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AP Chapter 7

AP Government Summer Assignment
AP Chapters 1,2
AP Chapter 3
AP Chapter 4
AP Chapter 5
AP Chapter 6
AP Chapter 7
AP Chapter 8
AP Chapter 9
AP Chapter 10
AP Chapter 11
AP Chapter 12
AP Chapter 13
AP Chapter 14
AP Chapter 15
AP Chapter 16
U.S. History Chapters 1, 2, 3
U.S. History Chapter 4
U.S. History Chapter 5
U.S. History Chapter 6
U.S. History Chapter 7
U.S. History Chapter 8
U.S. History Chapter 9
U.S. History Chapter 10
U.S. History Chapter 11
U.S. History Chapter 12
U.S. History Chapter 13
U.S. History Chapter 14
U.S. History Chapters 16,17,18
U.S. History Chapters 19,20,21
U.S. History Chapters 22,23
U.S. History Chapters 24,25
U.S. History Chapters 26,27
U.S. History Chapters 28,29,30
U.S. History Chapter 31
U.S. History Chapter 32
U.S. History Chapter 33
US Government Chapters 1,2
US Government Chapter 3
US Government Chapters 10,11,12
US Government Chapters 13,14
US Government Chapter 18
US Govt Chapters 19,20,21
Remembering 9/11/01
The Civil Rights Movement
Economics Chapters 1,2,3
Eco Chapt 9
Eco Chapters 6,7,8
Eco Chapt 13
Eco Chapter 15
Eco Chapt 21

Chapter 7 


Article I - The Legislative Branch



-There are 2 Sessions to each Term of Congress - 1 each year



November 2, 2004 elected the

    109 Congress


November 3,2006 – 110th Congress


- 20th Amendment - "Congress shall assemble at least once a year , beginning on Jan 3" and adjourn when it sees fit to do so.


- Since the end of WWII, it has stayed in session most of the year.

reason:          increased domestic issues and foreign issues


-Congress cannot adjourn without consent of each other "sine die"


-  if an adjournment date cannot be reached, The President has the power to adjourn or Prorogue a session


-during and emergency, the President has the power to call a special session 




1) House of Representatives

-Based on population

-1 representative = 550,000 people



a) 25 years old

b) citizen for 7 years

c) resident of state or district


Term of Office: 2 Years






Phase One:   The Powerful House

Under the first three administrations

The House was the preeminent institution, overshadowing the Senate


Phase Two:   The Divided House

Andrew Jackson’s veto asserted the power of the president


Slavery, divided the House, weakening the power of the Speaker


The Civil War kept it divided


Post war House was divided on Reconstruction (Radicals v Moderates)


Phase Three: The Speaker Rules

Under Speaker Thomas B. Reed

(1889-1903), the Republican’s majority carried solidly by chairing all the powerful committees, and regulating floor debates.


Phase Four:  The House Revolts

Movement against Joseph G. Cannon, then Speaker, taking away his right to appoint committee chairs and allowing party caucuses to appoint.


Phase Five:  The Members Rule

A response to the struggle with civil rights.  Southern Democratic committee chairs would not allow civil rights legislation to flow for vote.  House Democrats voted in the system of the majority party appointing committee chairs in a caucus and creating many sub-committees, (also chairs appointed by the majority party)with most meetings in public. 


Phase Six:   The Leadership Returns

Committees were greatly reduced which promoted efficiency and allowing the Speaker to regain power.  Newt Gingrich to present day moderate Dennis Hastert, Nancy Pelosi




House can censure members found committing disorderly behavior, but

Powell v McCormick(1969) Congress could not exclude because he is a representative of the people




Article I, Section 2 determines the amount of representation afforded each state (apportionment)


-each state must have at least one representative


-The Constitution directs Congress to reapportion or to redistrict after a Decennial Census (conducted by the Census Bureau - an Executive Branch Office) 


-states lose or gain Representatives by redistricting and through census


-A decennial census determines the amount of Representatives for each State.


1990 Census

New York -31 (33 electoral)

California -52 (54 electoral)


2000 – New York – 29 (31 electoral)

           California – 53 (55 electoral)


Six States have only 1 Representative

There are 435 members of the House

a fixed number, 1 for each district


429 districts within 44 states

**Reapportionment Act of 1929



****During an election….


When a winner gets less than 55% of the vote, political scientist describe them as marginal districts


…..Over 55% safe districts




Gerrymandering - the re-drawing of district lines for the purpose of absorbing or isolating political districts and strengthening the majority party.


