REVISED, SEPT. 25, 2002 (6 P.M.)

 

GITELSON CHAPTER 10: CONGRESS MATERIALS (F12)

Advanced Study Guide

Elections:  36th Congressional District, November 5, 2002                               

Course Outline Pages 814 and 815

Impeachment Page 814

Names & Numbers Congress & Courts Page 819

Scroll to “5--Steps From Bill to Law

California Voter Guide 2002

Smartvoter:  California

Congress.org:  California

Predict YOUR California State Legislators to be elected on November 5, 2002: Vote-Smart
Predict YOUR U.S. House of Representatives to be elected on November 5, 2002:  Vote-Smart

Find YOUR Voting District--fill in ONLY the TWO boxes with the RED STARS

 

CONGRESS 

 

The lawmaking Legislative Branch at the Federal Level (p.838) is called Congress. The U.S. Congress is a bicameral legislature: a legislature divided into two separate houses, in this case, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.


House of Representatives

 

There are 435 Representatives in the House. A Representative may also be referred to as a Congressperson, Congressman, or a Congresswoman. Each state has at least one representative, but the number per state varies according to its population.  An elected Representative serves a term of two years.  The area a Representative serves is called a Congressional District (CD). You are represented by one member of the House of Representatives because you live in one Congressional District.


U.S. Senate

There are 100 Senators in the U.S. Senate (two per state).  An elected Senator serves a term of six years.  The area a Senator serves is the entire state where he or she is elected. You are represented by two U.S. Senators.

 

 

Powers of Congress

 

 

POWERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONLY

*1. Introduce tax bills (G 264 end – 265 top)

*2. Introduce spending bills, also known as appropriations (G 265)

              3. Impeach the President, federal judges, and justices (G 56 in chapter 2, 286 and 291 in chapter 11, 372 and 374

                  in chapter 13)

 

POWERS OF THE US SENATE ONLY

  1. Confirm Presidential appointments (G 53-54, 292 in chapter 11,  323 in chapter 12 and 370 in chapter 13)

  2. Ratify treaties (G 54-57 in chapter 2, 294-295 in chapter 11, and 449-450 in chapter 15)

  3. Hold trials of impeached presidents, federal judges and justices (G 56 in chapter 2, 286 and 291 in chapter 11,

      372 and 374 in chapter 13)

 

POWERS OF CONGRESS (BOTH THE HOUSE OF Representatives and the U.S. Senate,

                                              acting together)

*1. Pass bills that are sent to the president (G 276-280)

*2. DECLARE WAR (G 268 and 296 in chapter 11)

*3. Provide services to constituents who request them, known as casework (G 267)

  4. Propose constitutional amendments that are sent to the states (G 45 f in chapter 2)

 

 
STATE LEGISLATURE (G 263-64)

 

There are two houses of the California State Legislature.  One house is the State Assembly, the other is the State Senate.

 

State Assembly

 

There are 80 Assembly members in the State Legislature.  They are referred to as Assemblyperson, Assemblyman, or Assemblywoman.  Each elected Assemblyperson serves a term of 2 years.  The area that an Assemblyperson serves is called an Assembly District (AD).

State Senate

 

There are 40 State Senators in the State Legislature.  Each elected State Senator serves a term of 4 years.  The area that a State Senator serves is called a Senate District (SD).

 


CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES (G 272)

 

Standing committees are permanent committees that decide whether to refer proposed legislation to a larger body.  Each standing committee deals with separate subject matter. Nearly all legislation is sent to standing committees. Either House of Representatives or Senate holds these committees.

 

Select, or ad hoc, committees are temporary committees that are designed to discuss a particular committee bill. Either House of Representatives or Senate holds these committees.

 

Joint committees are congressional committees that are usually permanent and consist of an equal number of members from each house. There are four permanent joint committees.

 

Conference committees are temporary joint committees.  Before a bill can be sent to the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate must agree on the bill. The conference committee works out any differences that they may have. This is sometimes called the “third house of congress”.

 

The seniority system is a tradition through which the member of the majority party with the longest service on a committee becomes its chair. (G274)

 

Most Powerful Committees

 

1.  Finance/Ways and Means (taxation)

2.  Appropriations

3.  Budget

4.  Foreign Relations

5.  Rules--only in the House of Representatives (G 279, top-279, center)

 

 

DEFINITIONS In the order Gitelson Pages
In Alphabetical Order, Click Here (lacks changes in red)
Cara's Gitelson Ch.10  Fill-in Quiz, Here
More Definitions Here

Incumbent, incumbency (G 260, bottom and 261, top)

            Person holding elective or appointive office or having to do with a person holding elective or appointive office

Gerrymandering (G 261)

Drawing of a strangely shaped legislative district to give an advantage to incumbents, a party, or race/ethnicity.

