Topic 06 Congress

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Outline: Congress: 

Outline: Congress Basics Elections Differences between chambers Incumbency Structure and Processes Party Leadership The Committee System Norms How a Bill Becomes Law

Basics: 

Basics Members

Basics: 

Basics Members Who can run? House Senate “Representative?”

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

108th Congress: 

108th Congress

Elections: 

Elections Great Compromise Differences in Elections House Senate Reapportionment

Elections: 

Elections Reapportionment CA gained more seats (7) in 1990 than Iowa has (5) CA has more seats than the following, combined: IA, MN, WI, ND, SD, NE, KS, MO, CO, AR, WY, AK! Size of the House

Elections: 

Elections Incumbency

Elections: 

Elections

Elections: 

Elections Incumbency Why so much incumbency? Members like serving Voters keep re-electing them Tactics: Claim credit Take positions Advertise

Elections: 

Elections Campaign money Pitfalls of incumbency Troublesome issues Personal misconduct Strong challengers

Structure and Process: 

Structure and Process House Party Leadership Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Whips Roy Blunt (R-MO) Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Rules Committee

Structure and Process: 

Structure and Process Senate Party Leadership Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD)

Structure and Process: 

Structure and Process The Committee System “Congress in session is Congress on display. Congress in committee is Congress at work.” Woodrow Wilson (1885)

Structure and Process: 

Structure and Process The Committee System House Senate Chairs Norms

How a Bill Becomes Law: 

How a Bill Becomes Law

How a Bill Becomes Law: 

How a Bill Becomes Law The Legislative Obstacle Course Legislators as Lawmakers

Summary of House-Senate Differences: 

Summary of House-Senate Differences House 2 year terms Chosen by districts 435 members Rigid rules Taxing and Spending Impeachment charges More partisan Senate 6 year terms Chosen by states 100 members Loose rules Treaties and appointments Impeachment trial Less party loyalty

Comparison with the British Parliament: 

Comparison with the British Parliament Fusion, not separation, of powers Parliament manages both the legislative and executive powers Legislative powers include passing laws Executive powers include choosing prime minister (who leads majority party) and his/her cabinet Bicameral House of Commons and House of Lords

Comparison with the British Parliament: 

Comparison with the British Parliament House of Commons 659 elected MPs More powerful house Most bills introduced by the “government” (i.e., prime minister and cabinet) House of Lords 92 hereditary peers (e.g., dukes, earls) 544 others appointed for life by Queen and bishops of the Church of England Has little power

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