- Slides: 14
Congress is bicameral. HOUSE OF REPS SENATE # of reps per state depends on population as counted every 10 years in the National Census and then reapportioned. 2 Senators per state 435 Reps in total 2 year terms (but no limit on # of terms) Elected by district 100 Senators in total 6 year terms (but no limit on # of terms) Elected by entire state
HOUSE OF REPS SENATE � At least 25 yrs. old � Citizens for 7+ years � Less Prestige � Less Media Coverage � At � OUR � Our Representatives: � State with MOST Reps: � State with LEAST Reps: least 30 yrs. Old � Citizens for 9+ years � More prestige � More Media Coverage Senators: � Each state has 2 senators, no matter size � Some � Rep = 650, 000 citizens represent very few; some represent a great many
State legislatures draw boundaries of districts but, since 1964, gerrymandering has been illegal.
Legislator: make laws Committee Member: 1. 2. § § Screen bills to see if House/Senate should discuss Check to see if the executive is properly enforcing laws (Oversight Function) Constituent Representative: 3. § Represent/vote as “folk back home” would Constituent Servant: 4. § Do favors for constituents Politician: 5. § Stay in touch with party leaders & fellow candidates
Trustee: Use own judgment, regardless of voter opinion Delegate: Vote based on views of “folks back home” Partisan: Vote along party lines Politico: Balance of all three of the above
� Term = length of time that officials serve after an election, as in a two- or six-year term � Start (per 20 th Amendment) at “noon of the 3 d day of January” of every oddnumbered year.
Every two years, all Representatives and 1/3 of Senate are up for election. The SENATE is a Continuous Body: The entire Senate is NOT up for election at any one time. Instead, 1/3 is up every two years, for a total 6 year term each.
Session = regular period of time during which Congress conducts business. Congress adjourns, or suspends until the next session, each regular session as it sees fit. If necessary, the President has the power to prorogue, or adjourn, a session, but only when the two houses cannot agree on a date for adjournment. Only the President may call Congress into a special session —a meeting to deal with some emergency situation.
� Senators/Representatives salary: $174, 000 a year. (Leaders are paid more) � The franking privilege allows members of Congress to mail materials postage-free by substituting their facsimile signature (frank) for the postage. � The Constitution says that Congress fixes its own “compensation. ” Therefore, the only real limits to congressional pay are the President’s veto and fear of voter backlash against a pay increase.
�Can’t be arrested for noncriminal offenses from their official conduct. �Can’t be sued for libel or slander arising from their official conduct.