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Leise Section 8

Congress

QuestionAnswer
Abscam Federal investigation in which six House members and one Senator were convicted of having accepted money from an FBI agent posing as a wealthy Arab seeking political favors.
Attitudinal Theory The theory of congressional voting behavior which assumes that members vote on the baeses of their own beliefs because the array of conflicting pressuers on members cancel out one another.
Baker vs. Carr (1962) A landmark U.S. Supreme court case that retreated from the Court's political question doctrine, deciding that reapportionment issues present justiciable questions, thus enabling federal courts to intervene in and to decide reapportionment cases.
Bicameral A legislative assembly composed of two seperate houses.
Blue Dog Democrats Known as the Coalition, favored "middle-of-the-road" politics.
Caucus An assiciation of members of COngress created to advocate a political ideology, a constituency, or regional//economic interests. Almost a hundred of these groups now exist, and they rival political parties as a source of policy leadership.
Christmas Tree Bill A bill that has lots of riders.
Closed Rule Linitation imposed by the Rules Committee of the House on the amount of debate time allotted to a bill and on the introductino of amendments from the floor (or any amendments other than those from the sponsoring committee).
Cloture A motion in the Senate to end debate, often used in the event of a filibuster.
Cloture Rule Rule 22of the Senate, providing for the end of debate on a bill if 3/5 of the members agree. A cloture motion is brought to the floor if 16 Senators sign a petition. The purpose is typically to terminate a filibuster and to force a vote on a bill.
Committee on Committees Republican organization that assigns Senators to the standing committees of the Senate.
Committee of the Whole Used in the House to quicken the passage of legislation. The quorum is reduced from 218 members to 100, & the Speaker appoints a member of the majority party as chair. Time allotted for debate is split equally between views. Committee can't pass the bill.
Concurrent Resolution A resolution used to settle housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses. Such resolutions are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law.
Conference Committees A speacial type of joint committee appointed to resolve differences in House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation.
Congression Accountability Act Applied civil rights, labour, workplace, & health laws to the U.S. Congress and its associated agencies, requiring them to follow many of the same employment and workplace safty laws applied to buisness and the federal government.
Congressional Black Causcus Long established national constituency caucus.
Congressional Courtesy Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Created in 1974 to advise Congress on the economic effects of spending programs and to provide information on the cost of proposed policies.
Congressional Research Service (CRS) Created in 1914 to respond to Congressional requests for information. It also keeps track of every major bill and produces summaries of legislation for members of Congress.
Dan Rostenkowski Democratic representative from Illinois. Involved in Congressional Post Office Scandal accussed of heading a conspiracy to launder post office money.
Denny Hastert Republican Speaker of the House 1999-2007 previous to Nancy Pelosi.
Descriptive Representation A term coined by Hannah Pitkin to refer to the statistical correspondence of the demagraphic characteristics of representatives with those of their constituents.
Discharge Petition Procedure for removing legislation from control of a committee and brining it to the floor for immediate consideration. In the House the petition must be signed by 218 members and in the Senate any member may move to discharge but must have majority vote.
Double-Tracking A method to keep the Senate going during a filibuster, whereby a disputed bill is temporarily shelved so that the Senate can go on with other buisness.
Edmond Burke Philisophical founder of modern conservatism who opposed French Revolution.
Filibuster A prolonged speech or series of speeches made to delay action on legislation in the Senate. The purpose is to kill the measure by talking it to death.
Franking Privilege The ability of members of Congress to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by submitting their facsimile signature (frank) for postage.
General Accounting Office (GAO) Created in 1921 to perform routine audits of the money spent by executive departments. It also invetigates agencies and makes recommendations on every aspect of government.
Gerrymandering Drawing Congressinal district lines in a bizzare or or unusual shape to make it easy for a candidate to of one party to win elections in that district.
Henry Clay An early Speaker of the House; 1811-1820 and 1823-1825.
House Banking Scandal Broke in early 1992 when it was revealed that the U.S. House allowed members to overdraw their House checking accounts, but were not being penalized by the House bank.
House Post Office Scandal Discovery of corruption among Congressional Post Office employees and members of the House of Representatives.
Jim Wright Democratic Speaker of the House from 1987-1989.
Joe Cannon Republican Speaker of the House from 1903-1911.Second longest continuous serving speaker.
Joint Committees Committee on which both representatives and senators serve.
Joint Resolution A resolution requiring both houses and the signature of the president and haveing the same legal status as a law.
Keating Five 5 U.S. senators who were accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis. The senators were accissed of improperly aiding the chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.
Logrolling A colorful phrase that refersto trading favors, a synonym to quid pro quo. For example, it may describe vote trading by legislative members to obtain passage of actions of interest to each legislative member.
Majority-Minority Districts Congressional designed to make it easier for minority citizens to elect minority representatives. These districts are drawn so that the majority of their voters are minorities.
Majority Leaders The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or Senate.
Minority Leaders The legislative leader elected by party members holding the minority of seats in the House or Seante.
