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72 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
A legislature divided into two houses
Bicameral legislature
The proportional process of allotting congressional seats to each state following the decennial cencus
The re-drawing of congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats alloted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state.
A proposed law
The power delegated to the House of Representatives in the Constitution to charge the President, Vice-President, or other "civil-officers," incuding federal judges, with "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors"
The only officer of the House of Rep. specifically mentioned in the Constitution; elected at the beginning of each new Congress by the entire House; traditionally a member of the majority party
Speaker of the House
The political party in each house of congress with the most members
majority party
The political party in each house of Congress with the second most members
Minority party
A formal gathering of all party members
Party caucus or conference
The elected leader of the party controlling the most seats in the House or the Senate; is second in authority to the speaker of the house, and in the Senate is regarded as its most powerful member
Majority leader
The elected leader of the party with the second highest number of elected representatives in the House or the Senate
Minority leader
One of several representatives who keep close contact with all the members and take nose counts on key votes, prepare summaries of bills, and in general act as communications links within the party
Committee to which proposed bills are referred
Standing committee
Includes members from both houses of Congress; conducts investigations or special studies
Joint committee
Joint committee created to iron out differences between Senate and House versions of a specific piece of legislation
Conference committee
Temporary committee appointed for specific purpose, such as conducting a special investigation or study.
Select (special) committees
Petition that gives a majority of the House the authority to bring an issue to the floor in the face of committee inaction.
Discharge petition
Legislation that allows representatives to bring homw the bacon to their districts in the form of public works programs, military bases, or other programs designed to benefit their districts directly.
Time of continuous service on a committee.
The fact that being in office helps a person stay in office because of a varitey of benefits that go with the postion
Role played by elected representatives who listen to constituents' opinions and then ise their best judgement to make final decisions.
Role played by elected representatives who vote the way their constituents would want them to, regardless of their own opinions
Role played by elected representatives who act as trustees or as delegates, depending on the issue.
The political condition in which different political parties control the White House adn Congress.
Divided government
Vote trading; voting yea to support a colleague's bill in return for a promise of future support.
A tactic by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill is brought to the floor. This stops the bill from comming to the floor until the hold is removed
Hold/ Used when there is limited debate
A formal way of halting action on a bill by means of long speeches or unlimited debate in the Senate.
Mechanism requiring 60 senators to vote to cut off debate/ only way to end fillibustering
Formal constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both houses of the legislature, thus preventing their becomming law without further congressional activity
If congress adjourns during the ten days the rpesident has to consider a bill passed by both houses, without the president's signature, the bill is vetoed
pocket veto
Congressional review of the activites of an agency, department, or office
A process whereby COngress cna nullify agency regulations by a joint resolution of legislative disapproval.
Congressional review
Passed by congress in 1973,the president is limited in the deployment of troops overseas to a sixty-day period in peacetime(which can be exteneded for an extra 30 days to permit withdrawl) unless Congress explicitly gives its approval for a longer period
War powers act
A process by which presidents, when selecting district court judges, defer to the senator in whose state the vacancy occurs.
senatorial courtesy
A change, addition, or deletion tp a constitution
Constitutional amendment
Redraw eletion-district boundaries
A vote by the House to formally accuse a government official of official wrongdoing
Legislator's per day allowence covering room and board expenses while on state business
Per diem
A legislative body that meets in regular session only once in a 2-year period
biennial legislature
The biennial 140-day session of the Texas legislature, beginning in January of odd-numbered years.
Regular session
A legislative session of up to thirty days, called by the governor, during an interim between regualr sessions
special session
An election system for legislative bodies in which each legislator runs from and represents a single district, rather than the entire geographic area encompassed by the government.
Single-member district
Restricitons that exist in some states about how long an indiviual may serve in state and/or local elected offices.
term limits
The lieutenant gov. of Texas, serving in his constitutional role as presiding officer of the Senate
President of the Texas Senate
A legislator who serves temporarily as legislative leader in the absence of the Senate president or House speaker.
The state representative who is elected by his or her fellow representatives to be the official leader of the House
Speaker of the Texas House
A subunit of the legislature appointed to work on designated subjects
An organization of legislators who are all of the same party, and which is formally allied with a political party.
Legislative party caucus
The campaign to determine who shall be the speaker of the Texas House for a given biennium
Speaker's race
The legislative scandal of 1969-1972 which resulted in a bribery conviction of the House speaker and others and set the stage for the 1973 reform session
Sharpstown scandal
House members who make up the speaker's team, assisting the speaker in leading the House, either informally, or in a role as a committee chair or other institutional leader
Speker's lieutenants
The leadership team in the House consisting of the speaker and his or her most trusted allies among the memebers, most of whom the speaker appoints to chair House committees
Speaker's team
An organization of legislators that is based on some attribute other thatn party affiliation
nonparty legislative caucus
The rule in the Texas Senate requiring that every bill win a vote of 2/3 of the senators present to suspend the senate's regular order of business, so that the bill may be considered
Senate 2/3 rule
The process the legislature follows in considering and enacting legislation
Legislative process
A legislative document that either proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution or ratifies an amendment to the US Constitution,
Joint resolution
A legislative document proposing an action that affects only the one chamber in which it is being considered, such as a resolution to adopt House rules or to commend a citixen.
Simple resolution
A legislative document intended to express the will of both chambers of the legislature, even though it does not possess the authority of the law.
Concurrent resolution
The Senate calendar listing bills on which the author or sponsor has given notice of intent to move to suspend the regular order of business in order that the Senate may consider them.
Intent calendar
The minimum number required to cinduct business (as in a legislative body)
The Texas cinstitution requires 3 readings of a bill by the legislature; the bill is introduced, its caption is read aloud and it is referred to committee.
1st reading
The Texas Constitution requires 3 readings of a bill by the legislature; the final reading in chamber, unless the bill returns from the other chamber with amendments.
3rd reading
The reading of a bill when debate and consideration of amendments occur before the whole chamber
2nd reading
Related to the topic
A bill that has been given final approval on third reading in one chamber of the legislature.
Engrossed bill
A bill that has been given final approval in both chambers of the legislature and is sent to the governor
Enrolled bill
A budget in whcih the legislature balances expenditures with expected revenues, with no deficit
balanced budget
Government spending in the current budget cycke that exceeds government revenue
Deficit spending
The total outstanding amount the gov. owes as a result of borrowing in the past
The authority to move money from one program to another program or from one agency to another agency
Budget execution authority
A joint legislative committee (with a large staff) that provides legal advice, bill drafting, copyediting and printing, policy research, adn program evalutaion services for members of the legislature.
Legislative Council
A joint legislative committee (w/a large staff) that prepares the state budget and conducts evaluations of agencies' programs.
Legislative budget board (LBB)