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AP gov congress


apportionment The proportional process of allotting congressional seats to each state following the decennial census
redistricting the redrawing of congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats allotted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state
bill a proposed law
speaker of the house the only officer of the house of representatives specifically mentioned in the constitution; elected at the beginning of each new congress by the entire house; traditionally a member of the majority part
majority party the political party in each house of the congress with the most members
minority part the political party in each house of congress with second most members
party caucus (conference) a formal gathering of all party members
majority leader the elected leader of the party controlling the most seats in the house of representatives or the senates; is the second in authority to the speaker of the house and in the senate is regarded as its most powerful member
minority leader the elected leader of the party with the second highest number of elected representatives in the house of representatives or the senate
whip one of several representatives who keep close contract with all members and take nose counts on key cotes, prepare summaries of bills, and in general act as communication links within the party
standing committee committee to which proposed bills are referred
joint committee includes members from both houses of congress; conducts investigations or special studies
conference committee joint committee created to iron out differences between senate and house versions of a specific piece of legislation
select (or special ) committee temporary committee appointed for specific purpose, such as conducting a special investigation or study
discharge petition petition that gives a majority of the house the authority to bring an issue to the floor in the face of committee inaction
pork legislation that allows representatives to bring home the bacon to their districts in the form of public works programs, military bases, or other programs designed to benefit their districts directly
seniority time of continuous service on a committee
incumbency the fact that being in office helps a person stay in office because of a variety of benefits that go with the position
trustee role played by elected representatives who listen to constituents' opinions and then use their best judgment to make final decisions
delegate role played by elected representatives who vote the way their constituents would want them to regardless of their own opinion
politico role played by elected representatives who act as trustees or as delegates, depending on the issue
divided government the political condition in which different political parties control the white house and congress
logrolling vote trading; voting yea to support a colleague's bill in return for a promise of future support
hold a tactic by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill is brought to the floor. This stops the bill from coming to the floor until the hold is removed
filibuster a formal way of halting action on a bill by means of long speeches or unlimited debate in the senate
cloture mechanism requiring sixty senators to vote to cut off debate
veto formal constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both houses of the legislative body, thus preventing their becoming law without further congressional activity
pocket veto if congress adjourns during the ten days the president has to consider a bill passed by both houses of congress, without the presidents signature, the bill is considered vetoed
oversight congressional review of the activities of an agency, department or office
war powers act passed by congress in 1973; the president is limited in the deployment of troops overseas to a sixty day period in peacetime unless congress explicitly gives its approval for a longer period
senatorial courtesy a process by which presidents, when selecting district court judges, defer to the senator in whose state the vacancy occurs
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