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Unit III: Congress

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Bevin Schmer

on 22 February 2016

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Transcript of Unit III: Congress

Congress
First, let's start wth a few general things about Congress...
Bicameral
TWO HOUSES
Terms & Sessions
One Session each year of the term
Term=two years
Sometimes there can be a SPECIAL SESSION called by the President
Convenes!
Adjourns :(
Recess...
House of Representatives
435
Apportioned: Divided up among the states,every state gets at least one
Based on population = PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
Who can be in the House?
Single-member districts
25 years old
Citizen for at least 7 years
Live in the State that elects you
Customary to live in the district that elects you
Senate
100
Senate apportionment is based on EQUAL REPRESENTATION
2 for each state
Set by Constitution
Originally elected by State legislatures
17th Amendment= direct election
Meant to act as a buffer, be more "enlightened" than the House
6 Year terms
1/3 elected every two years
2 year terms
Who can be in the Senate?
30 years old
Citizen for 9 years
Live in the State that elects you
So What Do Members of Congress DO?
MAKE LAWS!
Members of Congress are first and foremost LEGISLATORS
Represent their CONSTITUENTS!
Constituents are the people in their district that they represent, and that elected them
How Best To Represent?
Delegate
Partisan
Politico
Trustee
Just there to represent the people that elected them
Use their own judgment to decide what is best
Looking to do what is BEST or RIGHT, not just what their constituents WANT
Follows their political party above anything else
Try and combine all of the roles, and balance it out
$$$
Congress sets its own salary
$174,000 for regular members
$193,400 for Senate President pro tem and floor leaders in both houses
$223,500 for Speaker of the House
$227,300 for Vice President
Fringe Benifits
Travel allowences
Government provided health care
Retirement plans
Provided with offices
Franking privileges
Free printing
Immunity from everything but Treason, Felonies, and Breach of Peace
Apportionment of Districts for the House
Gerrymandering:
Westbury v. Sanders
1964
Substantially equal populations
Apportionment decisions are made by STATE legislatures!
PACKING
CRACKING
KIDNAPPING
Powers of Congress
DELEGATED POWERS: Congress has only those powers given to it
11.1-2 Expressed Powers
11.3 Implied Powers
11.4 Non-Legislative Powers
27 different EXPRESSED powers in 18 different clauses
Tax
Borrow Money
Declare War
Raise, Regulate, and Provide for Army and Navy
Organize, arm, discipline, and call forth the Militias
Regulate Foriegn Commerce (trade)
Define and punish crimes on the high seas
Regulate Commerce within the U.S.
Regulate Naturalization (becoming a citizen)
Regulate Bankruptcy
Coin money, set value, punish counterfeiting
Fix Standard weights and measures
Establish Post Offices
Patents and Copyrights
Set the seat of national capital (Washington DC)
Regulate Federal Territories
Necessary and Proper Clause
Implied Powers = Not written in the Constitution, but assumed Congress should be able to do these things because of the....
"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested in this constitution in the Government of the United States..."
CONGRESS can make ANY LAW they can tie into SOMETHING in Article One!!
EX: Commerce Power
Gibbons v. Ogden: court case that BROADLY defined commerce, gave Congress huge amounts of power
EX: War Powers
Not just waging war
Also the draft, creating new branches of the armed forces
Constitutional Amendments
Electoral Duties
Impeachment
Confirming
Power to Investigate
Article V outlines how amendments may be added
2/3 vote in each house needed, then ratification by the states (legislatures or conventions)
27 total amendments
House of Representatives acts as a tie-breaker if the Electoral Colleges is tied
Only happened twice: Thomas Jefferson (1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825)
Also replacing VP, needs majority of both houses of Congress
Senate confirms any executive branch appointment made by the President
Senate confirms any treaties with other countries that the President negotiates
Woodrow Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles (League of Nations)
Congress can investigate anything to do with a law that it has made, that includes how the Executive branch is enforcing the law
LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT
Hold public hearings, refer to the courts....but really that is all....
Bring charges against an elected official (House), and try an elected official (Senate)
Andrew Johnson
Bill Clinton
Hold hearings, issue subpeonas
12.3-4 How a Bill Becomes a Law
House
Senate
Bill Introduction
Bill Introduction
Has to be introduced by a member of the house
Assigned to a committee
Referred to a subcommittee
Has to be introduced by a member of the house
Assigned to a committee
Referred to a subcommittee
Subcommittee
Performs studies, holds hearings, makes revisions, then MAY approve bill.
Committee
May amend or rewrite the bill, can kill the bill, or approve it and send it to full house
Rules Committee
a "rule" is how much and what kind of debate the bill will get on the floor of the full house
Subcommittee
Performs studies, holds hearings, makes revisions, then MAY approve bill.
Committee
May amend or rewrite the bill, can kill the bill, or approve it and send it to full house
Leadership
Senate leaders of both parties schedule Senate debate on the bill
Floor Action with Full House
Floor Action with Full Senate
Bill is debated by the full House, amendments may be offered, a vote is finally taken. If a different version was approved by the Senate, the bill is sent to a conference committee
Bill is debated by the full Senate, amendments may be offered, a vote is finally taken. If a different version was approved by the House, the bill is sent to a conference committee
Conference Committee
Conference committees are made up of members from BOTH houses, and their job is temporary. They meet to iron out differences between the versions of a bill passed in the House and the Senate.
The compromise bill is then sent back to each house for a final vote
Full House
Full Senate
Full House votes on the compromise bill approved by the conference committee. If it passes, bill is sent to the President.
Full Senate votes on the compromise bill approved by the conference committee. If it passes, bill is sent to the President.
President
President can sign the bill, pocket veto the bill, or veto the bill. A veto can be overridden by a 2/3 vote in BOTH houses.
Influences On If a Bill Is Passed:
12.1 LEADERSHIP in each house...
12.2 Committees...
Speaker of the House - elected from majority party, presides over each session of Congress. Decides what bills can be discussed, and who can speak.

President of the Senate = Vice President. Senate can elect a President Pro Tempore for when the VP can't be there.

Party leaders in each house - Majority Leader / Minority Leader - elected by party members, job is to organize the members, keep them in line with the party beliefs

Whips - Party members who help the party leaders enforce the party beliefs. "Whip" members into shape, do vote counts
When someone is elected to Congress, they are placed on a committee - head of committees are called CHAIRMAN, hold a lot of power
Committee chairmen are picked by SENIORITY. Pros? Cons
Each committeee has a number of SUB-COMMITTEES
Types of committees:
Standing Committees
Select Committees
Joint Committees
Conference Committees
Permanent
20 in House
16 in Senate
Every rep. in both houses is on 2-4 standing committees
Each has a SPECIFIC topic that it addresses
Special Purpose
Limited time
One house only
Used to head investigations as part of LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT
Permanent
Members of BOTH houses
More efficient, because they look at topics that both houses would have ot look at anyway
Economy, taxation
Special Purpose
limited time
Only purpose is to reconcile differences between versions of the same bill passed in each house
Can rewrite or amend, then sends back to the floor of both houses for another vote
10.1: The National Legislature
Chapter 10: Congress
10.2:
10.3:
10.4: The Members of Congress
Chapter 11: Powers of Congress
Ch 12: Congress In Action
Unit Three Objectives
Answer these Questions to make sure you have understood the information in Unit III

Ch 10
1.List the terms and sessions of Congress
2.Explain how the houses of Congress differ in their structure and membership
3.Provide a description of how congressional districts are drawn
4.Discuss the importance of members of Congress serving their constituents, and the four different ways Congresspeople can represent their constituents
Full transcript