Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 29

GOVERNMENT

HONORS:
CHAPTER 4
The Legislative Branch

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
The founders designed a system to keep
legislature power in check through both
the checks and balance system and
federalism

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
5 Major Roles of Congressperson:
Legislator
Representative of their constituents
Committee members
Servants of their constituents
Politicians

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
4 Voting Options of a Congressperson:
Delegates- agents of the people who elected them
May contradict their own personal views

Trustees- each question must be decided on its merit


Conscience and judgment

Partisans- owe their allegiance to their political party


Politicos- Combination and some sort of balance of
the three

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
Bills- proposed laws
Have to be screened by a committee
Committees then decide which will move on to floor
consideration- be considered and acted upon by the
full membership of the house or senate
Oversight function- process by which Congress,
through its committees, checks to see that the
executive branch agencies are carrying out the policies
that Congress has set

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
Congress meets for 2 year terms
20th Amendment changed the start date for those
terms in 1933
March 4th to the 3rd day of January
1 session each year- 2 per term
Session- period of time which Congress assembles
and conducts business
Recess- temporarily suspends business

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
Only the President may call a special
session
Called much less now that Congress meets
more often

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
Congress is in charge of their own pay
Modified by the 27th Amendment
No increase can take effect until the next
congressional election
$174,000

Section 1: National Legislature


Overview
Congress also receives:
Tax deductions
Travel allowances
Healthcare
Retirement plan
Free office
Funds for staff members
Franking privileges- free mail for business

Section 2: The Two Houses


The House of Representatives
435 members
Not fixed by the constitution
Set by Congress
Based on population
Each state must have at least 1 seat

Section 2: The Two Houses


Territories get a delegate but they are not full
fledge members of the house and dont get to
vote on bills
2 year terms
No term limits
Seats are reapportioned every 10 years
Following a census

Section 2: The Two Houses


Reapportionment act of 1929
automatic reapportionment
Permanent size of the house is 435
Following each census is when house is reapportioned
When the Bureaus plan is ready the President must send it
to Congress
If within 60 days of receiving it, neither house rejects the
Census Bureaus plan, it become effective

Section 2: The Two Houses


Constitution makes no mention of congressional
districts
States could choose between general ticket system- vote at
large or can vote for a candidate for each one of states
house seats
A single-member district- votes in each district elect 1 of the
house members for that district
Most states chose single-member districts
General ticketing system was done away with in 1842
1842 law set up how districts were formed in a state- set up
by the state
1872- equal number of inhabitants

Section 2: The Two Houses


Gerrymandering- Massachusetts Governor Elbridge
Gerry- districts have been drawn to benefit a political
party by state legislature
Wesberry v. Sanders- states must draw congressional
districts of roughly the same population
Supreme Court also ruled districts cannot be drawn
based on race
Still possible to gerrymander

Section 2: The Two Houses


Elections;
1st Tuesday (following a Monday in
November) in November of even numbered
years
Off year elections (midterm elections)= non
presidential even number election years

Section 2: The Two Houses


Formal Qualifications:
25 years old
Citizen for 7 years
Live in the state they are elected
Live in the district they represent (custom)
1969- Powell v. McCormack- Supreme Court said if they meet
constitutional requirements, they cannot be excluded if elected
5 members have been expelled in US History
A few have resigned facing expulsion
Incumbent- person who currently holds office
90% win re-election when running

Section 2: The Two Houses


Senate- upper house
Much smaller
Longer terms in office
Represents the entire
State
Originally chosen by state legislatures
17th amendment- 1913- direct election of senators

Only 1 seat is open at a time


6 year terms
No term limits
Continuous body- all of its seats are never up for election at
the same time

Section 2: The Two Houses


Constituencies- the people and interests the
senators represent
Qualifications:
30 years old
Citizen for 9 years
Inhabitant of the state they are elected from

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
US is a limited government
Federal system also limits power
Congress only has the power given to it in the
Constitution
Some powers are denied to Congress
Written in the Constitution
Silence
Federal system

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Expressed powers- explicitly written in the
Constitution
Implied powers- reasonably deducted from
the Constitution
Inherent powers- powers given because its a
national government

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce and
foreign trade
Commerce clause

Gibbons v. Ogden- 1824


Regulation of steamboats
Supreme Court ruled that it was Congress because they had the power to
regulate interstate commerce
Ruled the same way with railroads a few years later
Extension of congressional power
Has limits: US v. Lopez- court ruled Congress didnt have the authority to
make gun laws for school properties

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
4 Specific limits
Cannot tax exports
Cannot favor ports of one state over another state
Cannot be forced to pay duties state to state
Couldnt interfere with the slave trade until 1808

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Congress is given the power to tax by the
Constitution
Was the leading power missing from the Articles of
Confederation

Tax- charge levied by government on persons or


property to raise money to meet public needs
Non-rule following examples: Protective Tariff, some sin
taxes, licenses for dealing with controlled substances

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Limits:
Taxes on church functions
Poll taxes (24 Amendment)
Not for private benefit
May not tax exports
Direct taxes must be apportioned among the states based on
population

Direct tax- paid directly to the government by the


person on whom its imposed
Federal taxes must be uniform throughout the states

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Congress has the power to borrow money
Done by the treasury
Congress has put a ceiling on the public debt (all the money
borrowed by the federal government over the years and not
yet repaid, plus the accumulated interest)
Ceiling is regularly raised
Deficit financing- regularly spends more than it makes and
borrows the difference
Bankruptcy- legal proceeding in which the bankrupts assets are
distributed among those to whom a debt is owed
State and federal government have concurrent powers to
regulate bankruptcy but federal government has broadened its
power so much-almost all are now heard in federal court

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Congress has the sole power to coin money
1st national bank in 1791- power to issue paper
money
Not legal tender

Legal Tender- any kind of money that a creditor


must by law accept in payment for debts
Done in 1862- greenbacks

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Other Domestic Powers:
Copy rights and patents
Postal powers
Acquire, manage, and dispose of various federal areas
Power of eminent domain
Power to take private property for public use
Must pay a fair price

Weights and Measures


Naturalization
Judicial Powers
Create federal courts
Define federal crimes
Set punishments

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
Congress and Foreign Policy:
Power to declare war
Raise and support armies
Provide and maintain a navy
Rules for military forces

Section 3: The Expressed


Powers
War Powers Resolution- 1973
President can only commit troops to combat if:
Congress has declared war
Congress has specifically authorized military action
An attack on the US or its military force has occurred
Must repot to Congress in 38 hours
Must end within 60 days unless Congress agrees to
longer