1. The framers of the US Constitution conceive of Congress as the center of policy making in America.
2. How many members of Congress there are? * 535 members of Congress
3. How many members in the US House of Representatives? * 435 members
4. How many members in the US Senate? * 100 members
5. Term of office for US Senator (how long will they have to run for reelection) * US senators are elected statewide for 6 year terms. The terms are staggered so 1/3 of senate stands for election every 2 years.
6. Term of office for a member of the House * Members of the US House are elected from districts within their state to serve 2 year term
7. How many US Senator elected for each state? * 2
8. Constitutional eligibility req. to serve in the US House * Article I, section 2 of Constitution * At least 25 years old * American citizen for 7 years * Resident of state elected from
9. Constitutional eligibility req. to serve in the US Senate * Art. I, Sect 3 of const * At least 30 years old * American citizen for 9 years * Resident of state elected from
10. What is the single most important advantage to someone trying to get elected to Congress? * Being an incumbent (they usually win) * Incumbent: A person who holds the office at that time.
11. American bicameralism * Bicameral legislature is one divided into two houses: The US Senate & the US House of Representatives * Nebraska (is the only one) only has one house, all the rest states have 2 houses (bicameral)
12. Specific constitutional powers given exclusively to the US House * Power of initiating all revenue bills (tax bill) * Power to impeach (bring charges against) Govt officials
13. Specific constitutional powers given exclusively to the US Senate * Power to ratify all treaties (requires Senate 2/3 vote) * Confirm presidential nominations (appointments). Requires majority vote of Senate. * Trying impeached officials. Requires 2/3 vote of Senate to remove official from office.
14. Filibuster? * Filibuster is a tactic by which opponents of a bill use their right to unlimited debate as a way to prevent the Senate from voting on a bill. * Is unique to the US Senate * It can be ended by 60 senators present & voting for cloture or closure * Debate is not unlimited in the US House. Filibuster is unique to the Senate, not in the “House”. It won’t work because it can be ended by majority of vote.
15. What are the leadership positions in the US House? How are they selected? What are their duties? * Top position: Speaker of the House- The majority of the party select the speaker of the house, it is selected by a meeting.
-Is second in line to succeed the president. *After the President comes the Vice-President; then the Speaker of the House. * Duties:
-Presides over the House.
-Plays major role in making committee assignments
-Appoints or plays key role in appointing the party’s legislative leaders & party leadership staff.
-Exercises substantial control over which bills are assigned to which committees.
-(informal powers) Be the spoke person for their political party (inside congress & outside)--- If for ex. The President is from the opposite political party. * Majority Leader: Responsible to schedule the bills (where they are going & to guide them)
-Also majority leader tries to round out votes in favor to his/her party. * Majority Whip (enforcer): Leadership position in the party—a communication link between the majority leader & the speaker of the House and the members.
*Majority Leader & Majority Whip: These positions are voted on by their own members of their political party. * Minority Party: Have less members, but they do have leadership
-Minority Leader & Minority Whip: These positions are voted on by their own