- to concentrate the oppositions voters into a few districts


- to spread the opposition


Baker v Carr (1962)

Court ruled that a segregated state legislature was unconstitutional in Tennessee.



Wesberry v Sanders (1964)

The High Court ruled that Georgia's redrawn Congressional Districts were in violation of the Constitution.

The Court established the 1 man,

1 vote right of every American 








Congress's Function


1) Legislators -

a) make laws

b)introduce laws

c) declare war

d) coin money


2) Committee Members (delegates)- serve on committees that propose bills;

spend money- ways and means

           - Finance and ethics


3) Represent their constituents

a) carry out the people's will

b) carry out what they believe in

  (Edmund Burke’s role of trustee)


4) Servants of their Constituents

They look out for those represented through casework


5) Politician (Politico)

They support the ever-changing will of the people.  Ignoring them costs them votes.  They are aware of this and constantly work to be re-elected and benefit from the incumbency factor  


Congressional (House) elections are held every 2 years on the 1st Tuesday of November - even years


-all seats are up for grabs

- 218 seats = majority



Also in the House

- 1 delegate representing D.C., Samoa, Guam, US Virgin Islands

-Puerto Rico has a non voting Resident Commissioner




2) The Senate - Equal representation from each State (2) Total = 100


Qualifications:  a) 30 years old

b) Citizen for 9 years

c) resident


Senators are elected for 6 year terms

Senatorial elections are held every two years with only 33 or 34 seats up for election at a time.


Important functions of the Senate

a) Legislation

b) Approve appointments and Treaties

( advise and consent)




Congressional Powers Summary

 1) power to tax

 2) control commerce

 3) print currency

 4) borrow money

 5) declare war

 6) foreign relations (Advise and Consent)


 7) special judicial powers (impeach)

 8) to propose amendments to Const.

 9) to rule on presidential disability

10) choose a president in the event      of an electoral deadlock


11) review and regulate itself



Article I Section 8 - Elastic Clause


Congress has the power to make laws that are "necessary and proper" to execute its authority


Object of many debates between

"strict and broad" interpretations


Precedents are initial



Clause was established and confirmed by McCulloh v Maryland (1819)

                 Establishment of a National Bank


Interpreting the Constitution

Strict constructionists

liberal constructionists


Article I, Section 8, Clause 3

Concerning Congressional Power


To regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes 


Confirmed by Gibbons v Ogden (1824)


Robert Fulton and his cruising steamship company was given a monopoly to navigate by New York State to navigate its waters.


That monopoly gave Aaron Ogden a permit to navigate between New York and New Jersey


Thomas Gibbons had a Federal coasting license.  He attempted to operate within New York State Waters


Ogden sued in a NY State Court and won, preventing Gibbons from operating in the monopoly's area


Gibbons appealed to the US Supreme Court and won.  Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that New York restricted Congress's power to regulate commerce.  The decision broadened the scope of the clause.



Article I Section 9


(Protection and Prevention against an all-powerful government)



Writ of Habeas Corpus

A judge may release anyone who is held without just cause


Bills of Attainder

A Royal practice of pronouncing someone guilty without a trial or eliminating enemies of state


Ex Post Facto Laws

Laws passed after crimes were already committed




House of Rep                       Senate


435              Members         100


2 years          Terms           6 years


Districts        Constituency   State


Younger          Age             Older


Less             Prestige       More


Lower            Visibility     More


Rigid Rules      Rules         Less


More             Committees     Less


Strict           Floor Rules    Less



Revenue bills are initiated in the House


Much stronger leadership in the House











Compensation - House and Senate


Each representative receives the same pay(both House member and Senator)

         2006 – 165,200



Speaker of the House

& Vice-President        > Same Pay

(2006 - $212,100)


President pro tem

Floor majority leader     > Same Pay

Floor minority leader       $183,500

(also the senate)




Fringe Benefits

Each member is allowed a tax       deduction to help keep up two residences     "Home and DC"

- Liberal Travel Allowance

- Great life Insurance Benefits

- Medical care at the Capitol

- Full Health care at a Military Hosp

- Generous Pension plan

- Office Space allowed "home" and DC

- Franking Privileges (Mail)

- Parking, Printing Perks

Extras = $25,000  +++++






1. Cannot be harassed by Government

2. Protection from doing their duty     on a Committee

3. Legislative Immunity- Protection   from character defamation and civil suits while performing their jobs






Congress is a distinct political body


1) Because Congress is the nation's policy maker

2) Because of partisanship in its makeup



* Both Houses are organized along party lines.




