A.  FEDERAL LEVEL:  LEGISLATIVE BRANCH:  Congress (u)

 

1. Structure U.S. Congress (SB 243)

 


Senate:

100 Senators (SB 222)

Two members from each state elected to 6-year (SB 217)

Each member of the Senate represents his/her state, but helps make laws for the entire United States

 

 

 

 

House of Representatives:

435 Representatives (SB 222), one per Congressional

District, which is delineated according to the size of the state’s population (census taken every 10 years). There may be many districts within a state; representation depends on population size, but each state is guaranteed one representative. One member in each C.D. is elected for a 2-year term (SB 217). The majority group takes control. Each member of the House represents his/her district, but helps make laws for the entire United States


 

2.  Powers of Congress- Both the Senate and House of Representatives: (SB 220)

 


1.   Impose taxes (SB 220)

2.   Declare war (SB 220)

3.   Establish import tariffs (SB 220)

4.   Punish counterfeiters (SB 220)

5.   Establish and regulate armed forces (SB 220)

6.   Collect taxes (SB 220)

7.   Spend money (SB 220)

8.   Override presidential veto (SB 220)

9.   Regulate interstate commerce and

      international trade(SB 220)

 


3.  Powers Special to Each Chamber

 


Senate: (SB 221)

1.       Confirm Presidential appointments

2.       Ratify treaties

3.       Confirm “all other Officers of the United States”

4.    Hold trials of impeached federal officials

 

House of Representatives:

1.       Begin tax bills

2.       Begin spending bills

3.       Impeach the President, federal judges or justices


 

                                    4.     Committee System and Seniority Rule for Committee Chair Position (SB 230-234)

 


A.     Kinds of Committees (SB 233)

·         Standing /permanent

·         Select/ ad hoc

·         Joint

·         Conference

B.   Most Powerful Committees

·         Finance/ Ways & Means (taxation)

·         Appropriations

·         Budget

·         Foreign Relations

·          Rules (only House of Representatives) (SB 233)

 

 

 

5.    Presidential succession /

       Leaders of the Senate and

       House of Representatives

 

A.     Speaker of the House of Representatives (SB 235) becomes President if the President and Vice President are unable to serve.

B.      Majority leaders (SB 235, 236) and whips (SB 236) - The majority leader is (by custom, the most senior member of majority party) the most influential person in the Senate.

C.      Having access to information, control over communications and agendas, and knowledge of

D.      

E.       

F.       

G.      

H.      

I.         

J.        

K.      

L.       

M.     

N.      

O.      

P.       

Q.      

R.       

S.        

T.       

 

 

institutions, he holds considerable influence over the workings of the Senate. The whip assists the leader.

 

 

B.  Minority leaders (SB 235, 236) and whips (SB 236) - the minority party in the Senate and House of Representatives also chooses its leader and assistant leader , also known as the minority whip.


                               6.Steps from Bill to Law (SB 237-238)

        **Follow the diagram on SB 238**

 

Note: For the expenditure of funds, both the authorization and appropriation bills must follow each of the steps. Both houses may propose legislation, which need approval from both houses in order for it to become law.

1.       A bill is introduced by a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives, often at the request of the President

2.       It is referred to different committees in that house for study, revisions and approval.

3.       Then it is sent to the floor for debate and amendments.

4.    Once the bill is approved by that chamber, is sent to the other, where it will undergo study in

        committees and floor vote.

5.       When both houses have passed the bill, a conference committee consisting of members from both

        House and Senate come together to work out differences between the Senate version and

        House of Representatives version.

6.       Bill is sent back to the Senate and the House of Representatives for final approval.

7.    Then the bill is approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it is sent to the

        president, who can let the bill become law without a signature, allow it to become law by

        signing it, or veto it by returning it to Congress.

8.       Congress may override a veto by 2/3 majority vote in both the Senate and the

       House of Representatives, but this cannot happen if the President has pocket-vetoed the bill by

       refusing to sign it during the last 10 days Congress is in session.

 

 

5         Leaders of the House of Representatives, Senate / Presidential succession

 

U.     Speaker of the House of Representatives (SB 235) becomes President if the President and Vice President are unable to serve.

V.      Majority leaders (SB 235, 236) and whips (SB 236) - The majority leader is (by custom, the most senior member of majority party) the most influential person in the Senate. Having access to information, control over communications and agendas, and knowledge of institutions, he holds considerable influence over the workings of the Senate. The whip assists the leader.

W.   Minority leaders (SB 235, 236) and whips (SB 236) - the minority party in the Senate and House of Representatives also chooses its leader and assistant leader.