Malapportionment The creatino of Congressional districts in a state which are of unequal size. The Supreme Court in 1964 eliminated the pratice by requiring that all districts in a state contain about the same number of people.
Marginal Districts A Congressional district in which the winner of the general election gets less than 55% of the vote. Such districts could easily switch to the other party in the next election.
Multiple Referral The practice of referring a bill to several committees. Following 1995 reforms, these can only be done sequentially, or by assigning distinct portions of the bill to different committees. These reforms only apply to the House.
Newt Gingrich House Speaker in 1995.
"One man, One vote" universal sufferage slogan. Important slogan used in Reynolds vs. Sims.
Open Rule Consent from the Rules Committee of the House which permits amendments from the floor on a particular piece of legislation.
Organizational Theory The theory of Congressional voting behavior which assumes that members make voting decisions to please fellow members and obtain their goodwill. Such behavior is possible since consituents seldom know how their representatives vote.
Party Caucus A meeting of local party members especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office.
Party Polarization A vote in which a majority of Democrats legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislatures.
Party Whip A member of the party leadership in each house who ehlps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking, rounds up votes, and attempts to keep a nose count of how the voting on an issue is likely to go.
Policy Committee Composed of a dozen or so senators who help the party leader schedule Senate buisness, choosing what bills are to be given major attention and in what order.
Pork-Barrel Politics A bill introduced by a member Congress that gives tangible benefits, like a highway or bridge, to constiuents in hopes of winning votes in return
Powell vs. McCormack U.S. court case decided in 1969 that Congress cannot exclude a person who has met the requirements written in the Constitution and who has been elected to Congress, from serving in Congress.
President Pro Tempore A position created in the Constitution to serve as presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice president.
Private Bill Legislation that pertains to a particular individual, such as a person pressing a financial claim against the government or seeking speacial permission to become a naturalized citizen.
Privileged Speech Congressional debate is a protected form of speech.
Public Bill Legislation that pertains to affairs generally.
Quorum Minimum numbers of members who must be present for buisness to be conducted.
Quorum Call A calling of the roll in either house of Congress to see whether the number of representatives in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official buisness.
Representational Theory The theory of Congressional voting behavior that assumes that members make voting decisions based on their perception of constituents' wishes to ensure their own reelection.
Restrictive Rule Consent from the Rules Committee of the House which permits certain amendments to a piece of legislation but not others.
Rider A nongermane amendment to an important bill. It is added so the measure will "ride" to passage through the Congress.
Roll-Call Vote A method of voting used in both houses in which members answer yea or naywhen their names are called. These votes are recorded and occur in the House at the request of 20% of its members.
Rules Committee In the House, the committee that decides whicand under what bills come up for a vote, in what order, and under which restictions on length of debate and on the right to offeramendments.
Rule 22 Another name for the Cloture Rule.
Safe Districts A district in which the winner does recieve more than 55% of the vote.
Sam Rayburn Longest serving Speaker (17 years). Democrat
Select Committees Congressional committee appointed for a limited time period and purpose.
Senator Bob Packwood Republican who resigned under threat of expulsion after allegations of sexual harrassment, abuse and assault of women emerged.
Seniority System A simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. The member who had served on the committee longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair, regardless of party loyalty, menatal state or competence.
Sequentail Referral The Speaker sends a bill to a second committee afterthe 1st is finished, or he refers parts of a bill to seperate committees.
17th Amendment A Constitutional amendment ratified in 1913 requiring the popular election of U.S. senators. Senatora were previously chosen by state legislatures.
Shaw vs. Reno (1993) Was a U.S. court case that ruled in the area of redistricting and racial gerrymandering. The court ruled that redistricting based on race must be held to a standard of strict scrutiny under the equal protection clause.
Simple Resolution A resolution passed by either house to establish internal chamber rules. It is not signed by the president and has no legal force.
Sims vs. Reynolds Ruled sate districts had to be roughly equal in population.
Sophmore Surge An increase in the number of votes candidates recieve between the first time elected and their first time reelected.
Speaker of the House The Constitutionally mandated presiding officer of the House. The speaker is chosen in the caucus of the majority party and is empowered to recognize members to speak on the floor, to rule whether a motion is germane, to assign bills, excetera.
Standing Committees The permanent committees of each house with the power to report bills.
Standing Vote Division vote; involves members standing and being counted.
Steering Committee Democratic committee that assigns Senators to the standing committees of the Senate.
Substantive Representation The correspondence between representatives' opinons and those of their constituents.
Term Limits Inc. vs. Thorton A case in which the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of Congress stricter than those specified in the Constitution.
Thomas Reed Speaker from 1889-1891 and 1895-1899.
Unicameral One house.
Voice Vote A method of voting used in both houses in which members by shouting yea or nay. Votes are not recorded.
Wesberry vs. Sanders (1964) The Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
Term Limits Congress has no term limits though an amendment discussing term limits has been suggested. Term limits put a limit on how long a person may serve in the Congress.
Created by: jmarient