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64 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
One of the people represented by a legislator or other elected or appointed official.
The division of a legislature into two separate assemblies.
Enumerated Powers
A power specifically granted to the national government by the Constitution. The first seventeen clauses of Article I, Section 8, specify most of the enumerated powers of Congress.
Agenda Setting
Determining which public-policy questions will be debated or considered by Congress
Personal work for constituents by members of Congress
Instructed Delegates
A legislator who is an agent of the voters who elected him or her and who votes according to the views of constituents regardless of personal assessments.
The process of deciding the legal rules that govern society. Such laws may regulate minor affairs or establish broad national policies.
Legislative Veto
A provision in a bill reserving to Congress or to a congressional committee the power to reject an action or regulation of a national agency by majority vote; declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1983.
An arrangement in which two or more members of Congress agree in advance to support each other's bills
A person who hears and investigates complaints by private individuals against public officials or agencies
The responsibility Congress has for following up on laws it has enacted to ensure that they are being enforced and administered in the way Congress intended.
The function of members of Congress as elected officials in representing the views of their constituents.
In regard to a legislator, one who acts according to her or his conscience and the broad interests of the entire society.
Rules Committee
A standing committee of the House of Representatives that provides special rules under which specific bills can be debated, amended, and considered by the House.
Direct Primary
An intraparty election in which the voters select the candidates who will run on a party's ticket in the subsequent general election
Party Identifiers
A person who identifies with a political party
The drawing of legislative district boundary lines for the purpose of obtaining partisan or factional advantage. A district is said to be gerrymandered when its shape is manipulated by the dominant party in the state legislature to maximize electoral strength at the expense of the minority party.
Justiciable Question
A question that may be raised and reviewed in court
The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state after each census.
The redrawing of the boundaries of the congressional districts within each state.
A policy that enables members of Congress to send material through the mail by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage.
Conference Committee
A special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
Discharge Petition
A procedure by which a bill in the House of Representatives may be forced out of a committee (discharged) that has refused to report it for consideration by the House. The discharge petition must be signed by an absolute majority (218) of representatives and is used only on rare occasions.
Joint Committee`
A legislative committee composed of members from both chambers of Congress.
Safe Seat
A district that returns the legislator with 55 percent of the vote or more.
Select Committee
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.
Seniority System
A custom followed in both chambers of Congress specifying that members with longer terms of continuous service will be given preference when committee chair-persons and holders of other significant posts are selected.
Standing Committee
A permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area
Majority Floor Leader
The chief spokesperson of the majority party in the Senate, who directs the legislative program and party strategy.
Majority Leader Of The House
A legislative position held by an important party member in the House of Representatives. The majority leader is selected by the majority party in caucus or conference to foster cohesion among party members and to act as spokesperson for the majority party in the House
Minority Floor Leader
The party officer in the Senate who commands the minority party's opposition to the policies of the majority party and directs the legislative program and strategy of his or her party.
Minority Leader Of The House
The party leader elected by the minority party in the House.
President Pro Tempore
The temporary presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice president.
Speaker Of The House
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The Speaker is always a member of the majority party and is the most powerful and influential member of the House.
An assistant who aids the majority or minority leader of the House or the Senate majority or minority floor leader.
Conservative Coalition
An alliance of Republicans and southern Democrats that can form in the House or the Senate to oppose liberal legislation and support conservative legislation
The passage, by Congress, of a spending bill, specifying the amount of authorized funds that actually will be allocated for an agency's use.
A formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency. Some authorizations terminate in a year; others are renewable automatically without further congressional action.
Continuing Resolution
A temporary law that Congress passes when an appropriations bill has not been decided by the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1.
Executive Budget
The budget prepared and submitted by the president to Congress.
Fall Review
The time every year when, after receiving formal federal agency requests for funding for the next fiscal year, the Office of Management and Budget reviews the requests, makes changes, and submits its recommendations to the president.
First Budget Resolution
A resolution passed by Congress in May that sets overall revenue and spending goals for the following fiscal year
Fiscal Year (FY)
The twelve-month period that is used for bookkeeping, or accounting, purposes. Usually, the fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year. For example, the federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30.
Second Budget Resolution
A resolution passed by Congress in September that sets "binding" limits on taxes and spending for the next fiscal year beginning October 1.
Spring Review
The time every year when the Office of Management and Budget requires federal agencies to review their programs, activities, and goals and submit their requests for funding for the next fiscal year.
List 16 Enumerated Powers
taxes & imports
borrow money
interstate commerce/international trade
naturalizing citizens
coin money/regulate its value
standards -weights and measures
punish counterfeiters
post offices and postal routes
federal court system
punish pirates
declare war
state militias
govern D.C.
Necessary & Proper Clause
Article I, Section 8
elastic clause
expanded role for the national government relative to the statesa check on the expansion of presidential powers
Functions of Congress
Service to Constituents
Public Education
Conflict resolution
Trustee View
legislators should act as trustees of the broad interests of the entire society and that they should vote against the narrow interests of their constituents as their conscience and their perception of national needs dictate
Instructed-Delegate View
should mirror the views of the majority of the constituents who elected them to power in the first place
constitutents must have well formed views and opinions
Lawmaking Function
highest elected body in the country charged with making binding rules for all Americans

Most of the bills that Congress acts on originate in the executive branch
Service to Constituents
The legislator and her or his staff spend a considerable portion of their time in casework activity
The Representation Function
Trustee View of Representation.

Instructed-Delegate View of Representation
Oversight Function
the process by which Congress follows up on the laws it has enacted to ensure that they are being enforced and administered in the way Congress intended
The Public-Education Function
whenever Congress holds public hearings, exercises oversight over the bureaucracy, or engages in committee and floor debate on such major issues and topics
The Conflict Resolution Function
Congress in the role of trying to resolve the differences among competing points of view by passing laws to accommodate as many interested parties as possible
Size and Rules between the house and the senate
House has 435 representatives, plus delegates compared with just 100 senators
bigger so more rules

Senate normally permits extended debate on all issues
House is able to act quicker due to stricter time limits
Debate and Filibustering
Senate has unlimited debate
debate may be ended by invoking cloture
16 senators sign a petition requesting it, after two days, three-fifths of the entire membership vote for cloture. then each senator may speak on a bill for a maximum of one hour before a vote is taken.
Senate has more prestige... able to get noticed easier.. house member must stick around longer.. to get leadership role... or become an expert on something
Congressional Elections
decentralized -
house happens in states
elected every 2nd year by popular ballot
senate happens every 6 years
Pay Perks and priviledges
salaries were $154,000.

Legislators also have many benefits that are not available to most workers
Perks of Congress
granted generous franking privileges to mail newsletters, surveys, and other letters
all kinds of persk, gyms,parking, subsidized food, free plants, free medical care, great pension, tax breaks and travel allowances etc.
Permanent Professional Staffs
senate has average 30 employees
house has about 15 average
Privileges and Immunities under the Law
shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place