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31 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Types (4) of Constitutional power
Delegated/Expressed powers – powers that belong specifically to the national government – interstate commerce, treaties, etc.

Reserved – powers that belong specifically to the state governments – licensing, intrastate commerce, voting, permits

Concurrent – powers that belong to both the national and state governments – taxes

Implied Powers Clause/Elastic Clause/Necessary and Proper Clause – Article I, Section 8 of Constitution – gives the government flexibility – the mechanism by which the national government expanded itself
Why do the federal and state governments cooperate today?
work together more but not because they want to – it has come into existence because of the ever-growing complexity of problems and fiscal federalism (Federal grant programs – first one in the 1880’s – by 1960 there was a grand total of 44 federal grant programs, 1970 – 329 – by 1980 almost 26% of all money spent by state and local governments was given to them by the national government)
Block Grants
General grants given to states for activities like welfare and transportation

Make up between 15% to 20% of the grants given out by the Federal Government
Project Grants
Smallest percentage – about 5% of grants

Generally for health care system and high education
Categorical-Formula Grants
75%-80% of grants are categorical/formula grants

Tend to be very specific in nature

Require state and local governments to do a lot of paperwork
National Supremacy
Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government will prevail
Full faith and credit clause
in the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states and to accept their public records and acts as valid.
McCulloch v. Maryland--What were the two key questions? What were their answers? Why?
Can a state tax a federal government?

No they can’t because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land

The Constitution says that the supreme government is the national government

The power to tax involved the power to destroy – would have been a reality in the 1810’s

You can’t give the states the power to destroy the national government, so the courts rule that the states can’t tax the federal government

A lower power (state) can’t have more power than a higher power (national government)

Does Congress have the power to create a national bank?

Yes – they have the power to create a bank because the Supreme Court relied on the phrase of “necessary and proper”

Maryland defines “necessary” as indispensable - what do you have to have to exist
Tradition of granting privileges to those who have served the longest
Rules--(Who makes the rules by which the House and Senate operate?)
House - Rules Committee - has 3 powers:

Decides when a bill goes to the House floor for debate and final vote

Decide how many (if any) amendments can be added to the bill on the floor of the house

2A – open bill - unlimited amendments – if it’s important, you don’t normally do this

2B – closed bill – no amendments can be added

2C – modified rule – a specific number of amendments which can be offered for each side

Determine how long the debate will on the floor of the house

-Senate - leadership decides " "
How a bill becomes a law
House of Representatives:

A bill is introduced

Goes to independent committees – the ones that are most relatable – multiple committees (called “multiple referral” – the norm for important bills) – not always three committees like the chart – not always three like the chart

Sent to subcommittees (multiple ones) – acts independently – for instance:

one sub-committee can pass w/o change (option 1 and goes back to committee)

another can defeat (option 2) it – that does not negate the action of the other sub-committee

most likely will be passed with amendments (option 3 – goes back to committee)

never considered (option 4) chairman chooses to consider it

(option 5 – goes back to committee) – a substitute bill – you can replace the bill with another one

Committees have the same options that the sub-committees have

Up to this – Senate and House are the same

Let’s say only one committee passes the bill – goes to Rules committee



After committees, goes to majority leadership for discussion

Minority leadership will also discuss

Try to put together a unanimous consent agreement – has three pieces to it:

When does the bill go the floor for the final debate

Decide how many amendments…etc.

Determine how long debate lasts…

Requires unanimous agreement

When one person objected to the unanimous consent agreement, the majority leader can withdraw the bill off the floor – solve the problem

If there isn’t an agreement on a limit debate, there is unlimited debate

Pass house & Senate - Identical



Veto (back to H/S – 2/3rd vote in BOTH bodies)

Pocket veto (DEAD)

Not identical

Conference committee

Fail? (dead)

Pass – back to h/s floor

Fail? (DEAD)

Pass? – President
an attempt by the minority to delay or defeat the bill through unlimited debate
a vote to break a filibuster
Conference committee
a joint committee of members from the house and senate whose purpose is to find a compromise
mutual aid and vote trading among legislators
Safe seat
an elected office that is predictable won by one party or the other, so the success of that party’s candidate is almost taken for granted
a provision attached to a bill – to which it may or may not be related – in order to secure its passage
a procedural practice in the Senate whereby a senator temporarily blocks the consideration of a bill or nomination
Common characteristics of bureaucracies (5)
High degree of specialization with a division of labor – the larger the organization, the more specialized the jobs are

