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GOV Ch. 11 Vocabular

The Congress

TermDefinition
apportionment The distribution of House seats among the states on the basis of their representative 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 district.
"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 vote.
gerrymandering The drawing of a 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.
earmark Spending provision inserted into legislation that benefits only a small number of people.
Speaker of the House The presiding officer in the House of Representatives. The Speaker is a member of the majority party and is the most powerful 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 program.
standing committee A permanent committee in Congress that deals with the legislation concerning a particular area, such as agriculture or foreign relations.
subcommittee A division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part of the committee's policy area.
conference committee A temporary committee that is formed when the two chambers of Congress pass differing versions of the same bill; consists of members from the House and the Senate who work out a compromise bill.
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 debate for any bill.
filibustering The Senate tradition of unlimited debate undertaken for the purpose of preventing action on a bill.
cloture A procedure for ending filibusters in the Senate and bringing the matter under consideration to a vote.
markup session A meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.
conference report A report submitted by a 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. Bills that are not signed die after a specified period of time.
nuclear option Changing Senate rules - in particular, rules that require a supermajority - by simple majority vote. Also known as the constitutional option.
authorization A part of the congressional budgeting process - the creation of the legal basis for government programs.
appropriation A part of the congressional budgeting process - the determination
entitlement program A government program (such as Social Security) that allows, or entitles, a certain class of people (such as elderly persons) to receive benefits.
fiscal year A twelve-month period that is established for bookkeeping or accounting purposes; runs from October 1 through 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, beginning on October 1.
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 that enables executive agencies to continue working with the same funding that they had in the previous fiscal year.
Created by: LDhilario92