Gov ch12

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  1. incumbents
    those already holding office. in congressional elections, they usually win
  2. casework
    activities of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals; cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get people what they think they have a right to get
  3. pork barrel
    the mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, colleges, and insitutions available in a congressional district
  4. bicameral legislature
    a legislature divided into two houses. the U.S. Congress and every American state legislature except Nebraska's are this.
  5. house rules committee
    an instution unique to the House of Representatives that reviews all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriation bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full House.
  6. filibuster
    A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate. Today, 60 members present and voting can halt this.
  7. speaker of the House
    an office mandated by the Constitution. This person is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed the presidency should the office become vacant.
  8. majority leader
    the principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House or the party's manager in the Senate. the majority leader is responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments, and rounding up votes in the behalf of the party's legislative positions.
  9. whips
    party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party
  10. minority leader
    the principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate
  11. standing committees
    separate subject-matter committees in each house of congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
  12. joint committees
    congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses
  13. conference committees
    congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms. Party leadership appoints members from each house to iron out the differences and bring back a single bill.
  14. select committees
    congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose such as the Watergate investigation
  15. legislative oversight
    congress' monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings.
  16. committee chairs
    the most important influencers of the congressional agenda. they play dominatnt roles in the scheduling of hearings, hiring staff, appointing subcommittees, and managing committee bills when they are grought before the full house.
  17. seniority system
    a simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. the member who had served the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair, regardless of the party loyalty, mental state, or competence.
  18. caucus (congressional)
    A group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic. Most are composed of members from both parties and from both houses.
  19. bill
    a proposed law, drafted in precise, legal language. Anyone can draft one of these, but only a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate can formally submit it for consideration
Card Set
Gov ch12
gov vocab ch12
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