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Ch_13 Vocab


Bicameral Legislature A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts.
Filibuster An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action to the bill.
Marginal Districts Political districts in which candidates elected to the H.O.R. win in close elections, typically by less than 55% of the vote.
Safe Districts Districts in which incumbents win by margins of 55% or more.
Conservative Coalition An alliance between Republican and conservative Democrats.
Majority Leader The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or the Senate.
Minority Leader The legislative leader elected by party members holding a minority of seats in the House or the Senate.
Party Whip A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking.
Party Polarization A vote where a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators.
Party Caucus An association of Congress members created to advance a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest in a specific party.
Standing Committees 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 on which both senators or representatives serve.
Conference Committees A joint committee to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill.
Public Bill A legislative bill that deals with matters of general concern.
Private Bill A legislative bill that deals only with specific private, personal, or local matters.
Simple Resolution An expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body.
Concurrent Resolution An expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president.
Joint Resolution A formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both houses of Congress and by the president; constitutional amendments need not be signed by the president.
Multiple Referral A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees.
Sequential Referral A congressional process by which a Speaker may send a bill to a second committee after the first is finished acting.
Discharge Petition A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had the bill for thirty days, may petition to have it brought to the floor.
Closed Rule An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor.
Open Rule An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor.
Restrictive Rule An order from the H.R.C. that permits certain kinds of amendments but not others to be made into a bill on the floor.
Quorum The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress.
Quorum Call A roll call in either House of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present.
Cloture Rule A rule used by the Senate to end of limit a debate.
Double-Tracking A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business.
Voice Vote A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval, permitting 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 the "nays" second.
Roll-Call Vote A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names.
Pork-Barrel Legislation Legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return.
Franking Privilages Their ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage.
Congressional Caucus Growing rival caucus of parties as a source of political leadership.
Gerrymandering Drawing a district boundary or in a shape to make it easy for one party to dominate or win elections in that district.
Malapportionment District of unequal population allows people and votes to be more valuable than others.
House Rules Committee Reviews most bills and adopts a rule that governs the procedures under which they will be considered by the House.
Parliament An assembly of party representatives who choose a government and discuss major national issues.
Strict Party Vote 90% of the vote is party.
Loose Party Vote 50/50 vote. (Party and themselves)
Markup Session The process by which congressional committees and subcommittees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.
Party Vote Party vote is unanimous.
"Christmas Tree" Bill Informal nomenclature for a bill on the Senate floor that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments. The amendments which adorn the bill may provide special benefits to various groups or interests.
Riders Informal term for a nongermane amendment to a bill or an amendment to an appropriation bill that changes the permanent law governing a program funded by the bill.
Seniority System The status given Senators according to their length of service, which entitles a Senator with greater seniority to preferential treatment in matters such as committee assignments.
Reconciliation Process A legislative device employed by the U.S. Senate to end a filibuster, close debate and pass controversial budget bills, thereby circumventing the three-fifths rule.
Earmarks Legislative provisions that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects or that directs specific exemptions from taxes or mandated fees.
Sophomore Surge An increase in the votes congressional candidates usually get when they first run for re-election.
Substantive Representation Describes the tendency of representatives to advocate for certain groups.
Majority-Minority District A term used to describe a U.S. state or other jurisdiction whose racial composition is less than 50% white.
Descriptive Representation The idea that candidates in democratic elections should be elected to represent ethnic and gender constituencies, as well as other minority interest groups, rather than the population at large.
Congressional Budget Office(CBO) Provides information on the costs of proposed policies on the congressional end.
Congressional Research Service(CRS) Responds to cpngressional requests for information and now employs nearly 900 people, with advanced training, to respond to more than 1/4 million questions a year.
Created by: cg_love007



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