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POLS 1101 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Advocacy Group, Fireside Chats, Proportional Representation

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1101
James Strickler
Study Guide

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PolS 1101 – American Government Dr. Strickler
Second Examination Study Guide
Understand and be able to explain each of the following concepts. ALL of them are fair game for
the exam.
Unit Four – Legislative Branch
Article I- establishes the legislative branch; the US Congress--->bicameral legislature
Bicameral Legislature- body of gov't that consists of two legislative houses--->the House of
Representatives & the Senate
Characteristics of Senate
100 Senators (2 from each state)
Originally chosen by state legislatures
6 year terms (1/3 elected each 2 yrs)
At least 30 years old
9 years a US citizen
Characteristics of House
435 Representatives
Seats distributed by population
Directly elected by people
2 year terms
At least 25 years old
7 years a US citizen
“Senate is saucer in which tea is cooled.”- comment made by George Washington to Thomas
17th Amendment- Direct election of Senators; established the election of US Senators by the
people of the states (2 from each state)
Powers of Senate
Choose own officers
Judge qualifications of own members
Set own rules
Try impeachments
Consent to treaties (by 2/3 vote)
Consent to appointments
Powers of House
Choose own officers
Judge qualifications of own members
Set own rules
Initiate appropriations of funds
Powers denied Congress (Unit 4; Slide 10)
Suspending Habeas Corpus- requires a person under arrest to be brought before a
judge or into court
Ex Post Facto Laws- law that changes the legal consequences of actions that were
committed before the enactment of the law
Leadership in House
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Speaker of the House
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
Committee Chairs
Leadership Senate
President of Senate (VP of US)
President pro Tempore
Majority Leader
Minority Leader
Committee Chairs
Legislative Process
Bill Proposal
Committee- makes the initial determination if proposal goes forward
Hearings- collecting and analyzing the info
Mark Up- debates, amends, and rewrites proposed legislation
Table Bill- lays the topic on the table for consideration
Report Bill- returns the bill to legislation
Floor Process
Unanimous consent agreements
Unlimited debate
Filibuster- action that obstructs the process
Cloture (3/5 vote)- or 60 senators
Rules Committee
Conference Committee
Both houses must pass bill in identical form.
Presentment to President
Veto- 2/3 vote of both houses to override veto
Pocket Veto- retaining bill unsigned until its too late to be dealt with during
a legislative session
Veto override- 2/3 vote of both houses
Negative side of legislating
Log rolling- the practice of exchanging favors by reciprocal voting for each other’s
proposed legislation
Pork Barrel Legislation- the appropriation of gov't spending for localized projects
secured solely or primarily to bring money into a representative's district
Earmarks- congressional directive that funds should be spent on specific projects
Riders- unpopular provisions added to an important bill certain to pass so that it
will ride through the legislative process
Gridlock- a situation when there is difficulty passing laws that satisfy the needs of
the people
Typical member of Congress
Rich, older, white, male
Professional politicians conducting perpetual campaigns
Perpetual Campaign- when does the campaigning end & the governing begin?
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