Government Unit 2 Study Guide

bicameral legislature
two-house legislature
sessions
meetings of Congress that last 1 year
Qualifications for elections in the house of reps
must be 25 years old, citizen of the US for at least 7 years, and must be legal resident of the state that elects them
how many members are there in the house of reps
435
how long are the terms in the house of reps
2 years
census bureau
Takes a national census every ten years
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census
population count every 10 years
reapportionment
The process of reassigning representation for the States based on population after every census
redistricting
to set up new district lines after reapportionment is complete
what happened in the Baker vs Carr case
the court held that federal courts could decide conflicts over drawing districts boundaries
what happened in the Reynolds vs Sims case
the court held that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment required that seats in both houses of the Alabama state legislature be apportioned on a population basis
gerrymandering
redrawing a congressional district to intentionally benefit one political party
Elbridge Gerry
an early Democrat-Republican governor of Mass. He had signed a redistricting plan that gave his party a big political advantage
packing
a district means drawing the lines so they include as many of the opposing party’s voters as possible
cracking
dividing an opponents voters into other districts, to weaken the opponents voter base
Qualifications for elections in the senate
must be 30 years old, citizen of the US for 9 years before election, and legal residents of the state they represent
at-large
statewide
how long are the terms for the senate
6 years providing that only 1/3 of the senators would run for reelection every 2 years
salaries for the senate
the senate sets their own salary
salaries for the house of reps
the house of reps sets their own salaries
27th amendment
limits the power of congress to increase its own salaries
franking privilege
benefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-free
privileges for the members of congress
they are free from arrest “in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of peace” when they are their way to or from Congress, members of congress cannot be sued for anything they say on the senate floor
what happened in the Huchinson vs Proxmire case
the Supreme Court ruled that members of Congress may be sued for libel for statements they make in news releases or newsletters
exclusion
each house may refuse to seat an elected member by majority vote
censure
a vote for formal disapproval of a members actions
incumbents
members already in office
commonly used demographics
race
ethnicity
age
level of education
gender
religion
political affirmation
occupation
when do sessions begin in congress
January 3rd of odd numbered years
who is the speaker or the house
John Boehner
R-Ohio
who is the house majority leader
Eric Cantor
R-Virginia
who is the house majority whip
Kevin McCarthy
R-California
who is the house minority leader
Nancy Pelosi
D-California
who is the house minority whip
Steny Hoyer
D-Maryland
who is the president of the senate
Joe Biden
D-Deleware
who is the president pro tempore
Daniel Inouye
D-Hawaii
who is the senate majority leader
Harry Reid
D-Nevada
who is the senate majority whip
Richard Durbin
D-Illinois
who is the senate minority leader
Mitch McConnell
R-Kentucky
who is the senate minority whip
Jon Kyl
R-Arizona
standing committee
PERMANENT panel
controlled by majority party
full legislative functions/responsibilities
subcommittee
PERMANENT panel
controlled by majority party
tackle very specific tasks within FULL committees
select committee
TEMPORARY panel
study ONE issue and report findings
usually don’t report [approve] bills
joint committee
PERMANENT & TEMPORARY panel
includes members of BOTH chambers
conduct studies or preform house keeping tasks
conference committee
TEMPORARY panel
includes members of BOTH chambers
work out differences between SIMILAR bills
public bill
involving issues with a general group of people, a more general issue
private bill
involving issues with just some individuals
appropriation bill
proposed laws to authorize spending money
law
a bill or act that has been passed by a legislative body
bill
a proposed new law (idea) introduced within a legislature that has NOT yet been passed, enacted, or adopted
resolution
a measure expressing opinions on policies or issues
simple resolution
dealing with “housekeeping” or procedural matters, covers matters affecting only one house of Congress and is passed by that house alone
joint resolution
when approved by BOTH houses & the president carries out the force of laws
concurrent resolution
legislative motion that must be approved by BOTH houses, but does NOT have the force of laws
what does a legislature do
makes laws
what does a committee member do
prevent bad bills from going through
what does a politician do
gets reelected to make deals; to entertain
what does a partisan do
be loyal to their political party
what does a representative do
works hard to work for the constituents
pigeonholing
under the chairpersons leadership, the committee can ignore the bill and simply let it die
hearings
sessions at which a committee listens to testimony from people interested in the bill
voice vote
members CALL OUT either “aye” or “no”
standing vote
or division vote, those in favor of the bill stand and are counted then those opposing stand and are counted
recorded vote
members votes are recorded electronically
roll-call vote
senatore respond “aye” or “no” as their names are called in alphabetical order
expressed powers
powers expressed in the Constitution
revenue bills
laws for raising money
writ of the habeas corpus
a court order to release a person accused of a crime to court to determine whether he or she has been legally detained
bills of attainder
laws that establish guilt and punish people without allowing them a trial
ex post facto laws
laws that make crimes of acts that were legal when they wre committed

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