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129 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Compared with members of the British House of Commons, members of Congress are ____________ beholden to their political parties for nomination for office.
How are Congress and Parliament different?
congressional members are more concerned with constituent representation than with policy debate (parliament)
How are Congress and the British House of Commons different?
Commons but not congressional rank-and-file members can force a change of executive leadership at any time just by voting against one issue that the party leaders deem important
As originally written, the Constitution provided for popular election of members of _____.
the House but not the Senate
The Lesson 3 commentary says that the Framers of the Constitution deliberately set out to make governmental power _____ and governmental activity _____.
fragmented/ inefficient
What hampers quick and decisive congressional action on important national issues? _________ and __________
practically unlimited debate and extensive committee activity
a prominent feature of Congress in recent decades has been __________.
a relatively small proportion of marginal House districts
American Government says that “in ordinary times no one should expect any dramatic changes in the composition of Congress.” This state of affairs exists partly because _____.
incumbents generally have more name recognition and power to secure tangible benefits for their districts than do challengers
The organizational explanation of Congressional voting helps show ___________.
why members often take voting cues from their respective states’ delegations to Congress
In the section “Ideology and Civility in Congress,” American Government indicates that the _____.
public dislikes the way that congressional members have become increasingly disposed to attack one another politically
Comment: Note that the formal president of the Senate is a member of the executive branch of the federal government.

Read Article I, Sections 2 and 3, of the Constitution and then complete this statement: The Constitution specifically provides for the _____.
president of the Senate and the Speaker of the House
Comment: Many students mistakenly think that congressional party leaders avoid standing for popular election by their respective constituencies. Before anyone can become a congressional party leader, that person must first win his/her party’s nomination to candidacy (usually through one or more primary elections) and then gain at least a plurality of the general election votes in his/her state or district. Only when someone has won a congressional seat is that person eligible for “in-house” election to a party leadership post.

The key Democratic and Republican party leaders in the Senate and the House are chosen by the ____________, respectively.
complete majority- and minority-party membership within the Senate and the House
The most important leaders in the Senate are the _____.
majority leader and the minority leader
In both the Senate and the House, the key communications links between the top leadership and the rank-and-file members of both major parties are the _____.
party whips
American Government at least implies that, because of inter-house rules differences, the most important (and usually the most powerful) party leader in Congress is usually the _____.
Speaker of the House
From the standpoint of individual senators (and representatives, for that matter), the key party organizations are the ones that _____.
make standing committee assignments
Ways and Means—“income”; Appropriations—“outgo.” Although the initiation of one of the functions above is constitutionally lodged in the House, appropriations measures customarily (but not always) begin in the House, also.

In the subsection “The Strength of Party Structures,” you will find a diagram of the United States Congress. Note that of the numerous congressional committees, only the House Ways and Means Committee is depicted in this diagram. This feature of the diagram underscores the constitutional requirement that all ____________ bills must originate in the House of Representatives.
Between 1970 and the late 1990s, relatively cohesive or unified party voting in Congress was, generally speaking, _____.
increasing slowly but steadily
One possible explanation for the increasing partisanship in Congress in recent decades is the _____.
so-called seniority system and the legislation it helps to produce
The ____________ of a member of Congress will tell you more about that member than will any other single fact.
political party affliation
Most congressional committee chairmanships go to the ____________ committee member with the most ____________.
majority party/ committee seniority
Why are Congressional Standing Committees especially important?
only they can report proposed legislation (bills) out to their respective full houses
Congressional staffers can “____” legislative ideas to their bosses and are therefore __________________.
sell/ cultivated by lobbyists and reporters as both consumers of ideas and sources of information.
The rules and procedures of Congress facilitate passage of proposed legislation that _____.
advances simplistically clear, emotionally appealing ideas
A given Congress lasts ____________ year(s) and has ____________ session(s).
two/ two
A reading of the entire discussion of the flow of bills through Congress reveals that _____.
most bills die in committee.