Congressional review of the activities of an agency, department or office.



The House of Representatives


Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelosi (D) CA

- the leader of the majority party in Congress

Power is centralized in the speakers inner circle

- He is the senior member of his party and is chosen prior to Jan 3 at a party caucus or conference

- He follows the Vice- President in the line of Presidential Succession

- He interprets and applies rules

- refers bills to standing committees

- rules on points of order

- determine the outcome of most votes taken (very powerful)

- he can debate on any issue but must temporarily remove himself from the chair and appoint a

pro tempore

- he can vote on a tie or cause one (which defeat a bill)


The Senate


- The Vice-President of the United States presides over the Senate.



- In his place or absence, the leader of the Senate's Majority Party or the President Pro- Tempore presides in his place.


Robert Byrd  (D) W. Virginia




Floor Leaders 2007


Majority Party Leader - not an official position but a party appointment


H Steny Hoyer (D) MD

S Harry Reid  (D) NV     


Majority Whip - assistant to the floor leader

H- James Clyburn (D) SC

S - Dick Durbin (R)IL


Minority Party Leader - looks out for minority party's interest

H-  John Boehner (R) OH

             S- Mitch Mc Connell (R) KY



Minority Whip - his assistant

                 H   Roy Blunt (R) MO

                 S   Trent Lott (R)MS


The House of Representatives has 19 Standing Committees with 12 to 15 members on each committee


- Committee representation usually resembles the ratio of Congress's two  political parties.  House members can serve on one major Committee.


- Committee Chairs are appointed through the unofficial seniority system.  He is long-term member of Congress and of the party.

The majority party controls the committee.



*There are no

term limits for Federal Legislators*



- There are about 140 sub committees.  They are committees within committees.  They often conduct on the spot investigations on bills or issues.




The House Rules Committee


- very powerful 13 member committee.  It manages the flow of bills for action by a full House.

- Rules Committee can speed, delay, or prevent the House from consideration of a measure.



Select Committees


- Deal with specific issues.  Chairs and membership appointed by the Speaker and majority leaders.



The Senate


-16 Standing Committees

same criteria as the House

-                Senators can serve on two

major committees

- less rules and regulations

   in the Senate

-                Select Committees

   same as the House.


Joint Committees

 - Membership consists of both Houses



Conference Committees -   a joint committee for a temporary problem 

Also used in drafting the final stages of a bill before it leaves the Legislative Branch.



How a Bill becomes a Law


- of 20,000 bills introduced to the House and Senate - 10% become law


-Bills are proposed laws, drafts


a) public bills- effect the nation as a whole eg. arms production

b) private bills- apply to certain people or places

c) joint resolutions- deal with unused or temporary matters of both Houses

d) concurrent resolutions- deal with the matters for which law is needed.

e) resolutions- deal with individual House matters on rules and procedures



Route - Committee Stage

    where many   bills die


sub-committees - Options

1. Report favorably on a bill

2. Refuse to report - "Pigeonhole"

3. Report in amended form

4. Report with an unfavorable recommendation

5. Report with a "committee bill" -    changed bill on the same subject


House quorum 218 members(majority)


discharge petition

a majority of the House can force a bill out of committee and bring an issue to the floor - signed by (218)  majority


House as

Committee of the Whole-100 Members


Debate may last for one hour –

        strict regulation.


Pork barrel

Legislation that benefits congressional districts in the form of public works programs, military bases.     


Congressional Review Act (1996)the process by which Congress can nullify an executive branch regulation by a resolution passed within both houses within sixty days of announcement of the regulation and accepted by the president. Congressional Review




Legislative Veto – Chadha Case (1983)

(violation of separation of powers)

ruled unConstitutional



War Powers Act (1973)



Line-Item Veto –1999

                      (un Constitutional)

Rider – a bill or proposal that needs is attached to a larger bill.  It cannot go through the process by itself. Needs large bill




In Senate debate is singular - less committee regulations.



a tactic by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill comes to the floor.  The request signals the senate leadership that there is some objection to the bill and more discussion is necessary



Filibuster-           used in the Senate to talk a Bill to death


A senate member can hold the floor as long as he does

1)not sit down

2)continues to talk

3)not yield the floor


A senator, while holding the floor can yield it for

a) a question

b) a point of order

             c) personal privilege


The Senate can restrict a member's attempt at a filibuster through

cloture - 3/5 majority needed (60)