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27 Cards in this Set

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Safe seat
Electoral office, usually in legislature, for which the party or the incumbent is so strong that reelection is almost taken for granted.
Gerrymandering
Drawing an election district in such a way that one party or group has a distinct advantage. The strategy is to provide a close but safe margin in numerous districts while concentrating the opposition's vote in a few districts.
Bicameralism
Two-house legislature: form for 49 of the states as well as the U.S. Congress.
Speaker
The presiding officer in the House of Representatives, formally elected by the House, but actually selected by the majority party leader. The speaker's powers include referring legislation to committees, making appointments to the House Rules Committee, recognizing members who wish to speak, ruling on questions of parliamentary procedure, and appointing special conference committees. There is a simliar office in state legislatures.
Majority Leader
Legislative position held by an important party member selected by the majority party in caucus or conference. The majority leader helps frame party strategy and treis to keep the membership in line. In the U.S. Senate the majority leaders determines the agenda and has strong influence in committee selection.
Minority Leader
Party leader in each house of a legislature, elected by the minority party spokesmen for the opposition.
Whips
Party leader who is the liaison between the leadership and the rank-and-file in the legislature.
Caucus
Meeting of the members of a party in a chamber of legislature to select the party leadership in that chamber and to take a party positions on pending legislative issues.
Conference Committees
Committee appointed by the presiding officers of each house of the legislature to adjust differences on a particular bill. The report of the conference committee back to each chamber cannot be amended but must be accepted or rejected as it stands.
Close rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that prohibits any amendments to bills or provides that only members of the committee reporting the bill may offer amendments.
Open rule
A procedural rule in the House of Representatives that permits floor amendments w/ in the overall time allocated to the bill.
President Pro Tempore
Officer of the U.S. Senate chosen from the ranks- often a senior member of the majority party- who serves as president of the Senate in the absence of the vice-president.
Filibuster
Holding the floor of the U.S. Senate to delay the proceedings and thereby prevent a vote on a controversial issue.
Cloture
Procedure for terminating debate (esp. filibuster) in the U.S. Senate.
Senatorial courtesy
the Presidencial custom of submitting names of prospective appointees for approval to Senators from the state in which the appointees preside.
Delegates
A view of the role of a member of legislature which holds that, as delegates, legislators should represent the views of constituents even when personally holding different views.
Trustees
A view of the function of a member of legislature which holds that legislators may believe that they were sen to Washington or the State Capitals to think and vote independently for the general welfare, and not as their constituents determine.
Conservative Coalition
A coalition In Congress of Republicans and southern Democrats who often vote together, at least in recent years, esp. on social policy and welfare legislation.
Attentive Public
Those who follow public affairs fairly carefully, reading newspapers and magazines and watching TV news broadcasts to keep informed about politics and the world affairs.
State Delegation
The Senators and Representatives from the same state, who often help each other secure choice committee assignments, work to promote each other in leadership positions, and watch out for state interests.
Log rolling
Mutual aid and vote trading among legislators.
Congressional Quarterly
Refers to part of a privately owned publishing company called CQ Roll Call that produces a number of publications reporting primarily on the United States Congress. CQ was acquired by the Economist Group and combined with Roll Call to form CQ Roll Call in 2009. As of 2009, CQ ceased to exist as a separate entity.
Joint Committees
Committees composed of member of both houses of legislature. Such committees are intended to speed up legislative action. Some oversee institutions such as the Library of Congress or conduct congressional investigations.
Select or special committees
A congressional committee created for a specific purpose, sometimes to conduct an investigation.
Standing committees
Permanent legislature committees to which legislation is referred for study; they then report bills and resolutions to their parent chamber.
Discharge petition
Petition that, if signed by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.
Seniority rule
A practice in legislatures that assign the chair of the committee or subcommittee to the member of the majority party who has the longest continuous service on the committee.