Now, by returning to the beginning of the discussion of the flow of bills through Congress, you will soon note that pending bills may carry over from _____.
the first session to the second session of a given Congress but not one Congress to the next Congress
The president (the “chief legislator", as the commentary for this lesson labels him) will himself______ introduce bills into either the House or the Senate.
Once passed by Congress and signed by the president, all bills and many _____ resolutions have the force of law.
A key weakness of the congressional system of referring bills to committees is that ______.
complex proposals seldom receive comprehensive and unified consideration
A marked-up bill has been _____.
changed in committee
An unfavorable standing committee report _____ kills a bill.
For any bill to come up for floor debate, it must go on a calendar of _____.
either the House or the Senate
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s presidential nomination to be a Supreme Court justice appeared on a _____ Calendar.
Senate Executive
Before most bills come up for floor debate, they are first reported out of the Rules Committee(s) in _____.
the House but not the Senate.
The Committee of the Whole is generally used to _____.
determine the final form of bills reported out of House committees
Compared with floor debate in the House, floor debate in the Senate is ____________ unconstrained.
Senate rules prohibit _____.
attaching a rider to an appropriations bill
Double-tracking in the Senate has _____.
increased the number of filibusters
From the summary of House-Senate differences in American Government, you can infer that _____.
from time to time, a state’s general election ballots will feature House but not Senate candidates
Congress uses conference committees to _____.
resolve inter-house legislative differences
Congressional conference committees will usually _____.
have both houses accept their legislative compromises
In the section “Reducing Power and Perks,” American Government indicates that _____.
some proposed franking reform measures could discourage abuses
The chapter on Congress concludes by pointing out that the Framers of the Constitution intended to create a Congress that would _____.
exert electorally restrained power
According to the Lesson 3 commentary, when the president hosts, say the University of Oklahoma’s football team at a Rose Garden ceremony honoring the coaches and players for winning a national championship, he is performing one facet of his role as _____.
head of state
Comment: Regarding prime ministers, American Government says that the "voters cannot choose who is to be the chief executive officer.” This statement is a bit misleading. It is true with respect to the national electorate. But like American Speakers of the House and Senate majority leaders, British (and most other) prime ministers are first elected to a district (regional, provincial) seat in their legislative bodies. A majority of their respective parties (or a majority coalition) then elects them prime ministers (just as majorities of the House and Senate elect their Speakers and majority leaders).

Compared with U.S. presidents, British prime ministers will typically have more _____.
national government experience
Within the American context, unified governments will _____.
truly appear only when an identical ideological faction of the same party controls both the legislative and the executive branches
American Government’s discussion of the evolution of the presidency reveals that _____.
thanks to governmental activism, the presidency has been powerful since the 1930s regardless of who has held the office or whether crises have existed
The Twenty-Second Amendment indicates that a person may under no circumstance serve as president for more than _____ years.
In the 2000 presidential election, Oklahoma had ____________ electoral college votes and, accordingly, ____________ of the seats in the House of Representatives.
seven/ five
Congress has a total voting membership of 535; yet American Government says that electoral college votes total 538 because the District of Columbia gets three electoral votes despite its having no (voting) congressional members. The District of Columbia gets this special treatment because _____.
an amendment to the Constitution was ratified a few decades ago
The winner-take-all feature of the Electoral College tends to _____.
make a president seeking reelection especially attentive to the largest-population states
The Constitution specifically empowers the president alone to _____.
give orders to the federal military services
If the president limited his actions to the ones expressly granted him in Article II of the Constitution, he would probably spend most of his time performing actions associated with being a high-level _____.
bureaucratic clerk
According to American Government, the president’s most important sources of power are _____.
