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Congress Congress

Congress o Conflicting Views n We disdain the “Institution” of Congress n We “love” Congress o Conflicting Views n We disdain the “Institution” of Congress n We “love” our individual members

Comparison to Other Legislatures (Parliamentary Democracies) o Selection of the Chief Executive o Level Comparison to Other Legislatures (Parliamentary Democracies) o Selection of the Chief Executive o Level of Control by Party Leadership

Congress – The Early Years o Two basic concerns of the Founders: n Concentration Congress – The Early Years o Two basic concerns of the Founders: n Concentration of Political Power n Protection of States’ interests

Some Basic Facts o Powers of Congress o Terms of Office n How do Some Basic Facts o Powers of Congress o Terms of Office n How do differences in terms influence decisions made by each member? (Trustee vs Delegate)

The Power of Incumbency o o o Franking Privilege Free trips back to their The Power of Incumbency o o o Franking Privilege Free trips back to their districts Local and national support staff Media opportunities Pork-Barrel Politics PAC support

Organization of Congress o Senate - Key Players: n n n n Vice-President Pro Organization of Congress o Senate - Key Players: n n n n Vice-President Pro Tempore Majority Leader Minority Leader Majority Whip Minority Whip Other Key Actors

Organization of Congress o House - Key Players: n n n Speaker Majority Leader Organization of Congress o House - Key Players: n n n Speaker Majority Leader Minority Leader Majority Whip Minority Whip

Committee Structure o Standing committees o Select committees o Joint committees o Conference committees Committee Structure o Standing committees o Select committees o Joint committees o Conference committees

The “Dance” of Legislation o Referred to a standing committee/subcommittee n n n The The “Dance” of Legislation o Referred to a standing committee/subcommittee n n n The bill is researched, investigated, deliberated upon Public hearings may be held Other evidence is gathered (interest group input) Revisions/additions are made to the bill The committee/subcommittee votes on the bill - if a majority approve, it will go to the full House or Senate

The “Dance” of Legislation o IF. . . the bill reaches the floor, it The “Dance” of Legislation o IF. . . the bill reaches the floor, it is debated. n Perhaps even more revisions/additions are made ("riders") o IF. . . the bill is passed, it has to go to the other House for consideration. o IF. . . the bill makes it out of the other House, but in a different form, a conference committee must be formed.

The “Dance” of Legislation o IF. . . these differences are ironed out; the The “Dance” of Legislation o IF. . . these differences are ironed out; the bill goes Back to both Houses. n Both Houses have to approve the Conference Committee report. o IF. . . both Houses approve, the bill goes to the President. o IF. . . the President vetoes, it takes 2/3's majority in both Houses to override - if not, the bill dies.

Factors that influence how members of Congress vote Factors that influence how members of Congress vote

The Role of Staff o Congressional Staffers o Other Staff agencies n n n The Role of Staff o Congressional Staffers o Other Staff agencies n n n CRS GAO CBO

A Persistent Problem for Congress o Individual Responsiveness & Collective Irresponsibility n The factors A Persistent Problem for Congress o Individual Responsiveness & Collective Irresponsibility n The factors that help members get re-elected lead to collectively larger spending by government has a whole

Term Limits for Congress? o Background Term Limits for Congress? o Background

Term Limits for Congress? o Arguments For: n You become out of touch with Term Limits for Congress? o Arguments For: n You become out of touch with your constituents? n Power of Incumbency o n Terms limits would help bring more women and minorities into politics; might also help reduce campaign expenditures Allows you to vote your conscience

Term Limits: Arguments Against o They deprive voters of the opportunity to re-elect good Term Limits: Arguments Against o They deprive voters of the opportunity to re-elect good people. o They would deprive Congress of institutional knowledge and expertise; give more power to other institutional actors o Amateurs would always be learning the ropes, thus making for policy o States with term limits might be at a disadvantage when compared to states without term limits. Why?

The Missouri General Assembly o Basic Facts o Similarities/Differences when compared to Congress The Missouri General Assembly o Basic Facts o Similarities/Differences when compared to Congress