Pork barrel legislation (G 262)

"Pork barrel" came into use as a political term in the post-Civil War era. The term comes from the plantation practice of distributing rations of salt pork to slaves from wooden barrels. When used to describe a bill, it implies that the legislation is loaded with special projects for members of Congress to distribute to their constituents back home at the cost of the federal taxpayer. See also, logrolling (1) (2) and backscratching.

Enumerated powers (G264 and chapter 2, pages 39-41)

            Powers specifically given to Congress through the list in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.  Also called delegated powers.

“Necessary and proper” clause (G264 and chapter 2, pages 39-41)

The last phrase in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which gives Congress powers far beyond the enumerated powers.  Also called the

“implied powers” clause and the “elastic” clause.

Casework (G 267)

Work done by members of Congress to provide constituents with personal services and help through the maze of federal programs and benefits. Casework is meant benefit the public as a whole as well as individuals.

Bicameral (G 269)

Refers to a legislature that is divided into two separate houses, such as the U.S. Congress.

Speaker of the House (G 270)

The only U.S. House of Representatives position created by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen by a vote of the majority party and presides over the House, leads its majority party, and serves second to the vice-president to succeed the president, if necessary.  (The Speaker is J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.).

Majority

More than half.  In each chamber of Congress, the majority party has great power, including the right to chair committees through the seniority system.

Majority leader (G271)

Both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have a majority leader that is elected by each majority party’s members. The majority leaders plan the order of business on the floor and direct the daily business of the house. The Speaker the House is the top administrative officer of the House, while in the Senate the Majority Leader is the top administrator.

Minority leader (G271)

The head of the minority party in the Senate. Also the leader of the minority party in the House, who represents its interests by consulting with the Speaker and majority leader over the scheduling of bills and rules for floor action.

Party whip (G271)

Members of Congress who support the party leaders in the House and Senate by communicating the party position to the membership in order to ensure party loyalty when bills come to a vote.  Party whips are assistants to the majority and minority leaders.

Standing committees (G 272) See tan section above “Congressional Committees”

Select, or special, committees (G 272) See tan section above, “Congressional Committees”

Iran-Contra Affair (G272)

            The secret sale of arms to Iran and use of the proceeds to aid the overthrow of the Sandinista Nicaraguan government.

Joint committees (G 272) See tan section above, “Congressional Committees”

Conference committees (G 272) See tan section above, “Congressional Committees”

Seniority system (G274) See tan section above, “Congressional Committees”

Rules Committee (G279) See tan section above, “Congressional Committees”

Filibuster (G 279)

A prolonged debate in the Senate that is intended to kill a bill by preventing it from coming to a vote.

 

STUDY QUESTIONS FOR CONGRESS
Cara's Gitelson Ch.10  Fill-in
Answers to Questions Below
 

  1.  What are the two houses of the U.S. Congress?

  2.  What are members of the U.S. Senate called?

  3.  What are members of the U.S. House of Representatives called?

  4.  How many U.S. Senators are there?

  5.  How many members of the U.S. House of Representatives are there?

  6.  How long is the term of U.S. Senators?

  7.  How long is the term of members of the U.S. House of Representatives?

  8.  How many U.S. Senators are elected from each state?

  9.  What is the minimum number of U.S. Congresspersons elected from each state?

10. What area does a U.S. Senator serve?

11. What area does a U.S. Representative serve?

12. How many people represent you in the U.S. Senate?

13. How many people represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives?

14. How many people serve in the U.S. Congress?

15. Every person in every state in the U.S. lives in one __________ ________, represented by one member. 

16. Who declares war?

17. Who begins tax bills?

18. Which of Congress’ two houses impeaches Presidents, federal judges and justices?

19. Who tries Presidents, federal judges, and justices after they have been impeached?

20. Does the President of the United States have the power to declare war?

21. Who confirms presidential appointments?

22. Who passes bills that are then sent to the President?

23. Who begins spending bills?

24. Has a President of the United States ever declared war on another country?

25. Which house of Congress tried and acquitted William Jefferson Clinton in Washington D.C.?

26. Which house of Congress successfully impeached William Jefferson Clinton?

27. Which house of Congress can propose constitutional amendments?

28. Which house provides services to constituents who request them?

 

Links For Further Study and Sources for Study Guide Questions 1-28, Above

Legislators Study Guide

Powers of Congress Study Guide

Congress Study Guide