US Government: Principles in Practice

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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Chapter 5: Congress: The Legislative Branch
Overture
Section-1
Congress
Section-2
The Powers of Congress
Section-3
The House of Representatives
Section-4
The Senate
Section-5
Congress at Work
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Section 1 at a Glance
Congress
• Members of Congress strive to represent the interests of their constituents while keeping in
mind the needs of the country as a whole.
• Congress is a bicameral legislature with a House of Representatives and a Senate.
• Congress plays a vital role in the system of checks and balances.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Congress
Main Idea
The voters elect members of Congress to represent them and to enact laws in their name.
Congress plays a vital role in our government’s system of checks and balances.
Reading Focus
• How does Congress represent the people?
• Why is the structure of Congress important?
• What is the role of Congress in the system of checks and balances?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Congress and the People
Congress is the representative body through which the will of the people is made into law.
Representing the People
• Represent the interests of their
constituents, the voters in the district that
elected them
• Attempt to balance the needs of their
constituents with those of the nation as a
whole
• Civilization ended around 400 BC
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Members of Congress
• Tend to be older than the general
population
• Tend to be wealthier
• Most of them have been white men
• In recent years, more representative of the
nation’s diversity
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Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What groups do members of Congress represent?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What groups do members of Congress represent?
Answer(s): individual constituents, groups of constituents, the nation as a whole
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Structure of Congress
Congress is a bicameral legislature made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The House of Representatives
• 1929: number fixed at 435
• Number of representatives each state can
elect based on state’s population
• Apportionment: distribution of seats
according to population
• Representatives serve two-year terms
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The Senate
• 100 members
• Each state represented by two senators
• Senators serve six-year terms
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Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Structure of Congress {continued}
The Two-House Structure
• Bicameral legislature proposed at the 1787 Constitutional Convention
• Great Compromise combined elements of two previously proposed plans, Virginia Plan and
New Jersey Plan
• Bicameral system adopted parts of both plans: states would have equal representation in
Senate, but proportional representation based on population in House of Representatives
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the key features and purposes of the bicameral structure?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the key features and purposes of the bicameral structure?
Answer(s): possible answer—two houses with representation in one based on population, the
other with equal representation; to balance democratic representation with political stability
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Congress and Checks and Balances
The Power of the Purse
• Only Congress can deny funding requests
from executive branch
• Through appropriation, Congress can
prevent president from carrying out
policies
The Impeachment Power
• Impeachment power rarely used
• Congress can charge officials with
wrongdoing, bring them to trial
• Process only in cases involving treason,
bribery, “high crimes and misdemeanors”
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The Power of Advice and Consent
• Senate must approve treaties negotiated by
president
• Senate has power to reject presidential
appointees
Other Checks and Balances
• Begins process of amending Constitution
• Can override presidential veto of bill
• Congressional oversight: broad powers of
executive review
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are some examples of checks and balances Congress has over the executive branch?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are some examples of checks and balances Congress has over the executive branch?
Answer(s): possible answer—power of the purse, power of advice and consent, impeachment,
veto override, oversight
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Section 2 at a Glance
The Powers of Congress
• Congress has extensive expressed, inherent, and implied powers.
• The extent of Congress’s implied powers is a subject of debate.
• The powers of Congress have expanded over time with the growth of government.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Congress
Main Idea
The Constitution gives Congress many expressed powers, and it implies some others. The
Constitution also places limits on the powers of Congress.
Reading Focus
•
•
•
•
•
•
What types of powers does Congress have?
What are the expressed powers of Congress?
What are the implied powers of Congress?
What are some of Congress’s nonlegislative powers?
What are some of the limits on the powers of Congress?
How has the power of Congress changed during U.S. history?
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Chapter 5
A Fire Leads to Change
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Defining the Powers of Congress
• Three types of powers held by Congress
—Expressed: spelled out in Constitution
—Implied: suggested in Constitution in the necessary and proper clause
—Inherent: powers a government maintains simply because it is a
government
• In addition to granting powers to Congress, the Constitution explicitly denies powers to the
legislative branch.
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Chapter 5
Reading Check
Contrasting
What is the difference between an expressed power and an implied power?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Contrasting
What is the difference between an expressed power and an implied power?
Answer(s): An expressed power is specifically granted by the Constitution, whereas an implied
power is merely suggested by the Constitution.
