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I.  Structure, membership, terms of office, areas served by members (G 53-54)

    [http://www.vote-smart.org, http://www.capweb.net/105th.html, http://calvoter.org]


            A.  United States Congress [http:thomas.loc.gov] (G 53)

                 1.  U.S. Senate:  100 U.S. Senators [http://www.senate.gov]

                        a.  Term:  6 years

                        b.  Area served:  state

                 2.  U.S House of Representatives:  435 Representatives [http://www.house.gov] (G 53)                               

                      (also called Congressperson, Congressman, Congresswoman)

                        a.  Term:  2 years

                        b.  Area served:  congressional district (CD)



            B.  California State Legislature [http:www.ca.gov--click government] (G 263-64)

                 1.  State Senate:  40 State Senators [http://sen.ca.gov]

                        a.  Term:  4 years

                        b.  Area served :  senate district (SD)

                 2.  State Assembly:  80 Assemblymembers  [http://www.assembly.ca.gov]                            

                         (also called Assemblyperson, Assemblyman, Assemblywoman)

                        a.  Term:  2 years

                        b.  Area served:  assembly district (AD)


II.  Powers of Congress and of each chamber (G 276-280, 268, 269-99)


            A.  Powers of both the U.S. Senate and  U.S.House of Representatives

                 1.  Pass bills and send them to the President (G 276-280)

                 2.  Declare war (G 268, 296-99)

                 3.  Propose Constiutional amendments; send them to the states (G 45, 264)

                 4.  Provide services to constituents who request them [casework] (G 267)



            B. Powers of the U.S. House of Representatives only (G 56, 264-65, 286, 291, 372, 374)

                 1.  Begin tax bills (G 264 End, 265)

                 2.  Begin spending bills (G 265)

                 3.  Impeach  the President, federal judges and justices (G 56, 286, 291, 372, 374)



            C. Powers of the US Senate only (G 53-57, 292, 294-95, 323, 370, 449-50)

                 1.  Confirm Presidential appointments (G 53-54, 292, 323, 370) 

                 2.  Ratify treaties (G 54-57, 294-95, 449-50)

                 3.  Try impeached President, federal judges and justices (G 56)



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III.  Committee system and the seniority rule for becoming committee chair (G 274 Center)


            A.  Kinds of committees (G 272)

                        1.  Standing/permanent (G 272 Top)

                        2.  Select/ad hoc (G 272 Center)

                        3.  Joint (G 272 Center)

                        4.  Conference (G 272 Center)

            B.  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)                

IV.  Steps required for a bill to become a law--often it is drafted by the executive (G 276-80, 299-302)


      (Note:  for the expenditure of funds, both the authorization and

        appropriation bills must follow each of the steps)


V.  Leaders of the House of Representatives, Senate/Presidential succession (G 270)

     [http://voter96.cqalert.com/library.htm--click bottom of the page]

            A.  Speaker of the House [J. Dennis Hastert (R, Illinois)], (G 270 End)

            B.  Majority leaders and whips (G 271)

            C.  Minority leaders and whips (G 271)


VI.  Demographic composition of  Congress (G 258-60)

            A.  Education and Occupation (G 259)

            B.  Race and Sex (G 259-60)

            C.  Religion (Judaism/Christianity/Islam/Hinduism/Buddhism)


VII.  Definitions:  bicameral (G37-38, 269-70), unicameral (G 37), decennial census, caucus (G 275), filibuster (G 279)/, porkbarrel legislation (G262)/pigeonhole/, junket, logrolling/, backscratching, horsetrading, rider, veto, veto override, pocket veto, item veto, open seat, safe district, competitive district, free ride, at-large election, election by district, slate, slate-mailer, legislative staff, upset, targeting, bill, statute, code/, gerrymandering (G 261) , reapportionment.


VIII.  World Wide Web resources on  legislators, districts, campaign contributions

            A.  http://www.fountainhead.com/super/commun.html#Rep

            B.  http://www.voxpop.org/zipper/

            C.  http://www.co.la.us/bos  (Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors)

            D.  http://www.latimes.com/HOME/COMMUNindex_la.htm

                  (Cities in Los Angeles County, from the Los Angeles Times)    

            E.  http://www.laccd.edu/college.htm#trustees  (L.A. Community College District)

            F.  http://www.fec.gov

            G.  http://www.motherjones.com/coinop_congress

            H.  http://www.townhall.com