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Chapter 11 Vocab

AP Government - Chapter 11 Vocabulary

Chapter 11 TermsDefinitions
Bicameral legislature A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts.
Fillibuster An attempt to defeat a bill in the senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the senate from taking action on the bill.
Marginal Districts Political districts in which candidates electyed to the House of Representatives win close elections, typically less than 55% of the vote.
Safe districts Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55% or more.
Conservative Coalition An alliance between Republicans and conservative democrats.
Majority Leader The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Minority leader The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House of Representatives or the senate.
Whip A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, rounds up members when important votes are to be taken, and attempts to keep a nose count on how the voting on controversial issues is likely to go
Party polarization A vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislatures.
Caucus (Congressional) An association of members of Congress created to advocate a politcal ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest.
Standing Committee Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area.
Select Committees Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose.
Joint committees Committees o which both representatives and senators serve.
Conference Committee The conference committee is made up of representatives and senators appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and the House versions of the same piece of legislation before the final passage. It is a joint committee.
Public bill A legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern. A bill involving defense expenditiures is a public bill.
Private bill A legislative bill that deals only with specific, private, personal, or local matters rather than with general legislative affairs.
Simple resolution An expression of opinion either in the House of Representatives or the senate to settle housekeeping or procedural matters in either body. Such expressions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law.
Concurrent Resolution An expression of congressional opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate but not of the president. Used to settle housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses.
Joint ressolution A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president. Joint resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment don't need to be signed by the president.
Multiple referral A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees that consider it simultaneously in whole or in part.
Discharge petition A device by which any meber of the House, after a commitee has had the bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor. IF a majority of the members agree, the bill is disharged from the committee.
Closed rule An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate and forbids a particular bill from being amended on the legislative floor.
Open Rule An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the legislative floor.
Restrictive Rule An order from teh House Rules Committee that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the legislative floor.
Rider An amendment on a matter unrelated to a bill that is added to the bill so that it will "ride" to passage through congress.
Christmas Tree bill A bill that has a lot of riders.
Quorum The minimum number of members who must be present to call for business to be conducted in congress.
Quorum Call A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see whether the number of representatives in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official business.
Cloture Rule A rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate. Designed to prevent "talking a bill to death" by fillibusters. For a bill to pass in the Senate, three-fifths of the entire senate membership must vote for it. (60 senators)
Double tracking A procedure to keep the senate going during a fillibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get along with its business.
Voice Vote A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval; allows members to vote quickly or anonymously on bills.
Division vote A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted.
Teller vote A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and then the "nays". Since 1971 the identitites of members in a teller vote can be "recorded"
Roll-Call vote A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names. When roll calls were handled orally, it was a time consming process in the House. Since 1973 an electronic voting system permits faster voting.
Pork-Barrel legislation Legislation that gives tangible benefits (highways, dams, post offices) to constituents in several districts or staes in the hope of winning their votes in return.
Franking privilege The ability of members of Congress to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage.
Created by: monkeykist