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Unit 2 Government

Chp 5-7 Vocab

TermDefinition
bicameral legislature A two-chamber legislature
session A period of time during which a legislature meets to conduct business
census A population count
reapportionment The process of reassigning representation based on population after every census
redistrict To set up new district lines after reapportionment is complete
gerrymander To draw a district’s boundaries to gain an advantage in elections
at-large As a whole; for example, statewide
censure A vote of formal disapproval of a member’s actions
incumbent Candidate who is already in office
constituents Persons a member of Congress has been elected to represent
caucus A private meeting of party leaders to choose candidates for office
majority leader The Speaker’s top assistant whose job is to help plan the majority party’s legislative program and to steer important bills through the House
whips Assistants to the party floor leaders in the legislature
bill A proposed law
calendars Schedules that list the order in which bills will be considered in Congress
quorum The minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action
president pro tempore The Senate member, elected by the Senate, who stands in as president of the Senate in the absence of the vice president
filibuster A method of defeating a bill in which a senator keeps talking until a majority either abandons the bill or agrees to modify it
cloture A procedure that allows each senator to speak only one hour on a bill under debate
standing committee A permanent committee in Congress that oversees bills that deal with certain kinds of issues
subcommittee A group within a standing committee that specializes in a subcategory of its standing committee’s responsibility
select committee A temporary committee formed to study one specific issue and report its findings to the Senate or the House
joint committee A committee of the House and Senate that usually acts as a study group and reports its findings back to the House and the Senate
conference committee A temporary joint committee set up when the House and the Senate have passed different versions of a bill
seniority system A system that gives the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee
expressed powers Powers directly stated in the Constitution
necessary and proper clause Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to make all laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its duties
implied powers Powers that the government requires to carry out the expressed powers
revenue bill A law proposed to raise money
appropriations bill A proposed law to authorize spending money
interstate commerce Trade among the states
impeachment A formal accusation of misconduct in office against a public official
subpoena A legal order that a person appear or produce requested documents
perjury Lying under oath
contempt Willful obstruction of justice
immunity Freedom from prosecution for witnesses whose testimony ties them to illegal acts
legislative veto Device that gave Congress ability to review and cancel actions of executive agencies; ruled unconstitutional in 1983
national budget The yearly financial plan for the national government
impoundment The president’s refusal to spend money Congress has voted to fund a program
private bill A bill dealing with an individual person or place
public bill A bill dealing with general matters and applying to the entire nation
simple resolution A statement adopted to cover matters affecting only one house of Congress
rider A provision included in a bill on a subject other than the one covered in the bill
hearing A session at which a committee listens to testimony from people interested in the bill
veto Rejection of a bill
pocket veto When a president kills a bill passed during the last ten days Congress is in session by simply refusing to act on it
tax The money that people and businesses pay to support the activities of the government
closed rule A rule that forbids members of Congress to offer amendments to bills from the floor
appropriation Approval of government spending
authorization bill A bill that sets up a federal program and specifies how much money may be appropriated for the program
entitlement A required government expenditure that continues from one year to the next
lobbyist An interest group representative
lobbying Direct contact made by lobbyists in order to persuade government officials to support the policies their interest group favors
casework The work that a lawmaker does to help constituents with problems
pork-barrel legislation Laws passed by Congress that appropriate money for local federal projects
logrolling An agreement by two or more lawmakers to support each other’s bills
Created by: perryherbst