UAPP225 Chapter 11: Chapter 11 Notes Congress

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University of Delaware
Urban Affairs and Public Policy
David Carter

Congress Filibuster A prolonged debate in the Senate that is intended to kill a bill by preventing a vote on it. Myth of Congress as The Broken Branch Incapable of effective action so many US issues go unsolved, but many believe they would be solved if only congress was effective. Yet congress not only makes policy, but represents its constituents and it wasnt created to be efficient, but to only change the status quo when a broad consensus favored change. Who serves in congress Senate: Must be 30, must be a citizen for at least 9 years, and must reside in the state where he or she is elected House: Must be 25, must be a citizen for at least 7 years, must reside in the state (but not district) where elected. Typical member is middleaged, highly educated white male, who was previously employed in a highstatus position Education and Occupation College degree, majority have graduate work (many lawyers, business and bankers) those working in manufacturing, farm, or domestic service are rarely found Race and Sex After the Civil War, more than 20 African Americans served in congress, but by the late 19th century restrictions on voting rights eliminated their representation. There has been growing representation, but as they make up 11 of the population they are still underrepresented. Hispanics do slightly better. More than 250 women have served 1992 = 47 house seats, more gains occur, but women are still underrepresented Getting Elected Despite the broken branch myth, the public shows faith in individual members by continuing to reelect incumbents. yet both parties switch back and forth on who has control May get reelected so much due to gerrymandering which guarantees support for their party. Miller v Johnson 1995 Majorityminority districts (districts that create a political majority for a racial or ethnic minority, are unconstitutional if race was the predominant factor in drawing the boundaries. So if a district is designed to give a particular group an advantage, they are unconstitutional) Gerrymandering (The practice of the party controlling the state legislature of drawing congressional and other district boundaries to maximize the number of seats it can win)
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