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Chapter 5

The Legislature Branch

TermDefinition
constituents the people who live within the particular geographic area a member of Congress represents
apportionment the distribution of House seats among the states based on population
appropriation a bill that sets aside funds for a specific purpose
impeachment when Congress charges an official in the executive or judicial branch with wrongdoing and brings them to trial
oversight when Congress uses its broad powers to review how the executive branch is operating and to make sure it is following the laws Congress has passed
necessary and proper clause another name for the implied powers. another name for the implied powers is also elastic clause
indirect tax a tax levied on one person but passed on to another for payment to the government
direct tax a tax an individual pays directly to the government
deficit when the federal government is not generating enough income to meet its expenses
commerce clause the federal government's ability to regulate(control) interstate commerce
subpoenas legal document that requires a person to testify in a certain matter
writ of habeas corpus a count order that forces the police to present a person a court to face charges, except in cases of rebellion or invasion
bill of attainder a law that punishes a person without a trial
ex post facto laws laws that criminal an action that took place in the past and was legal at the time
reapportionment the process in which seats are redistributed among states based on the results of the census
gerrymandering the practice of drawing district boundaries for political advantages
speaker of the House the most powerful member and the presiding office of the House of Represntatives
bills proposed laws
floor leader elected member of the majority or minority party who helps manage the action and strategy of the party in the House of Representatives
whips elected members of the majority or minority party who encourage fellow party members to vote as the party leadership wants
party caucus a meeting of all the House of Representatives members from a particular party
standing committees permanent committees in the House of Representatives
select committees committees, typically temporary, that carry out specific tasks not already covered by existing committees
joint committees committees formed with Senate members that address broad issues affecting both chmabers
president of the Senate position assigned to the vice president of the United States by the Constitution that allows the vice president to preside over debates and break tied votes
president pro tempore the person who presides over the Senate in the absence of the president of the Senate
Senate majority leader the most powerful position in the Senate, elected by the majority's party caucus
seniority rule tradition that says the most senior majority senator on a committee becomes the committee chair
filibuster when opponents of a measure take control of the Senate floor and refuse to stop talking in an effort to prevent the measure from coming up for a vote
closture an end to debate
rider a provision attached to a bill that bears little relationship to the bill's main topic
joint resolution Congressional action used in certain unusual circumstances that follow the same procedures as a bill and has the force of law if passed by both houses and signed by the president
concurrent resolution Congressional action without the for force of law that are passed by both houses to address matters that affect the operations of both chambers
discharge position a document that a majority of House members sign to force a bill out of committee
committee of the Whole when all House members become members of a single committee to allow the House to function when many members are at hearings or are otherwise absent
quorum the number needed to legally conduct business
roll-call vote a vote in which each member is required to publicly state his or her vote, also known as a record vote
conference committee a committee formed when the House and Senate must reconcile different versions of the same bill
pocket veto an indirect veto that takes place when the president does not sign a bill within 10 days, during which time Congress adjourns
Created by: sdevans