Chapter 5 In Class Notes

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Political Science
Anna Mahoney

Exam is now on March 11 ! th Representation • Constituent Work (Charlie)- More critical for members of the House because they can only run every 2 years before they either get reelected or not o Reelection (constituent work helps you to reelection) o House • National law making body o Heterogeneous vs Homogenous districts (the House represents a homogenous population) o Senate (represents a heterogeneous population- what is the best thing for a diverse group of people) Roles of Congress: 1. Serve their constituents (members of the House are very close to their constituents!) 2. Serve as the national law making body • Two different roles often cause them to come to conflict Differences in Houses • Senate o Originally intended to be elected differently o Elite House o Collegial (because there are only 100 senators) • House o People’s House: They are closer to the people because they have to get reelected every 2 years o Tax bills originate here: Given to House specifically because they have to get reelected. This prevents a lot of taxes. o Partisan: Represent homogenous districts; districts are more democrat or more republican than entire states. Incumbency: Chance of Reelection • House: 90% • Senate: 91% o Is this good or bad?  Newcomers are less experienced Leadership • Party caucus/conference elect leaders among themselves although it could be anyone • House: Speaker, majority, minority, whips • Senate: President pro temp, majority, minority, whip o If your party has the majority in the senate, your person becomes the majority leader Speaker of the House • Formal Role o Presides over the House (rare) o Rules on points of order o Announces the results of the votes o Refers legislation to committees o Names members to conference and select committees o Can schedule floor business o Can recognize members on the floor o Maintains order and decorum • Informal Role o Seta agenda of the House o Controls Rules Committee o Influences committee assignments o Rewards members for party loyalty o Coordinates with the Senate (bills have to pass through both houses) o Public face of the House Current Speaker • Representative John Boehner- Republican from Ohio’s 8 Congressional District (Dayton) • 1991- Present • Formerly House Majority Leader • Committees: Republican Conference Chairman, Education and the Workforce Committee • IssueAreas: Crafted the Contract withAmerica (1994), ethics, education, Pension ProtectionAct House Minority Leader • Representative Nancy Pelosi • Democrat, California’s 8 District (San Francisco) • Her whole job is to take the majority back from the Republicans! Must figure out a way to get more Democrats elected into the House. • Formerly House Democratic Whip • Committees: Senior member of theAppropriations Committee, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, etc. Senate Majority Leader (top job in the senate) • Formal Role o Elected biennially be secret ballot of their party colleagues o Pretty bad job, you don’t get to be more superior than other senators because every senator is pretty powerful since there are only 100 of them, every senator can stop a bill from being passed, etc. (“every senator is a king”) o Office not created until early 1900s o Very different today- Individual Senate o Influx of independent personalities, resource allocation reform, media = Leaders serve members Current Majority Leader • Senator Harry Reid o Democrat Senior Senator from Nevada o First Mormon Majority Leader o 1987 to present o Former Representative from Nevada’s First District, Minority Whip, Majority Whip, Minority Leader o Committees:Appropriations, Environment and Public Works, Special Committee onAging, etc. o IssueAreas: Defense, education, energy, environment, healthcare, immigration, etc. Senate Minority Leader • Senator Mitch McConnell • Republican Senior Senator from Kentucky • 1985 to present • Former Majority Whip • His top job is to become the majority leader in the senate! Get more republicans there than the democrats • Potentially facing a rough election • Committee: Senior member of theAppropriations Committee, etc. Committees • Committee an opportunity to serve constituents and the nation • Standing committees generally have legislative jurisdiction o Committees we have every year o Deals with issues that will always be impor
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