American public opinion and politics
If one used only the rule of physical propinquity as a guide, one would conclude that—of the four choices below—the presidential assistant with the most power and influence on the president’s decisions would be the _____.
chief of staff in the White House Office
The two methods of organizing presidential personal staffs that seem the most likely to prevent the president from getting important information are the ____________ methods.
ad hoc and pyramid
The jockeying of top WHO staffers for presidential access is politically important primarily because it _____.
influences whose beliefs and goals get embedded in public policy
Of the agencies within the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is probably the president’s primary source of governmental administration assistance partly because OMB currently _____.
reviews cabinet departments’ proposals for the president’s legislative agenda
According to American Government, nowadays the president’s cabinet is largely a fiction primarily because the _____.
individual department heads seldom act as a collegial deliberative body
Comment: This question helps you appreciate the explosive growth of “big government” in this century, especially since World War II. Indeed, excluding DOD (which traces its lineage back to the founding of the Republic), one finds that more than 40 percent of the new cabinet departments have come into existence since the early 1950s. Moreover, note that most cabinet departments have titles showing that they exist mainly to cater to the demands and real or imagined needs of special-interest groups. Hence, some continuing “hot potato” political and budgetary questions: Does the nation as a whole need/can it afford to have all of them? If so, why? If not, which ones should get the ax?

Including the Department of Defense, as of 2000 about _____ of the 14 cabinet departments were created in the 20th century
Appointees to _____typically have the longest assured tenure in office.
federal judgeships and independent agencies
American Government points out that ______.
White House staffers and department/agency heads frequently clash because they view their jobs from different perspectives
American Government indicates that ________.
modern presidents prefer to use formal speeches, not press conferences, to get across messages that polling data suggest will be politically useful
Presidents use—or sometimes try to use—real or threatened vetoes, assertions of executive privilege, and fund-impoundment attempts to _____.
either block congressional actions or force Congress into policy bargaining
The Constitution explicitly empowers the president to say “no” by _____.
sending veto messages
Underscoring the potency of vetoes (or veto threats) as bargaining chips is the historical record showing that from 1789 through 2000, Congress sustained roughly ____________ percent of all presidential vetoes.
Presidential claims of executive privilege grow partly out of constitutional provisions regarding _____.
separation of powers
In formulating programs to implement his policy agenda, a new president’s best sources of governmentally realistic advice are probably _____.
federal bureaucrats
Comment: The Department of Homeland Security is now a reality and is operating remarkably well, considering the organizational and operational challenges it faces.

Because of various legal and political constraints, the easiest way for presidents to improve governmental operations through reorganizations often is to _____.
establish a new agency
President Truman said that presidents mainly have the power to ____________ folks to do what they ought to do anyway.
When we vote in presidential elections, we should be concerned about the caliber of vice presidential candidates mainly because the _____.
vice president often becomes president because his predecessor dies in office
American Government points out that the Twenty-Fifth Amendment _____.
has once operated in such a way as to set off a series of events that demonstrated the legitimacy of the Constitution by creating no public opinion crisis
Regarding impeachment, American Government indicates that _____.
judges, not presidents, have been the most frequent objects of impeachment
The first and fundamental problem of the presidency (and its occupants) has been to _____.
establish and maintain legitimacy
A law making body made up of two chambers or parts. The US Congress contains this because there is the House and the Senate
bicameral legislature
An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action on the bill.
Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typicially with less than 55% of the vote.
marginal districts
Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55% or more.
safe districts
An alliance between Republicans and conservative Democrats.
conservative coalition
The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
majority leader
The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
minority leader
A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, rounds up members when important votes are to be taken, and attempts to keep a nose count on how the voting on controversial issues is likely to go.
A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislatures.
party polarization
An association of members of congress created to advocate a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest.
caucus (congressional)
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area. Examples are the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
standing committees
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose.
select committees
Committees on which both representatives and senators serve. An especially important kind is the conference committee.
joint committees
A type of joint committee that is made up of representatives and senators appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same piece of legislation before final passage.
conference comittee
A legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern. A bill involving defense expenditures is a public bill; a bill pertaining to an individual's becoming a natural citizen is not.
public bill
A legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters rather than with general legislative affairs. The main kinds include immigration and naturalization bills (referring to particular individuals) and personal claim bills.
Private bill
An expression of opinion either in the House of Representatives or the Senate to settle housekeeping or procedural matters in either body. Such expressions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law.
