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GOVT - Ch 11

Congress

TermDefinition
apportionment The distribution of House seats among the states on the basis of their respective populations.
congressional district The geographic area that is served by one member in the House of Representatives.
malapportionment A condition in which the voting power of citizens in one district is greater than the voting power of citizens in another.
"one person, one vote" rule A rule, or principle, requiring that congressional districts have equal populations so that one person's vote counts as much as another's vote.
gerrymandering The drawing of legislative district's boundaries in such a way as to maximize the influence of a certain group or political party.
minority-majority district A district in which minority groups make up a majority of the population.
trustee A representative who tries to serve the broad interests of the entire society and not just the narrow interests of his or her constituents.
instructed delegate A representative who deliberately mirrors the views of the majority of his or her constituents.
Speaker of the House The presiding officer in the House of Representatives; has traditionally been a longtime member of the majority party and is often the most powerful and influential member of the House.
majority leader The party leader elected by the majority party in the House or in the Senate.
minority leader The party leader elected by the minority party in the House or in the Senate.
whip A member of Congress who assists the majority or minority leader in the House or in the Senate in managing the party's legislative preferences.
standing committee A permanent committee in Congress that deals with legislation concerning a particular area (agriculture or foreign relations).
subcommittee A division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committee's policy area; mostly several per standing committee.
Rules Committee A standing committee in the House of Representatives that provides special rules governing how particular bills will be considered and debated by the House; normally proposes time limits on debates.
filibustering The Senate tradition of unlimited debate undertaken for the purpose of preventing action on a bill.
cloture A method of ending debate in the Senate and bringing the matter under consideration to a vote by the entire chamber.
markup session A meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.
conference committee A temporary committee that is formed when the two chambers of Congress pass differing versions of the same bill; consisting of members from both the House and the Senate, work out a compromise form of the bill.
conference report A report submitted by a congressional conference committee after it has drafted a single version of a bill.
pocket veto A special type of veto power used by the chief executive after the legislature has adjourned; unsigned bills die after a specified period of time.
authorization A part of the congressional budgeting process that involves the creation of the legal basis for government programs.
appropriation A part of the congressional budgeting process that involves determining how many dollars will be spent in a given year on a particular set of government activities.
entitlement program A government program (like Social Security) that allows, or entitles, a certain class of people to receive benefits; operate under open-ended budget authorization with no limits on how much can be spent.
fiscal year A twelve-month period that is established for bookkeeping or accounting purposes; from October 1 to September 30.
first budget resolution A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in May, that sets overall revenue goals and spending targets for the next fiscal year.
second budget resolution A budget resolution, which is supposed to be passed in September, that sets "binding" limits on taxes and spending for the next fiscal year.
continuing resolution A temporary resolution passed by Congress when an appropriations bill has not been passed by the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Created by: lisagrand