Bicameral legislature- A congress made up of two houses. In the U.
S. it is the senate and the House of Representatives. Constitutional convention agreed to a bicameral legislation. Congressional Sessions- Each term of congress starts on January 3 of odd numbered years and lasts for two years.
Sessions- a meeting that takes place twice in congress and usually lasts for most of the year. Congress remains in session until its members vote to adjourn. After adjournment the president may call congress back into meeting as a special session. Membership of the House- a total of 435 members make up the house of representatives.Order now
Seats are allotted to each state and the number of seats that state is allowed to have is based on its population. Every state is entitled to at least one seat no matter how small the population is. To qualify to be a member of the house you must be at least 25 years of age, a resident of the US for 7 years and a legal resident of the state you represent.(Usually live in the district they represent.
) Terms of the house are for two years. Representation and reapportionment- the census bureau takes a national census, or population count, every 10 years to assign representation according to population. The population of each state determines the new number of representatives, which is called reapportionment. Congressional Redistricting- The process of setting up new district lines after reapportionment has been completed.
Gerrymandering- means that the political party controlling the state government draws a districts boundaries to gain an advantage in elections. The term gerrymandering can be traced to Elbridge Gerry, a governor of Massachusetts. Membership of the Senate- The senate is composed of two senators from each state, thus each state is represented equally. Todays senators includes 100 members2 from each of the 50 states.
To qualify as a senator you must at least 30 years old, a citizen of the US for 9 years, and a legal resident of the State they represent. All voters of each state elect senators at-large, or statewide. Unlike a representative of the house a senator serves his or her term for six years, inducting a new senator every two years. A congressmans pay must follow the 27 amendment, which says that the salary voted on by congress will not be in effect till the next session.
Exclusion- the right of congress not to seat a member inducted by a majority vote. Censure- a formal disapproval of a members actions. Characteristics- most of the members of congress are lawyers. The others usually in business, banking, and education.
Incumbents- Those already in office that win reelection. Political action committees- Provide substantial campaign funds, usually supporting incumbents. Incumbents are successful in reelection because it is easier to raise funds, can represent districts that have been gerrymandered in their partys favor, incumbents are better known to voters, and they use their position and office staff to help solve problems for voters. Constituents- the people in a district represented.
Caucus- a closed meeting. Majority Leaders- The speakers top assistant. Their job is to help plan the partys legislative program, steer important bills through the house, and make sure the chairpersons of the many committees finish work on bills important to the party. Whips are assistant floor leaders.
The whips job is to watch how majority-party-members intend to vote on bills, to persuade them to vote as their party wishes, and to see that party members are present to vote. Bills- A proposed law. Not actually a law until congress votes and passes it, then the president must sign it. To introduce a bill members drop their idea into a box called a Hopper.
After the bill is introduced the speaker of the house sends it to the appropriate committee for study, discussion, and review. Bills are then put onto the house calendars. Calendars- list bills that are up for consideration. 5 different calendars.
Union calendar (bills for consideration, house calendar(public bills), private calendar(bills that deal with individual people or places, consent calendar(bills with a unanimous consent to debate out of regular order) , and discharge calendar(Petitions to discharge a bill from committee).Rules committee serves as the traffic