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Chapter 5
Expressed Powers of Congress
Financing Powers
• Uses power to “lay and collect taxes” by
levying direct taxes and indirect taxes
• Has power to borrow money on behalf of
the United States in case of deficit
Defense-Related Powers
• Framers granted Congress power to declare
war
• Congress retains power to raise army and
navy and to provide for their funding
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Commerce Power
• Has power to regulate interstate commerce
under Constitution’s commerce clause
• Only Congress can pass laws affecting
economic activity that takes place across
state lines.
Other Expressed Powers
• Deal with regulation of national economy
(coinage, postal service, copyrights and
patents, weights and measures)
• Include establishing bankruptcy law,
naturalization process, courts
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Expressed Powers of Congress
Clause 1:
• To levy taxes
Clause 2:
• To borrow money
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 3:
• To regulate foreign and interstate commerce
Clause 4:
• To establish uniform rules of citizenship
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 5:
• To coin money; to set uniform weights and measures
Clause 6:
• To punish counterfeiters
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 7:
• To establish post offices and post roads
Clause 8:
• To make copyright and patent laws
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 9:
• To establish national courts inferior to the
Supreme Court
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 10:
• To define and punish piracy and other violations of international law
Clause 11:
• To declare war
Clause 12:
• To raise and support armies
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 13:
• To raise and maintain a navy
Clause 14:
• To establish military laws
Clause 15:
• To call up a national militia in times of uprising or foreign invasion
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Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 16:
• To organize, arm, and discipline a militia when it is called into
service
Clause 17:
• To exercise jurisdiction over the District of Columbia
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Chapter 5
Expressed Powers of Congress {continued}
Clause 18:
• To make all laws necessary and proper
to the execution of any of the other
expressed powers
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Over time, Clause 18, the necessary
and proper clause, has become the
source of authority for much of the
congressional legislation that affects
Americans’ everyday lives.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
How do Congress’s expressed powers in finance, defense, and commerce give it a leading role
in American life?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
How do Congress’s expressed powers in finance, defense, and commerce give it a leading role
in American life?
Answer(s): possible answer—The powers to coin money, borrow money, levy taxes, and
regulate commerce give Congress great power over the economy and the direction and scope
of federal programs. Its power to declare war and its role in the National Guard ensures that
Congress plays a major role in defense. These powers ensure that Congress plays a leading
role in American life.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Landmark Supreme Court Cases Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Why It Matters:
Gibbons v. Ogden was the first case in which the Supreme Court ruled on the Constitution’ commerce
clause, which concerns Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
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Chapter 5
Implied Powers of Congress
Loose and Strict Constructionists
• Founders disagreed about how necessary and proper clause should be defined
• Strict constructionists
—Congress should only exercise powers explicitly granted in Constitution
—Known as Antifederalists
• Loose constructionists
—Congress should have more freedom to interpret Constitution
—Known as Federalists
The Necessary and Proper Clause Today
• Has led to expanded federal authority over time
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Cause and Effect
How did the Supreme Court’s decision in McCulloch v. Maryland lead to extension of
congressional power?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Cause and Effect
How did the Supreme Court’s decision in McCulloch v. Maryland lead to extension of
congressional power?
Answer(s): by allowing Congress to take other reasonable actions in the interest of preserving
the general welfare.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Nonlegislative Powers
Powers Common to Both Houses
• Propose const itutional amendments
• Conduct investigations
• Ability to issue subpoenas, documents that require person to testify
Powers of the House
• Under Twelfth Amendment, House can
choose president if no candidate receives
majority of electoral votes
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Powers of the Senate
• May choose vice president
• Provides advice and consent on
presidential appointments
• Must approve treaties negotiated by
president
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Reading Check
Making Inferences
Why do you think the subpoena power is important for Congress?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Making Inferences
Why do you think the subpoena power is important for Congress?
Answer(s): To conduct its investigations honestly and effectively, Congress needs to be able to
call people to testify.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Limits on the Powers of Congress
• Many clauses in Constitution protect citizens’ basic civil rights
• Congress may not suspend writ of habeas corpus, except in cases of rebellion or invasion
• Congress is forbidden from passing bill of attainder, law that allows person to be punished
without trial
• Constitution also forbids Congress from passing ex post facto laws, laws that criminalize a
past action
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are some of the limitations on the powers of Congress?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are some of the limitations on the powers of Congress?
