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38 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Bicameral legislature
lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
Filibuster
An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action to the bill.
Incumbency
The candidates who return for a second term and have a big name in politics.
Marginal districts
Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55 percent of the vote.
Safe districts
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55 percent or more
Conservative coalition
An alliance between Republican and conservative Democrats.
Politico
It is a politician.
Partisans
A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
Delegate
An elected or appointed representative of a U.S. territory in the House of Representatives who is entitled to speak but not vote.
Trustees
A member of a board elected or appointed to direct the funds and policy of an institution.
Majority leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holing the majority of seats in the House or the Senate.
Minority leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or the Senate.
Whip
A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking.
Party polarization
A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators.
Caucus
A meeting of party members to select delegates backing one or another primary candidates.
Standing committees
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area.
Select committees
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose.
Joint committees
Committees on which both senators and representatives serve.
Conference committees
A joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill.
Congressional Research Service
It is part of the Library of Congress. It does not recommend policy, but looks up facts and indicate the arguments for and against a proposed policy. (1914)
General Accounting Office
Created in 1921, the agency once performed primarily routine financial audits of the money spent by executive-branch departments. Now it also investigates agencies and policies and makes recommendations on almost every aspect of government.
Office of Technology Assessment
Established in 1972 to study and evaluate policies and programs with a significant use of or impact on technology. Abolished in 1995 because it had little impact.
Congressional Budget Office
Created in 1974, they advise Congress on the likely economic effects of different spending programs and provide information on the costs of proposed policies.
Public bill
A legislative bill that deal with matters of general concern.
Private bill
A legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters.
Simple resolution
An expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body.
Concurrent resolution
An expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president.
Joint resolution
A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president; constitutional amendments need not be signed by the president.
Multiple referral
A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees.
Sequential referral
A congressional process by which a Speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting.
Discharge petition
A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had the bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor.
Closed rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor.
Open rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor.
Restrictive rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the floor.
Quorum
The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress.
Quorum call
A roll call in either house of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present.
Cloture rule
A rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate.
Franking privilege
The ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage.