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20 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Average age of person in Congress?
Average age=57 years old
House=56 years old
Senate=62 years old
Leading occupation of person in Congress?
Lawyer, at least 1/3, usually closer to 1/2

Also a considerable amount of business people
How many women were in Congress in 2008?
90, around 17%
a current officeholder who runs again
What % of the time do incumbents win?
How long does a Congress member serve on average?
Average house member serves 10 years, 5 terms

Average senator serves 13 years, roughly 2 terms
Why is it so easy for incumbents to win?
- Voters become familiar with incumbents
- Most people don't pay much attention to Congress elections-- name recognition
- Once elected, most incumbents want to keep their jobs, so try to make themselves popular
How can incumbents become more popular?
Get funding for projects in home districts or home states
What are some reasons that incumbents lose?
- Unhappy constituents, agency loss
- Tends to be a reaction against the party in power if constituents are unhappy with performance
Do members of the President's party have an easier time getting elected?
Historically, members of the President's political party tend to have a more difficult time winning
Ad hoc committee
A congressional committee appointed for a limited time to design and report a specific piece of legislation
The activity undertaken by members of Congress and their staffs to solve constituents' problems with government agencies
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, three-fifths of senators, or sixty, must vote for cloture to halt a filibuster
Conditional Party Government
The degree of authority delegated to and exercised by congressional leaders; varies with and 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
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
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 three-fifths of the members
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.