Answer(s): possible answer—judicial review, executive veto, constitutional bans against
passing bills of attainder and ex post facto laws.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Changing Power of Congress
In the twentieth-century Congress expanded its power to meet the needs of the growing nation.
• Responded to severe economic crisis in 1930s: provided Social Security, help to unemployed
• Post–World War II, responded to new status of nation as dominant world power: created new
U.S. Air Force, CIA, NASA
• Delegated some powers to federal agencies it created
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What has happened to the powers of Congress over time?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What has happened to the powers of Congress over time?
Answer(s): possible answer—They have grown with the scope of Congress’s activities.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Section 3 at a Glance
The House of Representatives
• Membership in the House of Representatives is apportioned to each state on the basis of its
population. After each census, seats in the House are reapportioned among the states and
new district boundaries are drawn.
• The Speaker of the House is one of the most powerful leaders in government.
• The House relies on a committee system to conduct much of its business.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The House of Representatives
Main Idea
The House of Representatives, with its frequent elections and regular reapportionment, is the more
representative chamber of Congress. Its members carry out much of their work in committees.
Reading Focus
•
•
•
•
What are the key features of the House of Representatives and its membership?
What are some of the challenges that reapportionment and redistricting raise?
How is the leadership of the House organized?
What is the role of committees in the operation of the House?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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The Power of the Speaker
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Chapter 5
Membership in the House
Formal Qualifications
• House members chosen by direct popular
vote
• According to Constitution, House is
responsible for “Elections, Returns, and
Qualifications of its own Members”
• Representative must be at least 25 years
old and resident of state he or she
represents.
• Members must also have been U.S. citizen
at least 7 years
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Informal Qualifications
• Candidates with military backgrounds,
celebrities often popular choices for House
membership
• Ability to raise significant funds for
campaigning is important informal
qualification for House membership
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are the formal and informal qualifications for membership in the House?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying Supporting Details
What are the formal and informal qualifications for membership in the House?
Answer(s): at least 25 years old, U.S. citizen for seven years, resident of state represented,
high voter appeal, ability to raise money
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reapportionment and Redistricting
Changes in Population
• Each state must have at least one
representative
• Constitution requires that House redistribute
number of seats available to each state every
10 years
• Reapportionment based on most current
census figures
Gerrymandering
• State governments responsible for creating
voting districts within state
• Gerrymandering: redrawing district
boundaries for political gain
One Person, One Vote
• According to Constitution, each person’s vote must have same basic value
• Gerrymandering has been used to disenfranchise racial minorities
• Supreme Court has restricted use of gerrymandering
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Sequencing
What are the steps by which House seats are assigned to different states?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Sequencing
What are the steps by which House seats are assigned to different states?
Answer(s): A census is held; Congress reapportions seats to the states based on the changes
in population
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Leadership in the House
The Speaker of the House
• The presiding officer of the House is called the Speaker of the House.
—Elected by his or her peers
— Member of majority party
• The Speaker has authority over much of the business of the House.
— Presides over debates
— Rules on points of order
— Assigns bills to committees
• The Speaker is behind the vice president in the line of succession to the presidency.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Leadership in the House (cont’d.)
Other Leadership Posts
•
•
•
•
Party officers elected at beginning of term at party caucus
Both Democratic and Republican Parties elect floor leader
Majority leader serves as assistant to Speaker of the House
Both parties elect whips, function is to secure votes in line with party leadership
House Rules
• House has congressional authority to make own rules
• House Rules Committee very powerful, responsible for setting conditions under which bills
are debated
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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Reading Check
Making Inferences
What role does the leadership play in running the House?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Making Inferences
What role does the leadership play in running the House?
Answer(s): possible answer—Leadership sets committee assignments, shapes the House’s
agenda and debates, and enforces party discipline.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Role of Committees
Standing Committees
• Standing committees: permanent
committees that address broad topics
• Subcommittees: specialize in areas within a
broader topic
Committee Chairs
• Position of committee chair very powerful
• Chairs chosen by majority party
• Position usually goes to most senior
member on committee”
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Other Committees
• Select committees: meant to carry out
specific task
• Joint committees include both House and
Senate members; address issues that affect
both chambers
Committee Membership
• House members usually serve on two
standing committees, four subcommittees
at a time
• Members request assignments based on
personal interest, concerns of constituents
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What is the advantage of having committees in the House?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea
What is the advantage of having committees in the House?
