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House of Representatives vs. Senate

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by

Neeraja Sarda

on 16 March 2011

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Transcript of House of Representatives vs. Senate

House of Representatives Senate Both Numbers to remember: 100 senators: 2 from each state

serve 6 year terms
30+ years old
American citizen for 9+ years
current resident of state Filibuster Tactic used by opponents of a bill that uses the power available to Senators to debate unlimitedly. Right to cloture: 3/5 of the Senate (60 votes) can halt a filibuster President of Senate The Vice President presides over the Senate
- this is his/her only constitutionally defined job President Pro Tempore presides over Senate when Vice President is not present
- he/she is the senior most member of the majority party Vice President can vote to break a tie This means they each represent larger constituencies than the Representatives Elections The Senate is divided into 3 classes with each class standing for election every two years to ensure that there are always experienced senators in office Thanks to the 27th Amendment the election of Senators is now a direct election Incumbency Advantage Although it is still present, incumbent Senators win reelection by a narrower margin than incumbent Representatives This could be due to the fact that the Senate, being the stepping stone to national prominence and the presidency, draws more challengers than the House less disciplined less centralized individual Senators are more equal in power than Representatives receive more media coverage
are more likely to be held accountable on controversial issues known as the "Upper Chamber" have less personal contact with constituencies Powers confirm presidential appointments to the Supreme Court, lower federal courts, and key positions in the Executive Branch as well
deal with foreign affairs often by approving or rejecting internationally treaties negotiated by the President
ratify all treaties
when impeaching a President or member of the Supreme Court, the full Senate conducts the trial and acts as the jury 435 representatives: based on population in a state

serve 2 year terms
25+ years old
American citizen for 7+ years
current resident of state Numbers to remember: This means the house is affected by reapportionment because congressional districts are subject to change every 10 years due to the census Speaker of the House only legislative office mandated by the Constitution
nominated by majority party
next in line for presidency after vice president
presides over House when in session
has a major role in committee assignments; they are coveted by members to ensure policy-making advantage
plays an important role in assigning party leadership staff Incumbency Advantage 90% of incumbents win reelection and usually by 60% or more of the votes This is higher than that of the Senate because of many reasons including smaller, more party specific districts more centralized more formal more hierarchical and less anarchic (stronger leadership) power is less evenly distributed power mostly lies in the hands of the committees and leadership seniority is more important House Rules Committee controls time and rules of debate along with the majority leader reviews most bills before they go to the full House plays a key role in agenda setting Powers handles budget, tax, revenue, and appropriations more often than the Senate
initiates revenue bills and impeachment procedures
votes on impeachment while Senate handles the trials
can vote on the President in an Electoral College deadlock
Leaders Majority Leader:
schedules bills
influences committee assignments
rounds votes towards the majority party's legislative positions Minority leader:
leads minority party Whips:
party leaders who count votes and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial Congress members have tedious jobs that they perform for much desired power must be residents of the state they represent dominant prior occupations are law and business incumbents tend to win elections at a rate much higher than that of challengers Franking Privilege engage in casework and pork barrel activities to claim credit by bringing constituents results no term limit direct election by citizens Committees control congressional agenda
guide legislation
investigate problems and wrong-doing
oversee executive branch
types: standing, joint, conference, select Committee Chairs picked by seniority system
influence congressional agenda
schedule hearings
hire staff
appoint subcommittees
manage committee bills when first introduced to full House Caucus group of members with shared interests or characteristics (like an interest group within Congress)
can consist of members of both houses and both parties
promotes their interests
presses committees to hold hearings
push legislation
gather votes on favored bills By: Neeraja Sarda & Suhana Elamsenthil Thanks for Watching :)
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