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Chapter 10

Intro to US Gov & Pol [COMPLETE NOTES] Chapter 10 -- I 4.0ed this course

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University of Illinois
Political Science
PS 101

PS 101-Chapter 10 Congress I. Textbook Vocabulary- o Bicameralism: The system of having two chambers within one legislative, like the House and Senate in the US Congress o Pork Barrel: Legislative appropriations that benefit specific constituents, created with the aim of helping local representatives win reelection. o Descriptive Representation: When a member of Congress shares the characteristics (such as gender, race, religion, or ethnicity) of his or her constituents. o Substantive Representation: When a member of Congress represents constituents ‘interests and policy concerns. o Trustee:Amember of Congress who represents Constituents’interests while also taking into account national, collective, and moral concerns that sometimes cause the member to vote against the preference of a majority of constituents. o Delegate (Congressional role):A member of Congress who loyally represents constituents’direct interests. o Politico:Amember of Congress who acts as a delegate on issues that constituents care about(such as immigration reform) and as a trustee on more complex or less salient issues(some foreign policy or regulatory matters) o Casework:Assistance provided by members of Congress to their constituents in solving problems with the federal bureaucracy or addressing other specific concerns. o Electoral Connection: The idea that congressional behavior is centrally motivated by members’desire for reelection. o Advertising:Actions taken by a members of Congress that are unrelated to government issues but have the primary goal of making a positive impression on the public, like sending holiday cards to the constituents and appearing in parades. o Credit Claiming: The acceptance of credit by a member of Congress for legislation that specifically benefits his or her constituents. o Position Taking:Any public statement in which a member of Congress makes his or her views on an issue known to his or her constituents. o Redistricting: Redrawing the geographic boundaries of legislative districts. This happens every ten years to ensure that districts remain roughly equal in population. o Apportionment: The process of assigning the 435 seats in the House to the state bases on increases or decreases in state population. o Gerrymandering:Attempting to use the process of redrawing district boundaries to benefit a political party, protect incumbents, or change the proportion of minority voters in a district. o Gridlock:An inability to enact legislation because of artisan conflict within Congress or between Congress and the president. o IncumbencyAdvantage: The relative infrequency with which members of Congress are defeated in their attempts for reelection. o Universalism: The informal congressional norm of distributing the benefits of legislation in a way that serves the interests of as many states and districts as possible. o Reciprocity: The informal congressional norm whereby a member of votes for a bill that he or she might not otherwise support because a colleague strongly favors it, and in exchange, the colleague cotes for a bill that the member feels strongly about(also known as logrolling.) o Earmarks: Federally funded local projects attached to bills passed through Congress o Specialization: The expertise of a member of Congress on a specific issue or area of policy. Specialization is more common in the House than the Senate, where members tend to be policy generalists. o Seniority: The informal congressional norm of choosing the member who has served the longest on a particular committee to be the committee chair. o Speaker of the House: The elected leader of the House of Representatives o Majority Leader: The elected head of the party holding the majority of the seats in the House or Senate o Whip System:An organization of House leaders who work to disseminate information and promote party unity in voting on legislation o Roll Call Vote:Arecorded vote on legislation; members may vote yes, no, abstain, or present. o Party Votes:Avote in which the majority of one party opposes the position of the majority of the other party. o Party Unity: The extent to which members of Congress in the same party vote together on party votes. o Standing Committees: Committees that are a permanent art of the House or Senate structure, holding more importance and authority than other committees. o Select Committees: Committees in the House or Senate created to address a specific issue for one or two terms. o Joint Committees: Committees that contain members of both the House and Senate but have limited authority. o Conference Committees: Temporary committees created to negotiate differences between the House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation that has passed through both chambers o Distributive Theory: The idea that members of Congress will join committees