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How Congress Works Part I How Congress Works Part I

Congress Congress

House-Senate Differences House n n 435 members; 2 yr terms Low turnover Speaker bill House-Senate Differences House n n 435 members; 2 yr terms Low turnover Speaker bill referral hard to challenge Scheduling/rules controlled by majority party with powerful Rules Committee (controls time of debate, amends. , etc) Senate n n 100 members; 6 yr terms Moderate turnover Referral decisions easily challenged Scheduling/rules agreed to by majority & minority leaders

House-Senate Differences n n House Debate limited to 1 hour Members policy specialists Emphasizes House-Senate Differences n n House Debate limited to 1 hour Members policy specialists Emphasizes tax & revenue policy More formal & impersonal n n Senate Unlimited debate unless cloture invoked Members policy generalists Emphasizes foreign policy More informal & personal

Party Leadership House Republican Leadership Senate Democratic Leadership 113 th Congress 110 th Congress Party Leadership House Republican Leadership Senate Democratic Leadership 113 th Congress 110 th Congress

HOUSE LEADERSHIP Speaker (majority party) Republicans: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) • HOUSE LEADERSHIP Speaker (majority party) Republicans: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) • Majority Leader • Majority Whip Majority Leader Eric Cantor(R-VA) Majority Whip Kevin Mc. Carthy(R-CA)

HOUSE LEADERSHIP Minority Leader Steny Hoyer(R-OH) Democratss: • Minority Leader • Minority Whip Steny HOUSE LEADERSHIP Minority Leader Steny Hoyer(R-OH) Democratss: • Minority Leader • Minority Whip Steny Hoyer(D-MD)

SENATE LEADERSHIP President of the Senate (Vice President) President Pro Tempore (majority party) Democrats: SENATE LEADERSHIP President of the Senate (Vice President) President Pro Tempore (majority party) Democrats: • Majority Leader • Majority Whip President of the Senate Joe Biden (D-DE) Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) President Pro Tem Patrick Leahy(D-VT) Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL)

SENATE LEADERSHIP Minority Leader Mitch Mc. Connell (R-KY) Republicans: • Minority Leader • Minority SENATE LEADERSHIP Minority Leader Mitch Mc. Connell (R-KY) Republicans: • Minority Leader • Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

Strength of Party Structure? • Measure of party strength: 1. Ability of leaders to Strength of Party Structure? • Measure of party strength: 1. Ability of leaders to control party rules and organization 2. Extent to which party members vote together in the House and Senate • Senate: less party-centered and leader oriented

Party Unity • Ideology is an important variable explaining party voting (members vote with Party Unity • Ideology is an important variable explaining party voting (members vote with their party 90% of the time) • Party polarization - vote in which majority of democrats oppose majority of republicans • Polarization trends: o o o 1976 1995 2000 HR = 36%; S = 37% HR = 73%; S = 69% HR = 43%; S = 49%

CAUCUSES • Groups (may be bipartisan) meeting to pursue common legislative objectives • Sometimes CAUCUSES • Groups (may be bipartisan) meeting to pursue common legislative objectives • Sometimes Rivals to parties in policy formulation • Examples: Democratic Study Group, Congressional Black Caucus, Tuesday Lunch Bunch, Human Rights, Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Out of Iraq Caucus, Rural Caucus, Travel & Tourism Caucus, House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children

Congress Convenes • Congress convenes every two years—on January 3 of every odd-numbered year. Congress Convenes • Congress convenes every two years—on January 3 of every odd-numbered year. • The House has formal organizational meetings at the beginning of each term to determine committee membership and standing officers. • The Senate, because it is a continuous body, has fewer organizational issues to address at the start of each term. • When Congress is organized, the President presents a State of the Union message to a joint session of Congress. This message, in which the President reports on the state of the nation as he sees it, is given annually. Chapter 12, Section 1

The Presiding Officers The President of the Senate • • • The job of The Presiding Officers The President of the Senate • • • The job of president of the Senate is assigned by the Constitution to the Vice President. The president of the Senate has many of the same duties as the Speaker of the House, but cannot cast votes on legislation. The president pro tempore, the leader of the majority party, is elected from the Senate and serves in the Vice President’s absence. The Speaker of the House • • • The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and the acknowledged leader of the majority party. The Speaker’s main duties revolve around presiding over and keeping order in the House. The Speaker names the members of all select and conference committees, and signs all bills and resolutions passed by the House. Chapter 12, Section 1

Committee Chairmen and Seniority Rule Committee Chairmen • The committee chairmen are the members Committee Chairmen and Seniority Rule Committee Chairmen • The committee chairmen are the members who head the standing committees in each chamber of Congress. • The chairman of each of these permanent committees is chosen from the majority party by the majority party caucus. Seniority Rule • The seniority rule, an unwritten custom, holds that the most important posts will be held by those party members with the longest records of service in Congress. • The head of each committee is often the longest-serving member of the committee from the majority party. Chapter 12, Section 1

