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CIVICS (8): Legislative Branch

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by

Sarah Ward

on 25 June 2015

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Transcript of CIVICS (8): Legislative Branch

CH 8: Legislative Branch
sect 1: The Members of Congress
sect 2: The Powers of Congress
sect 3: How Congress is Organized
sect 4: Following a Bill in Congress
main idea = the legislative branch of the U.S. govt is called CONGRESS.
Laws are made by 100 senators & 435 representatives.
Responsibilities of Law Making
local v. national needs
political parties
interest groups
personal beliefs
Which responsibilities may conflict with each other?
THINK
PAIR
SHARE
Who do lawmakers owe the greatest responsibility and/or loyalty to when making legislative decisions?
Members of Congress at Work
maintain knowledge on current events & relevant policy topics
listen & give speeches on the floor
meetings
correspond with constituents
rely heavily on administrative staffs
Representatives & Senators
House of Representatives (435 total)
Congressional district by population
2 year terms
Senators (100 total)
2 per state
6 year terms
How might term lengths impact the way congressmen interact with constituents?
What dynamic does this create between small states & large states?
Who has more of an advantage?
Requirements, Salary & Benefits
Representatives
at least 25 yrs old
US citizen at least 7 yrs
Senators
at least 30 yrs old
US citizen at least 9 yrs
Allowances ( in addition to salary)
2 offices & staffs
Travel expenses
Free use of postal system
main idea = The Constitution grants Congress specific and general powers to make laws. The Constitution also specifies limits to those powers.
PROMOTING THE GENERAL WELFARE
PROVIDING FOR DEFENSE
ESTABLISHING JUSTICE
UNLISTED POWERS
NONLEGISLATIVE POWERS
laws that help people live better
THINK - PAIR - SHARE:
How does the "power of the purse" serve as a check & balance within our government?
establish & maintain our military
sole power to declare war
Who has ultimate power in ordering the use of American military force?
approve judicial appointments
Impeachment
"necessary & proper" clause
LIMITS ON THE POWERS OF CONGRESS
checks & balances
the rights of citizens
writ of habeus corpus
bill of attainder
what do these limitation have to do with our "innocent until proven guilty" system of justice?
main idea = Both houses of Congress choose leaders and assign members to committees. The committees work on bills before they are voted on. The President can sign or veto a bill.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
great influence over which bills pass or fail in the House

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
presides over Senate sessions. VP of U.S./president pro tempore
FLOOR LEADERS
chief officers of the majority & minority parties in each house

WHIPS
assistant floor leaders, persuade members to support party
THINK - PAIR - SHARE:
What do you think happens when members of Congress vote against their party?
Working in Committees
introducing bills
(only members of Congress)
standing committees

(16 in Senate, 20 in House.
chaired by member of majority party)
select & joint committees
(issues not covered by standing committees.
Both houses)
conference committees
(settles disputes between houses so both can pass a bill)

The President’s Role
sign into law
or
veto
or
pocket veto
main idea = either party can use rules of order & procedure on the House or Senate floor to prevent a bill from being passed. Members of Congress try to compromise on controversial legislation so that they can agree to pass bills. Some bills don’t survive committee study.
FILIBUSTER = the use of long speeches to prevent a vote on a bill

CLOTURE = agreement to end the debate on a bill
Full transcript