- Slides: 38
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8 Expressed (formal) powers are granted to Congress in the direct language of the Constitution: levy taxes pay debts borrow money regulate interstate commerce regulate commerce with foreign nations
ARTICLE 8, SECTION 8 Expressed (formal) power pass laws create appellate courts raise and support armies declare war
NECESSARY AND PROPER CLAUSE The elastic clause authorizes Congress to pass laws necessary and proper for carrying out its enumerated powers. Implied (informal) powers are not directly given in the Constitution. In Mc. Culloch v. Maryland (1819), the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the right to establish a national bank. The War Powers Resolution (1973) was passed using implied powers.
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE Which of the following constitutional provisions broadened the power of Congress? a. The necessary and proper clause b. The equal protection clause c. The Tenth Amendment d. The Ninth Amendment e. The eminent domain provision in the Fifth Amendment
CHECKS ON OTHER BRANCHES Checks on the president: Ø Override a veto with a 2/3 vote of both houses Ø Congress holds the purse strings and must approve the budget. Ø The Senate confirms judicial and cabinet appointments. Ø The Senate ratifies treaties. Ø Impeachment (majority vote in House to hold trial, Senate must convict with 2/3 vote)
SAMPLE FRQ Members of Congress are charged with three primary duties —writing laws, overseeing the implementation of laws, and serving the needs of their constituents. (a) Describe the role of each of the following in lawmaking. Senate filibuster House Rules Committee Conference committee (b) Describe one method by which Congress exercises oversight of the federal bureaucracy. (c) Explain how casework affects members’ attention to legislation.
WAR POWERS RESOLUTION OF 1973 President must, whenever possible, consult with Congress before deploying troops. President must notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops. Troops must be withdrawn within 60 days unless Congress grants an extension.
BUDGET IMPOUNDMENT AND CONTROL ACT Creates the Congressional Budget Office. The president must submit a budget to Congress. Sets a budget calendar. The budget is adopted in a concurrent (both houses) resolution, not signed by the president. The president must spend the money appropriated by Congress.
LIMITS OF CONGRESSIONAL POWER Presidents have ways of influencing/limiting the power of Congress: Issue an executive order Sign an executive agreement policy Use the “bully pulpit” to rally public support for a Veto legislation Claim an electoral mandate Honeymoon period Commander-in-chief, ignore War Powers Resolution
LIMITS ON CONGRESSIONAL POWER
CHECKS ON OTHER BRANCHES Checks on the bureaucracy: The Senate confirms agency heads. Congress can cut the budget. Congress can eliminate the agency. Congress can write clarifying legislation. Congress can limit the agency’s authority. Congress can hold oversight hearings in which a member of the bureaucracy is called to testify.
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE Congressional oversight refers to the power of Congress to a. override presidential vetoes. b. hold public hearing before confirming judicial appointees. c. exercise some control over executive agencies. d. allow nongovernmental agencies to defend or refute pending legislation publicly. e. seek judicial opinion on the constitutionality of pending legislation.
LIMITS OF CONGRESSIONAL POWER The bureaucracy has ways of limiting the influence of Congress: The bureaucracy writes regulations (administrative law). Bureaucrats have administrative discretion. The bureaucracy is large and difficult to manage.
CHECKS ON OTHER BRANCHES Checks on the Courts: The Senate must approve all federal judges. Congress can change the courts’ jurisdiction. Congress can change the number of judges. Congress can rewrite legislation.
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE Which of the following is a way Congress can influence the federal judiciary? a. It can prohibit judicial activism. b. It can filibuster decisions made by courts. c. It can change appellate jurisdiction of federal courts. d. It can review federal judges for reappointment every ten years. e. It can exercise oversight authority over rulings of individual justices.
LIMITS OF CONGRESSIONAL POWER The Courts can limit the influence of Congress. Judicial review is used to overturn an act of Congress (or the states or an executive action that is unconstitutional).
ELECTIONS The House: Elected every 2 years Represents congressional districts The Senate: years) Election every 6 years (1/3 is up for election every two 2 per state Selected by state legislatures until the 17 th Amendment provided for direct election
GERRYMANDERING Gerrymandering is when congressional district boundaries are drawn to benefit a political party. Congressional district boundaries are drawn by state legislatures. Reapportionment is when a state gains or loses seats in the House after the census. Redistricting is the changing of district boundaries to make them roughly equal in population. “Cracking” is breaking up a district to weaken a group’s political power. “Packing” is drawing a district in which one predominant group resides.
INCUMBENCY ADVANTAGE Incumbents (those already in office) usually win. House members run in “safe” districts. Challengers receive less media coverage. Congressional staff conduct casework in which they provide services to constituents. Members bring projects to their states through pork barrel spending. Franking privilege allows members of Congress to send mail to constituents for free. Incumbents hold “town halls. ” Can claim credit for legislation.
INCUMBENCY ADVANTAGE Members of the House are reelected at greater rates than members of the Senate. Shorter terms, always running for reelection, name recognition Live in safe districts Smaller constituency Easier to make personal contact Easier to provide casework
BICAMERALISM Congress is a two-house legislature. This provides an intra-branch check. This makes Congress deliberative. The Senate is the upper house, representing states (the elite). The House is the lower house directly representing the population.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 435 members More hierarchical and centralized Seniority more important Party-line voting more common Led by the Speaker of the House Rules Committee can limit debate
SPECIAL POWERS OF THE HOUSE Initiate revenue bills (taxes) Pass Articles of Impeachment
THE SENATE 100 members The upper house, more prestigious More influential in foreign affairs Less specialized Seniority is less important Filibuster allows a senator to talk a bill to death (not mentioned in the Constitution) A motion for cloture (to end a filibuster) requires 60 votes.
SPECIAL POWERS OF THE SENATE Confirm all federal judges Confirm cabinet level appointments Ratify treaties Hold impeachment trial (makes the final decision of whether to convict and remove the president)
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE Which of the following powers is shared by the House of Representatives and the Senate? a. Holding trials of impeachment b. Establishing federal courts c. Approving treaties d. Holding confirmation hearings e. Approving major presidential appointments
LEADERSHIP POSITIONS Speaker of the House: Presides over the House Makes committee assignments Selects committee chairs Assigns bills to committees Spokesperson for the party (when different from the president’s party) Provided for in the Constitution Second in line for presidential secession.
LEADERSHIP POSITIONS The real leader of the Senate is the majority leader, not president pro tempore. Although the Constitution says the vice-president leads the Senate, his only position is to break a tie vote. Therefore, the vice-president is NOT a leadership position in Congress. The majority leader schedules bills, influences committee assignments and rounds up votes. The minority leader heads the minority party in the House or Senate. Whips work with the leaders to count votes beforehand lean on waverers.
COMMITTEES Where most of the work of Congress is done Party membership on committees reflects party membership in the body as a whole. Allow members to develop expertise in policy areas. Members are chosen by the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader.
COMMITTEES Committee chairs are usually chosen by seniority: the member from the majority party who has served on the committee the longest usually becomes chair. Committee chairs set the agenda. Committee members manage bills when they are sent to the floor and give cues to the members of their party. A discharge petition is a way of bypassing leadership by a vote of the committee to send a bill to the floor. Logrolling is trading votes for favors (I’ll vote for your bill if you’ll vote for mine).
TYPES OF COMMITTEES Standing—the most common type. Permanent, handle bills in different policy areas. This is where most of the work of Congress occurs. Senate Finance Committee. Joint—contain members from both the House and the Senate. Joint Budget Committee. Select—appointed for a specific purpose, like investigating intelligence agencies after 9/11 Conference—iron out differences in language when the House and the Senate pass different versions of a bill.
IMPORTANT COMMITTEES House Rules Committee—reviews bills, schedules bills on the calendar, sets rules for debate, specifies the kind of amendments, assigns bills to committees. Senate Finance Committee—determines how to pay for government programs. House Ways and Means Committee—reviews revenue bills. Appropriations Committee—allocates funds for particular programs.
SAMPLE MULTIPLE CHOICE Which of the following committees plays a major role in the House in shaping tax policy? a. Finance b. Ways and Means c. Commerce d. Appropriations e. Governmental Affairs