Chapter 9

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Chapter 9
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2010-07-10 11:21:24
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govt 2305 vocab words
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  1. necessary and proper clause
    also called the "elastic clause", Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, this is the source of "implied powers" for the national government, as explained in McCulloch vs. Maryland.
  2. bill of attainder
    a law that punishes an individual and bypasses the procedural safeguards of the legal process, prohibited by the Constitution.
  3. ex post facto law
    a law that makes an act a crime after it was committed or increases the punishment for a crime already committed-both prohibited by the Constitution.
  4. checks and balances
    the system of separate institutions sharing some powers that the Constitution mandates for the national government--purpose of which is to keep power divided among the three branches; legislative, judicial, and executive.
  5. 17th Amendment
    Ratified in 1913, it provides for the direct popular election of United States Senators.
  6. trustee role
    the concept that legislators should vote on the bases of their consciences and the broad interests of the nation and not simply on the views of their constituents
  7. delegate role
    a concept of legislative work as simply voting the desires of one's constituents, regardless of one's own personal views
  8. politico style
    a manner of representation in which members of Congress attempt to strike a balance between the interests of their constituents and the dictates of their own judgment and conscience.
  9. franking privilege
    a congressional benefit that permits members to send out official mail using their signature rather than postage
  10. pork barrel politics
    the effort to enact legislation favoring a legislator's home district, often in the form of costly government spending that may not be advantageous to the country as a whole.
  11. ombudsman
    a person who intervenes with the bureaucracy on behalf of individual citizens.
  12. casework
    the congressional task of handling requests by constituents for information or assistance with the federal bureaucracy
  13. legislative norms
    the unwritten rules of acceptable behavior in congress
  14. reciprocity (logrolling)
    a practive whereby two or more members of congress exchange support for legislation important to each other
  15. Speaker of the House
    the presiding officer of the house of representatives, selected by the majority party
  16. Rules Committee
    powerful house committee that clears most important bills for floor consideration and decides the rule under which bills should be considered and, also, the committee of a party convention that recommends changes in the way a party conducts its affairs.
  17. majority leader (house)
    leader and chief spokesperson for the majority party in the house
  18. minority leader (house)
    leader and chief spokesperson for the minority party in the house
  19. party whip
    member of each party's leadership responsible for party discipline and attendance for key votes
  20. conference
    the republican leadership committee in the house
  21. president pro tempore
    the presiding officer of the senate in the absence of the vice president-largely honorific post, usually given to the senior majority party member
  22. majority leader (senate)
    leader and chief spokesperson for the majority party in the senate
  23. minority leader (senate)
    leader and chief spokesperson for the minority party member in the senate
  24. standing committees
    the permanent committees of congress that alone can approve legislation and send it to the floor of the House and Senate
  25. joint committees
    permanent committees of congress made up of members from both houses
  26. special or select committees
    Committees of Congress created periodically to study particular problems or new areas of legislation
  27. Congressional seniority
    Based on a member's length of continuous service in the Congress, it can affect committee assignments, the amount of office space granted, and even the deference shown a member during floor debate.
  28. legislative assistant (LA)
    A congressional aide who analyzes bills, drafts laws, writes speeches, and prepares position papers
  29. administrative assistant (AA)
    Top aide to a member of Congress who frequently acts on behalf of the legislator in dealing with staff, colleagues, constituents, and lobbyists
  30. mark-up
    the process in which a legislative committee sets the precise language and amendments of a bill
  31. Union Calendar
    The House schedule for the consideration of tax and appropriation bills
  32. House Calendar
    The legislative schedule in the House of Representatives for non-money bills
  33. Private Calendar
    The schedule for House bills that concerns personal rather than general legislative matters
  34. unanimous consent agreement
    A common mechanism used by the Senate leadership to limit Senate debate.
  35. filibuster
    Continuing debate designed to prevent consideration of a particular bill; a technique used in the Senate.
  36. Executive Calendar
    One of two registers of business in the U.S. Senate that contains presidential nominations and treaties
  37. riders
    Provisions, usually attached to appropriation bills that "ride" into law on the backs of necessary pieces of legislation with which the President would have to veto an entire bill in order to kill the amendment.
  38. closed rule
    An order from the House Rules Committee that prohibits amendments to a bill under consideration on the House floor
  39. open rule
    An order from the House Rules Committee whereby amendments to a bill are permitted on the floor
  40. modified rule
    An order from the House Rules Committee allowing a limited number of amendments to a bill during floor consideration
  41. Committee of the Whole
    A parliamentary device used by the House of Representatives to facilitate floor consideration of a bill. When the House dissolves itself into the Committee of the Whole, it can suspend formal rules and consider a bill with quotum of 100 rather than the usual 218.
  42. cloture
    Rule 22 of the Senate in which discussion on a piece of legislation can be suspended after no more than 30 hours of debate by a vote of 60 members
  43. House-Senate Conference Committee
    A joint committee designed to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill
  44. distributive policies
    Programs such as water reclamation projects that provide considerable benefits for a few people and relatively small costs for many, usually provoking little opposition.
  45. redistributive policies
    Programs such as tariffs or tax reforms that produce considerable benefits to some segments of society but high costs to others
  46. iron triangle
    The combination of interest group representatives, legislators, and government administrators seen as extremely influential in determining the outcome of political decisions

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