- Slides: 14
Congress Lecture Contrasts with British Parliament -parliamentary candidates are selected by their party -congressional candidates run in a primary election, with little party control over their nomination
The Evolution of Congress -Intent of the Framers -Characteristics of evolution -organization of the House has varied over the years Phase one-powerful house Phase two-divided house 1820’s Phase three- rise of a powerful speaker Phase four-the revolt against the speaker Phase five-the empowerment of individual members Phase six-the return of leadership The future?
The Evolution of the Senate -Escaped many of the tensions encountered by the House -Major struggle about how its members should be chosen- 17 th Amendment -Filibuster another major issue- Rule 22 - cloture
Who is in Congress n Sex and Race n Incumbency n Party
Getting Elected to Congress n n n Determining fair representation Majority-minority districts Winning the Primary Do members represent their voters? Ideology and civility in Congress
Party Organization of the Senate n n n President pro tempore Majority and minority leaders Party whips Policy committee Committee assignments
Party Organization of the House n n n Speaker of the House Majority Leader and Minority leader Party Whip Committee assignments Democratic and Republican campaign committees
Party Impact n The strength of the party structure n Party unity n Caucuses- intra party, personal interest, and constituency concerns
Committees n Legislative committees n Types of committees n Committee practices
Staffs and Specialized Offices Tasks of staff members -constituency services -legislative functions -advocates -information service n Specialized agencies- CRS, GAO, CBO
How a Bill Becomes a Law n Introducing a bill n Study by committees n Floor debate- House and Senate n Methods of voting n To the President
Reforming Congress n n n Representative or direct democracy? Proper gaurdians of the public will? Decisive or deliberative Congress? Term limits? Reducing power and perks?
Ethics and Congress n Separation of powers and corruption n Scandals continue n Problems with ethics rules
The Old and the New Congress n World War I to the early 1960’s n Early 1970’s to early 1980’s n Early 1980’s to present *Reassertion of congressional power in the 1970’s set the stage for sharper legislative-executive conflicts