?), 1919-21 when WW was incapacitated (most politically powerful behind the scenes)
    • Eleanor Roosevelt - spoke and wrote widely on liberal issues; later, delegate to UN (most visibly political)
    • Hillary Lcinton - led attempted health care reform, 1993; elected senator from New York in 2000; ran for president in 2008
  54. Executive Office of the President
    helps the president oversee the bureaucracy; includes the National Security Agency (NSA), OMB, VP, etc.
  55. The President as Policy Maker
    • from FDR ' "the president , and the Congress disposes"
    • LBJ - "Without constant attention from the administration, most legislation moves through the congressional process at the speed of a glacier."
  56. Proposing and Facilitating Legislation
    • "honeymoon period" - when first inaugurated, a president gets his first, best opportunity for major achievements
    • patronage - rewards of jobs, grants, or special favors to friends and political allies
    • party ties - the president is usually leader of his party; sometimes tries to appear more moderate than the rest of his party, e.g. Clinton's "triangulation"
  57. OMB
    Office of Management and Budget, created in 1921 as the Bureau of the Budget; prepares a colossal budget for each fiscal year
  58. Executive order
    a rule or regulation issued by the president; has the effect of law
  59. Presidential Leadership and Public Opinion
    • Leadership - focusing public attention on selected issues; "great crises make great presidents"
    • power to persuade - necessary because of limited constitutional powers
    • Going Public - he can go "over the heads" of congress, directly to the people
    • speeches and appearances - presidents and their advisors travel and appear on TV constantly; today's 24/7 media news cycle demands constant fresh material
    • Presidential Approval Ratings - polls that measure the president's popularity; Bush 41 wasted his high ratings after the 1991 Gulf War; Clinton protected his at all costs
Card Set
Political Science Test Two
Political Science Test Two