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Chapter 5: Congress

Congress legislative branch of the United States government.
Bicameral legislature A legislature divided into two houses.
House of representatives An institution unique to the House of Representatives that reviews all the bills coming from a House committee before they go to the full house.
Senate the smaller of the two legislative bodies of the Congress of the United States.
Committee System The work of deliberative bodies is usually prepared by means of committees. These may be standing committees appointed for a definite time; select committees appointed for a special purpose; or committees of the whole, consisting of the entire assembly.
Conference committee It tries to agree on a compromise bill that is acceptable to both the House and the Senate.
select committee a small group of members of Congress instructed by either the Senate or the House of Representatives to investigate and report on a specific matter
Standing committee Each standing committee takes responsibility for a particular subject area. Congress creates temporary committees, usually called select or special committees, to write bills on a particular topic or to conduct investigations.
Joint committee The House also establishes joint committees to collaborate with the Senate. it include members of both the House and the Senate. They are created to investigate specific problems, but lack the authority to report out legislative action.
Speaker of the house An office mandated by the constitution. The speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
Majority leader The principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House or the party's manager in the Senate. The majority leader is responsible for scheduling the bills, influencing committee assignments.
Minority leader The principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate.
Whips Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose vote are crucial to a bill favored by the party.
Bill a proposed law placed before a legislative body for examination, debate, and enactment. Once enacted, a bill becomes a law.
Filibuster A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate.
Created by: liowona