Gov: United States Congress and House Rules Committee Essay examples

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Chapter 11

1. Incumbents: those already holding office
2. Casework: activities of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals, particularly by cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get people what they have a right to get
3. Pork Barrel: federal projects, grants, and contracts available to state and local governments, businesses, colleges, and other institutions in a congressional district
4. Bicameral legislature: a legislature divided into two houses
5. House Rules Committee: the committee in the House of Representatives that reviews most bills coming from a House committee before they go to the full House
6. Filibuster: a strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislature use their right to unlimited debate to prevent the Senate from ever voting on a bill
7. Speaker of the House: an office mandated by the Constitution; chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal power; second in line to succeed the president should that office become vacant
8. Majority Leader: the principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House
9. Whips: party leaders who work with the majority or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party
10. Minority Leader: the principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives of in the Senate
11. Standing Committee: separate subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas
12. Joint Committees: congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses
13. Conference Committee: congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms
14. Select Committee: congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose
15. Legislative oversight: Congress’s monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly during hearings
16. Committee chairs: the most important influencers of the congressional agenda
17. Seniority system: the member who has served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled the chamber became chair, regardless of party loyalty, mental state, or competence
18. Caucus (congressional): a group of members of Congress sharing some interests or characteristics
19. Bill: a proposed law, drafted into legal language

Thought Questions