Divide labor among employees and groups of employees in an hierarchical structure

Develop automatic procedures to stress impersonal behavior

Stress written communication and the building of files

Develop a clear identity as to who they are and for what they are responsible
Gov’t Corporation
organizations which are part of the government but serve a somewhat commercial purpose –leadership is normally appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate – frequently raise their own revenues (if someone gives you money, that person has fair control over what you do) – US Postal Service, FDIC, Amtrak
Single Purpose Agency
leadership appointed by president and confirmed by senate – gets not most if not all of its funding from Congress – NASA, SS
Independent Regulatory Committee
agencies which have governing boards whose leadership appointed by President and confirmed by the Senate – the board members served fixed, lengthy, overlapping terms in office – Federal Reserve Board – serve 14-year terms
Cabinet-level Department
broad bureaucratic systems that create, monitor, and implement policy over a significant area – leadership confirmed “ “ – funding comes from Congress – because they are so large, funding issue is a big deal
Senior Executive Service
established by Congress in 1978 as a flexible, mobile corps of senior career executives who work closely with presidential appointees to manage government
Spoils System
a system of public employment based on regarding party loyalists and friends
Merit System
a system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage
Office of Personnel Management
agency that administers civil service laws, rules, and regulations
Hatch Act
federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds
Administrative discretion
authority given by Congress to the federal bureaucracy to use reasonable judgment in implementing the laws
Federal Register
official document, published every weekday, that lists the new and proposed regulations of executive departments and regulatory agencies
House and Senate Leadership

Speaker of the House
Presides over the House, and therefore may recognize or ignore members who wish to speak.

He or she assigns bills to committees.

Appoints members to special or select committees.

Second in line in succession to the Presidency

Speakers are usually selected strictly on party lines by the majority party.

Reports to either Republican Conference or Democratic Caucus

House Majority Leader
Works together with the Speaker and with members of the Rules Committee in scheduling the flow of legislation on the floor of the House.

Elected by the caucus of the majority party (the Republican Conference or the Democratic Caucus).

House Majority Whips
To assist the Speaker and the Majority Leader in organizing the majority party membership for voting and other purposes

Determines how members of the majority party are likely to vote.

The results of these ballots are then used in bargaining efforts by the majority party leadership in order to get legislation which it favors enacted, and legislation which it opposes killed.

When it comes time for a vote, it is the responsibility of the Majority Whip to round up members of the majority party.

House Minority Leader
The Minority Leader is elected by the minority party's caucus.

In the event that the minority party attains a majority in the House, the Minority Leader would usually assume the position of Speakership.

House Minority Whips
Responsible for supplying information to the Minority Leader as to how minority party members are likely to vote, as well as to align support for the minority position.

The Minority Whip is assisted by a series of regional and assistant whips who maintain contact between the minority party leadership and the rank and file.


President of the Senate
According to the Constitution, the Vice President of the United States is supposed to serve as President of the Senate.

In practice, this position has become largely ceremonial.

As President of the Senate, the Vice President has the authority to preside over the proceedings of that body.

Procedures in the Senate have evolved in such a way that those who preside over that body have no real power.

The job of presiding officer in the Senate is most often assigned to freshmen (that is, newly elected) senators as part of their apprenticeship in that body.

As President of the Senate, the Vice President also has the power to vote in case of a tie. This happens quite rarely.

President Pro Tempore
The President pro tempore is elected by the majority party in the Senate and is traditionally the member of that party who has the greatest seniority.

Despite the lack of real power of the President pro tempore and the largely ceremonial nature of that position, the President pro tempore does remain constitutionally third in line to replace the President should he die in office or be impeached.

Senate Majority Leader
The real power of Senate leadership rests with the Senate Majority Leader.

The Majority Leader working along with the Minority Leader assigns bills to committees.

The Majority Leader, as a party leader, also has a great deal of influence over committee assignments and legislative agendas within the Senate.

Senate Minority Leader
Because of its procedures and composition, the Senate is usually a far more bipartisan body than the House.

For this reason, the Senate Minority Leader enjoys more power than the minority Leader in the House.

The Senate Minority Leader works closely with the Senate Majority Leader.

Senate Majority and Minority Whips
The whip structure of both the majority and minority parties in the Senate is similar to that in the House.

With far fewer Senators to keep track of, these positions in the Senate are far more easily handled than those in the House.

These positions of Senate Majority and Minority Whips also often lead to higher positions of Senate leadership.