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33 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Each Congress elected in November of an even numbered year meets the following January 3rd and remains in session for two years. Since the first Congress meet under the constitution in 1789, Congresses have been numbered. ( The Current Congress is 108th.)
Congressional Session
A legislative body consisting of two separate chambers or houses.
Bicameral Congress
Congress’s exclusive, constitutional power to authorize expenditures by all agencies of the federal government
Power of the purse
Congressional committee sessions in which members listen to witnesses who provide information and opinions on matters of interest to the committee, including pending legislation.
Congressional hearings
Congressional committee hearings on alleged misdeeds or scandals.
Congressional investigation
The allocation of legislative seats to jurisdictions based on population. Seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned to the states on the basis of their population after every ten year census.
Unequal numbers of people in legislative districts resulting in inequality of voter representation.
Drawing of legislative district boundary lines following each ten year census.
Drawing district boundary lines for political advantage. (the term immortalizes Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1811 redistricted the state legislature to favor democrats over federalist.)
Drawing district boundary lines to maximize minority representation.
Affirmative Racial Gerrymandering
Legislative district in which the incumbent regulary wins by a large margin of the vote.
Safe seat
Seat in a legislature for which no incumbent is running for reelection.
Open seats
although attempted by the states, no term limit is imposed.
Congressional term limits
Services performed by legislators and their staffs on behalf of individual constituents.
Legislation designed to make government benefits, including jobs and projects used as political patronage, flow to a particular district or state.
Pork barreling
Free mail service afforded to members of Congress.
Franking Privilege
Presiding officer of the house of representatives.
Speaker of the House
In the House the majority-party leader and second in command to the Speaker; in the senate, the leader if the majority party.
Majority Leader
the leader of the opposition party
Minority Leader
Permanent committee of the House or Senate that deals matters within a specified subject area.
Standing Committee
Specialized committees within standing committees; any recommendations must be approved by the full standing committee before submission to the floor.
Custom whereby the member of Congress who has served the longest on the majority side of a committee becomes its chair and the member who has served the longest on the minority side becomes its ranking member.
These are sessions in which line-by-line revisions of a bill in committee takes place by editing each phrase and word. These Sessions are frequently closed to public and require great patience and negotiating skills.
Markup Session
Delaying tactic by a senator or a group of senators, using the Senate’s unlimited debate rule to prevent a vote on a bill.
Vote to end debate—that is; to end a filibuster—which requires a three-fifths vote of the entire membership of senate.
Amendment to a bill that is not germane to the bill’s purposes.
Meeting between representatives of the House and Senate to reconcile differences over provisions of a bill passed by both houses.
Conference Committee
Legislatures who feel obligated to use their own best judgment in decision making.
Legislatures who feel obligated to present the views of their home constituents.
Bargaining for agreement among legislators to support each others favorite bills, especially projects that primarily benefit individual members and their constituents.
the Failure to enact laws that are widely perceived to have merit because of partisan of ideological bickering.
to maintain the integrity of the institution Congress established its own set of these.
Ethics rules
Public reprimand for wrongdoing, given to a member standing in the chamber before the Congress.