Composition of Congress Senate party standings (as of October 31, 2013) 53 Democrats 2 Composition of Congress Senate party standings (as of October 31, 2013) 53 Democrats 2 Independents, both caucusing with Democrats 45 Republicans 2 3 4 Chapter 12, Section 1

Composition of Congress House party standings (as of February 18, 2014) 232 Republicans 199 Composition of Congress House party standings (as of February 18, 2014) 232 Republicans 199 Democrats 4 vacancies Chapter 12, Section 1

113 th United States Congress Senators 113 th United States Congress Senators

113 th US House 113 th US House

House/Senate differences House/Senate differences

House Senate Reason(s) [Examples Below] Incumbents win re-election over 90% of the time in House Senate Reason(s) [Examples Below] Incumbents win re-election over 90% of the time in the House Senate races are state-wide and more competitive Low turnover 100 members; 6 yr terms 435 members; 2 yr terms House closer to the people with representation based on population and 2 yr terms Senate smaller, more deliberative Difficult for individual members to challenge the Speaker of the House; members limited by strict rules Members of the Senate more independent operators Moderate turnover Speaker bill referral hard to challenge Referral decisions easily challenged Scheduling/rules controlled by majority party; powerful Rules Committee Scheduling/rules agreed to by majority & minority leaders Debate limited to 1 hour Unlimited debate unless cloture invoked Members policy specialists Members policy generalists House - majority party tightly controls Leadership and Rules with little minority party Senate – much more cooperation between parties Impractical with 435 members to have unlimited debate in the House; nothing would get done Senate has only 100 members; more time House – in order to get re-elected, members most become experts in policies that directly effect their districts; must serve on those committees Senators represent diverse interest of an entire state More formal & impersonal Emphasizes foreign policy More informal & personal Emphasizes tax & revenue policy All tax and revenue bills must originate in the House; much of public policy decisions in HR involve the budget Senate “advice and consent” of ambassadors, cabinet; ratify treaties House much bigger, need strict rules to be efficient; members 1 of 435 Senate smaller, more collegial; members 1 of only 100

"Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committeerooms is Congress at work. ” - Woodrow Wilson

Legislative Committees: Function and Purpose Legislative Committees: Function and Purpose

Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 1. Consider bills (a. k. a. “mark-up” bills) A Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 1. Consider bills (a. k. a. “mark-up” bills) A bill with a member’s mark-up notes

Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 2. Maintain oversight of executive agencies Oversight Hearing on Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 2. Maintain oversight of executive agencies Oversight Hearing on Bengahzi

Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 3. Conduct investigations New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin testified Legislative Committees: Function & Purpose 3. Conduct investigations New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Hurricane Katrina (Feb. , 2006

Types of Committees Ø Standing Committees - permanent panel with full legislative functions and Types of Committees Ø Standing Committees - permanent panel with full legislative functions and oversight responsibilities o Subcommittees – formed to tackle very specific tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committees Ø Select or Special Committees - groups appointed for a limited purpose and limited duration Ø Joint Committees - includes members of both chambers to conduct studies or perform housekeeping tasks Ø Conference Committee - includes members of House & Senate to work out differences between similar bills

Standing Committees Standing Committees

House Standing Committees Agriculture Appropriations Armed Services Budget Education & Workforce Energy & Commerce House Standing Committees Agriculture Appropriations Armed Services Budget Education & Workforce Energy & Commerce Financial Services Government Reform House Admin. International Relations Judiciary Resources Rules Science Small Business Standards of Official Conduct Transportation & Infrastructure Veterans Affairs Ways & Means

Senate Standing Committees Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Housing, & Urban Senate Standing Committees Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Appropriations Armed Services Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Budget Commerce, Science, Transportation Energy & Natural Resources Environment and Public Works Finance Foreign Relations Governmental Affairs Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Judiciary Rules and Administration Small Business and Entrepreneurship Veterans Affairs

Special, Select Committees • House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming • Special, Select Committees • House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming • Senate Select Committee on Ethics • House & Senate Select Committees on Intelligence Gen. Michael Hayden is sworn in during a full committee hearing of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on his nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Joint Committees • Joint Economic Committee • Joint Committee on Printing • Joint Committee Joint Committees • Joint Economic Committee • Joint Committee on Printing • Joint Committee on Taxation

Title: Resolution Date: 12/28/06 Artist: Bob Gorrell Source: http: //www. gorrellart. com/ Title: Resolution Date: 12/28/06 Artist: Bob Gorrell Source: http: //www. gorrellart. com/

Artist: R. J. Matson, New York Observer & Roll Call Date: 1/18/07 Source: http: Artist: R. J. Matson, New York Observer & Roll Call Date: 1/18/07 Source: http: //www. cagle. com