Answer(s): possible answer—Committees divide the workload and allow members to
specialize on specific areas of public policy.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Section 4 at a Glance
The Senate
• Each state has two senators, regardless of population. Like the House, the Senate relies on a
system of committees.
• Senate traditions, such as open debate, make it a distinctive body.
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Chapter 5
The Senate
Main Idea
Senators represent entire states, have longer terms, and follow different rules of debate.
These features help give the Senate its reputation as a more weighty and careful body than
the House.
Reading Focus
•
•
•
•
What are the major features of the Senate and its membership?
What are the Senate’s leadership posts?
What is the role of committees in the Senate?
What are some of the distinctive rules and traditions of the Senate?
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The Power of the Speaker
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Senate and Its Membership
Formal Qualifications
•
•
•
•
Must be at least 30 years old
Must reside in state he or she represents
Must be U.S. citizen at least nine years
Serve six-year terms
Informal Qualifications
• Tend to be older and wealthier than House
members
• Senate does not reflect diversity of U.S.
population
• Less diverse body than HouseElection of
Senators
Election of Senators
• State legislatures originally chose senators
• Since 1913, 17th Amendment, elected by direct popular vote
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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Reading Check
Contrasting
How do requirements for a senator’s seat differ from those for a House member?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Contrasting
How do requirements for a senator’s seat differ from those for a House member?
Answer(s): senator, at least 30 years old, instead of 25, must have been a U.S. citizen for at
least nine years instead of seven
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Chapter 5
Senate Leadership
Constitutional Positions
• Senate’s presiding officer
—Vice president of the United States is president of the Senate
—Largely ceremonial; votes only in circumstance of tie, casts deciding vote
• When presiding officer absent
—President pro tempore presides in absence of president of the Senate,
traditionally longest-serving senator of majority party
—Third in line in presidential succession behind Speaker of the House
Party Leaders
• Leading the majority
—Senate majority leader most powerful position in Senate
—Chosen by party caucus, works to fulfill party’s agenda in Senate
• Minority leader guides work of minority party in Senate
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Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea and Details
What is the Senate leadership structure?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Identifying the Main Idea and Details
What is the Senate leadership structure?
Answer(s): President of the Senate presides; president pro tempore presides in the absence of the
president of the Senate; Senate majority and minority leaders head their respective parties.
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Chapter 5
Committees in the Senate
Types of Senate Committees
• 16 standing committees and dozens of
subcommittees
• Assignments allow senators to become
familiar with specific issues of public policy
Committee Chairs
• No senator can chair more than one
committee
• Committee chairmanships generally chosen
by seniority rule
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Membership in Committees
• Usually serve on three committees and five
subcommittees
• Members seek assignments that align with
constituents’ concerns and personal
interests.
Senate Committee Power
• Top nominees of president reviewed by
relevant Senate committee
• Debate and vote on treaties, need twothirds majority to become law
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Reading Check
Contrasting
How do committee assignments differ in the House and Senate?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Contrasting
How do committee assignments differ in the House and Senate?
Answer(s): Senate committee assignments are made by the party caucus rather than by party
leaders.
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Chapter 5
Rules and Traditions
The Filibuster
• Senate places fewer limits on debate than House
• Senators may use stalling tactics like filibuster
—Opponents of measure refuse to stop talking hoping to prevent measure
from coming to vote
—Cloture can limit filibuster, requires two-thirds vote to end debate
Discipline in the Senate
• Constitution states Senate should judge conduct of own members
• Senators can be expelled or censured
Filling Vacancies
• Vacancy occurs if senator dies in office or retires during term
• State’s governor appoints temporary replacement
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US Government: Principles in Practice
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Reading Check
Summarizing
What are some of the unique traditions of the Senate?
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Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are some of the unique traditions of the Senate?
Answer(s): filibuster, cloture, governor-appointed replacements
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Debating the Issue: The Seniority System
Should seniority be a determining factor for committee chairs in the House of Representatives and
the Senate?
For most of the twentieth century, committee chairs were chosen strictly according to the seniority
system, which reserved these posts for the long-serving committee members of the majority party. A
series of reforms in the 1970s and 1990s empowered party conferences to elect their committee
chairs through secret ballots and set term limits on a chair’s service. Still, committee chairs and
ranking minority party members are almost always the longest-serving members of their respective
parties on a committee.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Debating the Issue
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Section 5 at a Glance
Congress at Work
• Bills may be introduced in either house and usually get assigned to committees for analysis
and revision.
