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CAS PO 111 (17)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Congress.pdf

3 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

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Chapter 11: Congress Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:49 PM I. The Origin and Powers of Congress A) The Great Compromise • A bill cannot be passed unless its passed in identical forms in both House and Senate • Small states wanted equal rep and large states wanted proportionalrep ○ Each state has 2 senators that serve 6 year terms (staggered election) ○ House of Rep serve 2 year terms (full election) • Reapportionment:Census every ten years to redistributereps among the states B) Duties of the House and Senate • “Make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers” • House has the right to originate revenue bills ○ Limited consequence b/c both chambers must approve bills • House has the power of impeachment: power to charge a gov’t official with serious crimes ○ Senate is the court to try the impeached • Senate has to approve major presidential appointmentsand ⅔ approvals on treaties II. Electing Congress A) Incumbency Effect • Voters do more incumbent reelecting than rascal throwing; reelection rate is high • Public does not hold Congress as highly esteemed ○ Overly influenced by interest groups • Reasons for the incumbency effects a) Redistricting • Gerrymandering: Redrawing a congressional district to intentionallybenefit one political party ○ Causes party polarity b) Name Recognition • “Franking privilege”: The right to send mail at taxpayer expense ○ Rise of social network c) Casework • Much of the work is done by specialized case workers d) Campaign Financing • PACs prefer incumbents for funding e) Successful Challengers • Vulnerable incumbentsbring high quality challengers f) 2012 Election • 95% reelection success • Republican majority B) Whom Do We Elect? • Descriptive representation: constituentsare most effectively represented by legislators who are similar to them in race and gender ○ Voting Rights Act in 1982: Encouraged states to draw lines to group minorities together so they have a better chance at winning a seat ○ Thornburg v. Gingles: Pushed states to concentrate minorities in House districts ○ Blacks are more representedthan Hispanics because of geographic concentration Shaw v. Reno: Made racial gerrymandering unconstitutional ○ Shaw v. Reno: Made racial gerrymandering unconstitutional  Violated the FourteenthAmendment and Voting Rights Act of 1965 III. How Issues Get on the Congressional Agenda • Long lasting issues such as national debt and sudden events such as 9/11 IV. The Lawmaking Process and the Importance of Committees A) Committees: The Workhorses of Congress a) StandingCommittees • Permanent congressional committee that specializes in a particular policy area b) Other Committees • Joint committee: Made up of members of both the House and Senate ○ Weaker than standing because they cannot report bills • Select committee: Temporary for a specific period and then disbanded • Conference committee: Temporary to work out diff between
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