Simple Resolution
An expression of congressional opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and Senate but not of the president. Used to settle housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses.
Concurrent Resolution
A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president. They are proposing a constitutional amendment need not be signed by the president.
Joint Resolution
A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees that consider it simultaneously in whole or in part. For instances, the 1988 trade bill was considered by fourteen committees in the House and nine in the Senate simultaneously.
Multiple Referral
A congressional process by which a Speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting, or may refer parts of a bill to separate committees.
Sequential Referral
A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had a bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor. If a mjority of the members agree, the bill discharged from the committee. This was created to prevent a committee from killing a bill by holding it for too long.
Discharge Petition
An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate and forbids a particular bill from being amended on the legislative floor.
Closed Rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the legislative floor.
Open Rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the legislative floor.
Restrictive Rule
An amendment on a matter unrelated to a bill that is added to the bill so that it will "ride" to passage through the Congress.
A bill that contains lots of riders.
Christmas tree Bill
The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress.
A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see whether the number of representatives in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official business.
Quorum Call
A rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate. Designed to prevent "talking a bill to death" by filibuster. For a bill to pass in the Senate, three-fifths of the entire Senate membership (or sixty senators) must vote for it.
Cloture Rule
A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business.
A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval; allows members to vote quickly and anonymously on bills.
Voice Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted.
Division Vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and then the "nays". Since 1971 the identities of members in a teller vote can be "recorded".
Teller Vote
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names. Orally, it is a time consuming process in the House. Since 1973, an electronic voting system permits each House member to record his or her vote and learn the total automatically.
Roll-Call Vote
Legislation that gives tangible benefits (highways, dams, post offices) to constituents in several districts or states in hope of winning their votes in return.
Pork-Barrel Legislation
The ability of members of Congress to maill letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage.
Franking Privilege
A government in which one party controls the White House and another party controls one or both the houses of Congress.
Divided Government
A government in which the same party controls both the White House and both houses of Congress. When Bill Clinton became president in 1993, it was the first time since 1981 (and only the second time since 1969) that the same party was in charge of the presidency and Congress.
Unified Government
A political system in which leaders and representatives acquire political power by means of competitive struggle for the people's vote. The form of government that is used by nations that are democratic.
Representative Democracy
A political system in which all or most citizens participate directly by either holding office or making policy. The town meeting in which citizens vote on major issues, is an example of participatory democracy.
Direct Democracy
A method of organizing a president's staff in which most presidential assistants report through a hierarchy to the president's chief of staff.
Pyramid Structure
A method of organizing a president's staff in which several presidential assistants report directly to the president.
Circular Structure
A method of organizing a president's staff in which several task forces, committees, and informal groups of friends and advisers deal directly with the president.
Ad Hoc Structure
A short form of perquisites, meaning "fringe benefits of office." Like limousines, expense accounts, free air travel, fancy offices, and staff assistants.
By custom, the cabinet includes the heads of the fourteen major executive departments.
One of two ways for a president to disapprove a bill sent to him by Congress. This must be sent to Congress within ten days after the president recieves the bill.
veto message
One of two ways for a president to disapprove a bill sent to him by Congress. If the president does not sign the bill within ten days of his recieving it and Congress has adjourned within that time, the bill does not become a law.
pocket veto
The power of an executive to veto some provisions in an apropriations bill while approving others. The president does not have the right to exercise this and must approve or reject an entire apropriations bill.
line-item veto
The view that an elected representative should act on his or her own best judgement of what public policy requires.
trustee approach
The view that an elected representative should represent the opinions of his or her constituents.
delegate model
The rejection of a presidential or administrative-agency action by a vote of one or both houses of Congress without the consent of the president. In 1983 the Supreme Court declared the legislative veto to be unconstitutional.
legislative veto
A formal accusationagainst a public official by the lower house of a legislative body. This is merely an accusation and not a conviction. Only two presidents, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, were ever impeached. They were not, however, convicted, for the Senate failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds vote required for conviction.
A politician who is still in office after having lost a reelection bid.
lame duck