• Floor debates differ in the House and Senate.
• Differences between House and Senate versions of a bill are resolved in a conference
committee.
• The president needs to sign a bill for it to become law.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Congress at Work
Main Idea
The main job of Congress is to make laws. The process of making laws is well established and
orderly.
Reading Focus
•
•
•
•
•
How are bills introduced in Congress?
What happens to a bill in committee?
What happens to a bill on the floor of the House and Senate?
What is a conference committee?
What actions can a president take on a bill?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Purpose of Laws
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Bills in Congress
Introducing Bills
• Both houses of Congress introduce bills
— Most bills are public and affect entire country
— Private bills affect only one individual or small group of people
• Rider: provision added to a bill that has little or no relationship to bill’s main intent
— Usually unpopular provisions unlikely to pass on their own
Other Types of Action
• Joint resolution: similar to a bill
— Used for certain circumstances
— Must be signed by president, carries force of law
• Concurrent resolutions: address operations in both chambers, do not carry force of law
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Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are some of the legislative actions that Congress takes?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are some of the legislative actions that Congress takes?
Answer(s): passing bills, passing joint resolutions, passing concurrent resolutions
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Bills in Committee
Most bills submitted to Congress do not become law.
Referral
• Bills first referred to particular committee
in House or Senate
• Bill may later be assigned to subcommittee
Committee and Subcommittee Hearings
• Public hearings get input on bills under
consideration
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The Subcommittee’s Report
• Subcommittee issues report on bill to full
committee following hearing
• Subcommittee’s report based on majority
of committee members’ recommendation
• Report can be favorable, unfavorable, neutr
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Bills in Committee {continued}
The Markup Process
• Full committee further debates bill, considers any amendments
• If committee decides to take no further action, bill is virtually killed
• Rarely, discharge petition used by House to force bill out of committee
House Rules
• House Rules Committee sets rules to govern how bills debated or amended
• Some major budget or appropriations bills bypass Rules Committee
• Three main types of rules: open, closed, modified
—Open rules allow amendments
—Closed rules forbid amendments
—Modified rules limit amendments
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the steps a bill follows while it is in committees?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the steps a bill follows while it is in committees?
Answer(s): assigned to subcommittee, hearings held, subcommittee report, markup process,
committee votes on how to report bill to full chamber or takes no action on bill, if approved by
committee, bill passes to Rules Committee
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Bill on the Floor
After a bill leaves committee, it moves on for the full consideration by the House or Senate.
The Bill in the House
• House votes to accept rules
• Committee of the Whole is formed by all
members
• Debates bill, recommends amendments
• Quorum for Committee of the Whole is
only 100
• Members must publicly state votes in rollcall vote
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The Bill in the Senate
• Requests for debate limits and amendment
restrictions require unanimous consent of
Senate.
• Important bills subject to roll-call votes, as
in House
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Chapter 5
Reading Check
Comparing and Contrasting
How does floor debate on a bill differ in the House and Senate?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Comparing and Contrasting
How does floor debate on a bill differ in the House and Senate?
Answer(s): possible answer—The House limits time allowed for debate and the right to offer
amendments; the Senate usually does not place such limitations.
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
The Conference Committee
Resolving differences between House and Senate versions of a bill is the responsibility of a conference
committee.
• No formal rules for dual-chamber committee meetings
• If conference committee does not reach agreement, bill may die
• If conference committee does reach agreement, issues report to both houses
• If both House and Senate accept, bill moves on for president’s approval
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Comparing and Contrasting
What is the purpose of a conference committee?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Comparing and Contrasting
What is the purpose of a conference committee?
Answer(s): to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of a bill; create a
common bill acceptable to both
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Presidential Action on a Bill
• President can sign bill into law
• President can choose not to sign bill.
—After 10 days if Congress still in session, bill becomes law
—If Congress adjourns during 10-day period, bill does not become law; known
as a pocket veto
• President may outright veto bill
• Congress can override veto with two-thirds majority vote in both houses
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the different ways a president has to reject a bill?
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
Reading Check
Summarizing
What are the different ways a president has to reject a bill?
Answer(s): pocket veto and veto
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
The Sources of Laws
Where do members of Congress get ideas for legislation and information in deciding which bills to
introduce or support? As the people’s representatives, they must be open to ideas from a number of
sources.
• The executive branch
• Constituents
• Interest groups
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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US Government: Principles in Practice
Chapter 5
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Chapter 5
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