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Chapter 10 Congress

Political Dictionary

bicameral a legislature made up of two houses
term the length of time that officials serve after an election, as in a two- or six-year term
session the regular period of time during which Congress conducts business
convene begin
adjourn suspends until the next session
recess temporary suspension of business
prorogue adjourn
special session a meeting to deal with some emergency situation
apportion distribution
reapportion redistribution
off-year election those congressional elections held between presidential elections
single-member district the voter’s in each district elect one of the State’s representatives
at-large The general-ticket system, no longer in use, provided that all of a State’s seats were filled from the State as a whole rather than from a particular district
gerrymander refers to the act of drawing congressional districts to the advantage of the political party that controls the State legislature
incumbent the person who currently holds the office
continuous body all seats are never up for election at the same time
constituency the people and interests that the senators represent
delegate lawmaker sees herself as the agent of the people who elected her
trustee lawmaker believes that each question he faces must be decided on its merits
partisan lawmaker that he owes his first allegiance to his political party
politico lawmaker that attempts to balance roles of delegate, partisan and trustee while taking the political issues of the moment into consideration
bill proposed law
floor consideration when a bill is to be considered and acted upon by the full membership of the House or Senate
oversight function the process by which Congress, through its committees, checks to see that the executive branch agencies are carrying out the policies that Congress has set by law.
franking privilege Sending letters to constituents for free
Created by: Room 211