Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

68 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
When creating the federal government, our founding fathers had certain objectives with regard to congress. What are they?
a) They wanted congress to be the dominant institution of government
b) they wanted to balance the large and small states.
c)they opposed the concentration of power in any one institution.
What is one way in which balance between large and small states is achieved?
In the original constitution what was selected by each of the state legislatures?
The senate
Throughout the evolution of congress, the overriding political question relative to congress revolved around what?
the distribution of powers within that institution
The general trend in power distribution and decisionmaking throughout the evolution of congress has been towards what?
decentralization,with individual members of congress gaining power as a result.
The time-frame in the evolution of the house from the 1800s, up through the early 1900s, was charactized by what?
strong, partisan, central leadership
in 1911, when speaker joe cannon was stripped of much of his power, three elements of the power structure in the house grew more powerful. what are they?
1.the rules committee
2. the chairpersons of the standing committees
3. the party caucus
Decentralization of power in the house culminated in what year?--what this has come to mean is that the power of individual members has increased.
60's and 70's
for a filibuster to be practiable, it needs to have what?
support of a number of senators--but not a majority.
since 1950, however, the house has become who?---this process has been much slower in the senate.
less male and less white
With regard to the compostion of the house, the most important change has been what?--with its corresponding decrease in the turnover of its membership. in other words, with some exceptions, incumbents are winning at an increasing pace.
the degree to which incumbents win re-election
in 1995, the sharp increase in the number of freshmen house members has been attributed to what?
1. the redrawing of congressional sitrict lines after the 1990 census to the disadvantage of incumbents.
2. the south switching to the republican party.
3. voter disgust stemming from a number of political scandals
What is one in which the winner got less thatn 55% of the vote?
a marginal district
Two factors are offered as explanation for why congressional seats are becoming less marginal. what are they?
1. incumbents find it easier than challengers to get their names known.
2. incumbents cna use their powers as legislatures to get programs passed that benefit their districts, hence themselves.
Malapportionment differs from gerrymandering in that the former involves what?---whereas the latter involves what?
What districts have been created to make it easier for minority citizens to elect minority representatives?
Majority-minority congressional
what term refers to the tendency of freshmen house members to be re-elected?
sophomore surge
the explanation for congressional voting behavior that assumes members vote to please their colleagues is referred to as what?
The same analysis of this behavior based on congressmen following their beliefs is referred to as what?
Over the past two decades, senators, compared with the average voter, were consistently what in the 1970s, and what in the 1980s?
more liberal
in recent years, the political beliefs of members of congress have become more what than those of the voters themselves?
the real leadership in the senate is what?
the majority leader
When senate members are being selected for key leadership and committee positions, the most important aspect of this whole process is achieving what?
ideological and regional balance
What powers does the speaker of the house have?
1.he can rule on the relevance of motions
2.he can appoint the members of special and select committees
3.he assigns bills to the committees of his choice
4.he can decide whom to recognize to speak on the floor
there are three main resons to explain why members of congress tend to support the policy positions of their party...what are they?
1.they tend to look to party leadership on matters about which they have little information and no opinion
2.the party position often coincides with their own ideology helps their own advancement within their party
What are formed by groups whose members share a similar ideology?
intra party caucuses
what form around common interests in an issue?
personal caucuses
what are perceived by their members as representing certain groups nationwide?
constituency caucuses
the most important committees are what?--because they are the only ones which can impact what?
standing committees
the fate of bills
each senator may chair but what?
one committee
in recent years, the number of amendments to bills h as what?--along with the number of individuals proposing such amendments?
a newly elected member of congress who wants to become an expert on a particular policy in order to influence colleagues about that policy, would probably want to be assigned to what?
the ways and means committee
up until 1990, staff members of congress were part of what fastest growing thing in washington?
what is one of the factor explaining why it is hard to defeat incumbents?
the constituency services of their staffs
staff members who work for individual members of congress are most likely to see themselves entirely as what?--they tend to see the publie interest through the eyes of their employer.
personal advocates
increased reliance on staff has made congress more what?
a committee staff member wanting to find out about the status of a particular bill would turn to what?
the congressional research service (CRS)
what was originally created to perform audits of financial records?
the general accounting office (GAO)
what is the agency which advise congress on the economic effect of spending programs, as well as the cost of odf proposed policies?
the congressional budget office (CBO)
bills which embody what are the most likely to move quickly through congress?
a clear and appealing idea
the complexity of our lawmaking process gives the advantage to what?
the opponents of bills
any bill not passed in what is what?
the life of one congress
the creation of a select committee is done through what?
a simple resolution
amendments to the constitution have to be introduced through what?
joint resolutions
what must originate in the house?
revenue bills
any bill to raise taxes would be assigned first to what?
ththe house ways and means of committee
what is the term which speaks to a situation in which a bill is considered by several committees in both chambers?
multiple referral
what allows the speaker to send a bill to a second committee after the first committee is finished acting on it?
the sequential referral process
what is one in which a committee of subcommittee makes changes in the original version of a bill?
a mark-up session
committees in the house have greater control when bill are debated under what?--rather than what?
open rules
closed rules
what are two things in the senate are the people who schedule legistlation in the body?
minority leaders
what is one that has many non-germane amendments tacked on?
a christmas-tree bill
what is to invoke cloture in the senate?
16 senators must sign a petition and 3/5 of the senate is required to pass it through
what in the senate is a relatively new mechanism which can interrupt a filibuster in order to deal with other legislation?
the bills coming out of conference committees must be approved by what?
a majority of each party's delegation
to override a veto, what are three things are needed?
1.a quorum
2.a roll-call vote
3.2/3 majority of those present in each chamber
contrary to the ideas of james madison, modern views of congress hold that elected officals should what?
mirror, not mediate, the views of the majority
according to a 1992 poll, what percent of americans wanted to see some sort of term limits?
by 1994, how many states passed some sort of term limits legislation?
22 states
reining in the franking privilege would be on way to what?
reduce publie subsidization of congress
what two things can also be sources of corruption?
political alliances
personal friendships
the second stage was characterized by what?
1. an increase in the number of rules that would allow floor amendments
2. an increase in the size of staffs
3. decentralized power with relative independence for its members
what is one factor explaining the increased democratization of the house?
dissatisfaction with southern resistance to civil rights bills
in the early 1970s, what war and what scandal prompted congress to reassert its authority?
war in vietnam
watergate scandal
in today's world, president's hace what? congress has become what?
decidedly weaker
what are three kinds of legislative actions which congress takes?
1. distributive-which results in the distribution of goods and services to the general populations I.e. health research, defense appropiations, highway construction.
2.Re-distibutive-which involves taking segment through entitlements such as welfare.
3.Regulatory legislation-which sets limits on groups and individuals
what is a term which applies to congressmen more or less scratching each other's backs?
what are the powers the senate has but the house does not do?
impeachment trials
approve/ratify treaties
any presidential nominations/appointments