that best serve the interests of their districts and that the committee members will support each other’s legislation. o Informational Theory: The idea that having specific committees in Congress made up of experts on specific policy areas helps to ensure well-informed policy decisions. o Markup: One of the steps through which a bill becomes a law, in which the final wording of the bill is determined. o Veto: The president’s rejection of a bill that has been passed by Congress.A veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. o Pocket Veto: The automatic death of a bill passed by the House and the Senate o when the president fails to sign the bill in the last ten days of legislative session. o Omnibrus Legislation: Large bills that often cover several topics and may contain extraneous or pork-barrel projects. o Suspension of the rules: One way of moving a piece of legislation to the top of the agenda in the House: debate on the bill is limited to forty minutes, amendments are not allowed, and bill must pass by a two-thirds vote. o Cloture:Aprocedure through which the Senate can limit the amount of time spent debating a bill (cutting off a filibuster), if a supermajority of sixty senators agree. o Filibuster:Atactic used by senators to block a bill by continuing to hold the floor and speak –under the Senate rule of unlimited debate-until the bill’s supporters back down. o Hold:An objection to considering a measure on the Senate floor o Closed Rules: Conditions placed on a legislative debate by the House Rules committee prohibiting amendments to a bill. o Open Rules: Conditions placed on a legislative debate by the House Rules Committee allowing relevant amendments to a bill. o Modified Rules: Conditions placed on a legislative debate by the House Rules Committee allowing certain amendments to a bill while barring others. o Legislative Veto:Aform of oversight in which Congress overturns bureaucratic decisions. II. Lecture(4/3/12) Legislative Behavior and Representation A. The Place of Congress 1. What did the founders intend? a. Congress as the “first branch” b. Logic behind bicameralism 2. What has happened since then? 3. What do citizens think about Congress? They don’t like Congress. B. Representation and Constituents 1. What do we mean by “representation”? a. Descriptive representation i. When a member of Congress shares the characteristics (race, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc.) of his or her constituents b. Substantive representation i. When a member of Congress represents constituents’’interests and policy concerns C. The Constituency D. Theories of Substantive Representation 1. Theory #1—Mandate Theory a. The role of representatives is to act as delegates b. When faced with a decision, they should figure out what the majority of the constituents want and do that 2. The rationale? a. "Thus, the people's deputies are not, and could not be, its representatives; they are merely its agents; and they cannot decide anything finally.“ Jean-Jacques Rousseau 3. Theory #2—Independence Theory a. The role of representatives is to act as trustees b. When faced with a decision, they should decide what is in the interest of their constituents’ c. This does not always = what constituents’say they want 4. The rationale? a. "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.“ Edmund Burke E. Implications of the Theories 1. If legislators act as delegates… a. Policymaking will be highly pluralistic, reflecting bargaining among lawmakers speaking for different constituencies 2. If legislators act as trustees… a. There is no guarantee that policymaking will be majoritarian, but legislators will be majoritarian, but legislators will be less closely tied to narrow interests of districts/states F. Which Theory is Correct? 1. Not cut-and-dried in real congressional life 2. Many act as delegates at some times and trustees at others 3. Politicos are members of Congress who act as a delegate on issues that constituents’care about and as a trustee on more complex or less salient issues G. Some Debates about Representation 1. Why do citizens love their representatives but hate Congress? 2. How can congressional districts be drawn in a fair way? 3. How good can elections be at promoting responsiveness when so many incumbents win? 4. What Do Constituents Want? (GRAPH) H. How Closely Do Constituents Monitor? 1. About 1/3 can recall the name of their representative 2. About ¼ know the names of both of their senators 3. Fewer can identify how their Member of Congress (MC) voted on a particular bill, or can identify something specific the member did for the district I. But They Like Their MCs 1. About half of people say they approve of the job their representative is doing 2. This increases substantially for those represented by a copartisan 3. About 85-95% of MCs win their reelection bids J. But are Not Happy with Congress(GRAPH, approval of president is higher than Congress) K. How Can We Reconcile This? 1. Start with the ele
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