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58 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
ad hoc committee
a congressional committee appointed for a limited time to design and report a specific piece of legislation.
(exp. bills that are particularly sensitive: congressional pay)
activity undertaken by members of congress and their staffs to solve constituents’ problems with government agencies
(exp. social security checks)
closed rule
an order from the house rules committee limiting floor debate on a particular bill and disallowing or limiting amendment.
a parliamentary procedure used to close debate. cloture is used in the senate to cut off filibusters. under the current senate rules, 3/5 of senators must vote for cloture to halt a filibuster
conditional party government
the degree of authority delegated to and exercised by congressional leaders; varies with—is conditioned by—the extent of election-driven ideological consensus among members.
conference committee
a temporary joint committee of the house and senate appointed to reconcile the differences between the two chambers on a particular piece of legislation.
(exp. version of making bills)
discharge petition
a petition that removes a measure from a committee to which it has been referred in order to make it available for floor consideration. in the house, a discharge petition must be signed by a majority of house members (218)
(directly to the floor without committee approval)
a benefit that every eligible person has a legal right to receive and that cannot be taken away without a change in legislation or due process in court.
a tactic used in the senate to halt action on a bill. it involves making long speeches until the majority retreats. senators, once holding the floor, have unlimited time to speak unless a cloture vote is passed by 3/5 of the members.
drawing legislative districts in such a way as to give one political party a disproportionately large share of votes its candidates win.
joint committee
permanent congressional committees made up of members of both the house and the senate. joint committees do not have any legislative authority; they monitor specific activities and compile reports.
majority leader
the formal leader of the party controlling a majority of the seats in the house or the senate. in the senate the majority leader is the head of the majority party. in the house, the majority leader ranks second in the party hierarchy behind the speaker.
minority leader
the formal leader of the party controlling a minority of the seats in the house or the senate.
multiple referal
the act of sending a propped piece of legislation to more than one committee in the same chamber
necessary and proper clause
the last clause of article I, section 8, of the constitution. this clause grants congress the authority to make all laws that are “necessary and proper” and to execute those laws.
open rule
a provision governing debate of a pending bill and permitting any germane amendment to be offered on the floor of the house.
pocket veto
a method by which the president vetoes a bill passed by both houses of congress by failing to act on it within ten days of congress’s adjournment.
political actions committe (PAC)
a federally registered fund-raising group that pools money from individuals to give to political candidates and parties.
pork barrel legislation
legislation that provides members of congress with federal projects and programs for their individual districts.
(project for individual memebers districts)
(exp. money to spend on roads, courthouses, schools, etc.)
president pro tempore
in the absence of the vice president, the formal presiding officer of the senate. the honor is usually conferred on the senior member of the majority party, but the post is sometimes rotated among senators of the majority party.
presidential coattails
common metaphor for the capacity of a successful presidential candidate to generate votes for other candidates further down the ticket and pull fellow partisans into office.
(exp. congressional candidates of the same party as the president)
proportional representation
an electoral system in which legislative seats re awarded to candidates or parties in proportion to the percentage of votes received
(seats awarded proportionally to votes)
the minimum number of congressional members who must be present for the transaction of business. under the constitution, a quorum in each house is a majority of its member: 218 in the house and 51 in the senate when there are no vacancies.
(number of members who must be present for business to occur)
restricted rule
a provision that governs consideration of a bill and that specifies and limits the kinds of amendments that may be made on the floor of the house of representatives.
(governs consideration of a bill. limits number and kind of ammendments)
an amendment to a bill that is not germane (pertinent) to the legislation.
select committee
a temporary legislative committee created for a specific purpose and dissolved after its tasks are completed.
senority rule
the congressional practice of appointing as committee or subcommittee chairs the members of the majority with the most years of committee service.
speaker of the house
the presiding officer of the house of representatives. the speaker is elected at the beginning of each congressional session on a party-line vote. as head of the majority party, the speaker has substantial control over legislative agenda of the house.
special committee
a temporary legislative committee usually lacking legislative authority.
interchangeable with select committee)
(deal with specific problems then disappear)
split referral
the act of sending different sections of a bill to different committees in the same chamber.
standing committee
a permanent legislative committee specializing in a particular legislative area. standing committees have stable memberships and stable jurisdictions.
ticket splitting (split ticket voting)
the act of voting for candidates from different political parties for different offices
unanimous consent agreement
a unanimous resolution in the senate restricting debate and limiting amendments to bills on the floor
a member of a legislative party who acts as the communicator between the party leadership and the rank and file. the whip polls members on their voting intentions, prepares bill summaries, and assists the leadership in various other tasks.
(communicator between leader and memebers)
terms of office
house: 2 years
senate: 6 years with 1/3 up every 2 years for electon
areas of congressional authority
foreign affairs.
only congress can declar war
where must all revenue bills originate?
in the house
(but senate has unrestricted right to amend them)
roles of the president
recommend new laws
call congress into special session
primary goal of congress:
get re-elected
candidate centered vs. party centered
candidate centered: today
party centered: past
have more money, name recognition and are quality candidates
if you support me, i'll support you
are legislators representative of the public at large?
goals and obstacles to congress
quality challenger
how to aquire information
how to coordinate action
how to resolve conflicts
how to get members to work for common/personal goals
time pressure
(information, action, conflict, goals, time)
two most crucial institutional structures created to exercise congresss constitutional powers are:
committee system
speaker of the house
leader of the house of representatives
selected by majority
sets agenda
chief assistant to speakers are
majority leader
majority whip
minority leader
leader of the minority party.
organizes resistance to majority
who is the presiding officer of the senate?
vice president
when the vice president is absent who is designated to preside?
president pro tempore
standing committees
exist from one congress to the next.
fixed jurisdicion and stable membership
special/select committees
appointed to deal with a specific problem/issue and then disappear
(exp. investigation committees)
no jurisdiction/standinig bodies
joint committees
permanenet committees composed of members from both chambers.
leadership position rotate
ad hoc committees
handle bills that are particularly sensitive
conference committees
resolve differences between teh house and senate.
can't amend what comes out of this conference (yes/no vote)
money committees
house: ways and means
senate: finance
apropriations in both
legislative spending
1. committee with jurisdiction over a program authorizes expenditures for it
2. appropriationss committee apppropriates the money.
making laws
bill introduced -> assignment to committe -> reporting a bill -> scheduling a debate -> date and amendment -> vote -> conference -> back to house/senate -> president (law or veto