APGOV CH 12: Legislative Branch

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APGOV CH 12: Legislative Branch
2013-01-05 10:30:27
APGOV 12 Legislative Branch

APGOV CH 12: Legislative Branch
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  1. Descriptive Representation
    Fits their constituents' description (personal, politically relevant characteristics
  2. Substantive Representation
    *Understand substance of what you need to make your life better - representing the interests of groups (i.e. rich but champions interests of poor)
  3. Presidential Coattails
    Voters support congressional candidates because of their support for the president. Doesn't work that way any more.
  4. Advertising
    • Most congressional advertising takes place between elections in the form of contact with constituents - visibility!
    • Use franking privilege to mail newsletters to households in their constituency & make frequent trips home. 
    • Track interests of individual voters, file the info in a database, and then use emails or phone calls to engage directly with voters on issues they know they care about.
  5. 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.
  6. Pork barrel
    *Jobs, money, etc. will affect a lot of people in your district. Representative add parts to a bill that will benefit his/her own district/state.
  7. franking privileges
    the free use of the mail system to communicate with constituents
  8. Gerrymandering
    Done by state legislatures to benefit their party - drawing district boundaries to advantage a specific group
  9. Filibuster
    A strategy unique to the Senate by which opponents of a bill use their right to unlimited debate as a way to prevent the Senate from ever voting on a bill.
  10. Seniority system
    In effect until the 1970s. The member who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair.
  11. Congressional Caucus
    Like interest groups. A group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic. Most are composed of members from both parties and from both houses. I.e. mushroom caucus
  12. CRS - Congressional Research Service
    Staff agency. Works through the Library of Congress to do research for members of Congress. Tracks the progress of major bills, prepares summaries of bills, and makes this info available electronically.
  13. GAO - Government Accountability Office
    Track $. Staff agency. Responsible for assisting Congress function of oversight reviewing actions of executive branch to see if it is following the congressional intent of laws and by investigating the efficiency and effectiveness of policy implementation. Sets gov't standards for accounting, provides legal opinions, and settles claims against the gov't.
  14. Pigeon Hole
    Bury a bill. When committee sees a bill, they'd get rid of it without anyone knowing ("hide it in a desk")
  15. Discharge Petition
    Ends a pigeon hole. Forces a bill out of a out of committee
  16. Rules Committee
    Schedule a bill for debate; they can decide to ignore it
  17. Standing Committee
    Permanent, separate subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
  18. Joint committees
    Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas (i.e. economy and taxation) with membership drawn from both houses.
  19. Conference committees
    Congressional committees formed when the Senate and 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.
  20. Select Committees
    Temporary, congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
  21. Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
    Responsible for making economic projections about economic performance, in part. Focuses on analyzing the president's budget and making economic projections about the performance of the economy, the costs of proposed policies, and the economic effects of taxing and spending alternatives.
  22. Cloture
    Can be voted on a debate to halt a filibuster in the Senate.
  23. Political Tidal Waves
    Significant change in who has power in congress. I.e. 1994, when public mood turned against Democratic incumbents, defeating 34 in the House and 2 in the Senate.
  24. Position Taking
    All members of Congress must take policy stands, and the positions they take may affect the outcome of an election, especially if the issues are on matters visible to voters and the candidates' stands differ from those of a majority and their constituents. Especially true in elections for the Senate.
  25. Legislative Oversight
    Committees make sure law is implemented. Congress' monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings.
  26. Partisan
    Representative who votes based upon the desires of his/her party
  27. Trustees
    *Trust own opinion. Concept of legislators using their best judgment to make policy in the interests of the people.
  28. Instructed delegates
    Concept of representatives mirroring the preferences of their constituents
  29. Politicos
    Members of Congress adopt both trustee and instructed delegate roles as they strive to be both representatives and policymakers.
  30. Speaker of the House
    Has more power in leadership of House than in leadership of Senate. An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency.
  31. President of Senate
    No power like speaker, nothing for them to do, only votes in tie. Vice President of the U.S. Usually don't do much as the President of the Senate.
  32. Party Whips
    Keep people in line/slap them around. Intimidate people to do what party wants them to do. Make sure members follow advice of leadership.
  33. Wesberry v. Sanders
    "One person, one vote" - 1 peron's vote = to another's. Districts must be approx equal in population
  34. Party floor leaders
    Responsible for determining the direction of his/her party on the issues.