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The First Branch of Government The United States Congress The First Branch of Government The United States Congress

3 types of behavior l Advertising – Nobody’s senator but yours l Credit claiming 3 types of behavior l Advertising – Nobody’s senator but yours l Credit claiming – Has to be credible – Pork barreling; casework l Position taking – Inherently costly l http: //www. house. gov

A Map of Congress A Map of Congress

Congress is bicameral l Bicameral (House and Senate) – different time perspectives – different Congress is bicameral l Bicameral (House and Senate) – different time perspectives – different rules and norms

Senate and House l Senate l House – 6 year terms – 2 year Senate and House l Senate l House – 6 year terms – 2 year terms – 100, prestige – 435 – More moderate – More partisan – generalists – specialists – Individuals senators are – Most individual Reps powerful are not important

Bicameralism: Two Equal Chambers House • 435 members • Citizen representation • 2 year Bicameralism: Two Equal Chambers House • 435 members • Citizen representation • 2 year terms • Hierarchical • Partisan • Committees and leaders dominate • Speaker and Rules Committee Senate • 100 members • State representation • 6 year terms • Collegial • Less partisan • Members matter more • Filibuster

Effect of Bicameralism l Fragmentation – Geography – 435 and 100 people sharing power Effect of Bicameralism l Fragmentation – Geography – 435 and 100 people sharing power l What would policy be like if Congress was unicameral and elected in at large elections?

Congressional Staff l Authorized Budget per Legislator – House = $570, 000 – Senate Congressional Staff l Authorized Budget per Legislator – House = $570, 000 – Senate = $2. 3 million l free mailings to districts. l 54$ million in 1946; $2. 2 billion in 1994. 659% increase controlled for inflation. l House Staff 870 in 1930, 7, 400 in 1993

How a Bill Doesn’t Become a Law— Congress as a lawdefeating, not lawmaking institution How a Bill Doesn’t Become a Law— Congress as a lawdefeating, not lawmaking institution

What does Congress do? What does Congress do?

What does Congress do? l http: //thomas. loc. gov/bss/d 106/hot- subj. html l 21 What does Congress do? l http: //thomas. loc. gov/bss/d 106/hot- subj. html l 21 bills on defense economics l 27 bills on taxation l only 46 Major Bills Enacted Into Law This Congress

Congressional Committees l W. Wilson, Congress in Committees is Congress at work l What Congressional Committees l W. Wilson, Congress in Committees is Congress at work l What do Committees do – Hold hearings – Write legislation – Exercise oversight

Committees l International Relations Committee l Agriculture Committee Committees l International Relations Committee l Agriculture Committee

Features of Committees l l l l 19 committees, 84 subcommittees Division of labor Features of Committees l l l l 19 committees, 84 subcommittees Division of labor Fixed membership Fixed jurisdiction, like a monopoly Legislative Specialization Manage flow of legislative business Importance of seniority http: //clerk. house. gov/committee_info/index. html

Committee Membership l Determined by Political Parties l Guided by members’ seniority and preference Committee Membership l Determined by Political Parties l Guided by members’ seniority and preference l Preferences based on constituency needs to better chances of reelection

Policy Consequences of Committees l PROs – more opportunities for credit claiming – Facilitate Policy Consequences of Committees l PROs – more opportunities for credit claiming – Facilitate specialization serve institutional policy needs l Cons – reinforces fragmentation – Encourages log-rolling

Congressional Committees l W. Wilson, Congress in Committees is Congress at work l What Congressional Committees l W. Wilson, Congress in Committees is Congress at work l What do Committees do – – – Hold hearings Write legislation Exercise oversight http: //commerce. senate. gov/public/ http: //energy. senate. gov/public/

Congressional Leadership House l Speaker: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) l http: //speaker. house. gov/ l Congressional Leadership House l Speaker: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) l http: //speaker. house. gov/ l http: //www. dems. gov/ l Minority Leader: John Boehner http: //republicanleader. house. go v/ l House GOP Conference l http: //www. gop. gov/web/guest/ home l

Senate Leadership l Majority Leader: Harry Reid (R-NV) l Minority Leader: Mitch Mc. Connell Senate Leadership l Majority Leader: Harry Reid (R-NV) l Minority Leader: Mitch Mc. Connell (R-KY)

Leadership and Parties Party caucuses – Elect leaders and committee chairs – structure the Leadership and Parties Party caucuses – Elect leaders and committee chairs – structure the workings of Congress – Develop common policy positions – Weaker in senate than House

Leadership powers l Control committee appointments l Refer bills to committees l Control Rules Leadership powers l Control committee appointments l Refer bills to committees l Control Rules Committee

l According to Sinclair, why is the House more likely to pass major legislation l According to Sinclair, why is the House more likely to pass major legislation than the Senate?

Party Discipline and Voting l US Congress – rose to near 70% in 1996 Party Discipline and Voting l US Congress – rose to near 70% in 1996 l UK Parliament --90% l German Bundestag -- 98%

Evaluating Leadership l More useful for what they are not than what they are Evaluating Leadership l More useful for what they are not than what they are – 1994 Freedom to Farm Act l No Sanctions l Do not do anything to undermine the electoral needs of members

Criticisms of Congress l Process – Lengthy and inefficient – Favor policy minorities l Criticisms of Congress l Process – Lengthy and inefficient – Favor policy minorities l Results – Members focus on getting constituency benefits, NAFTA – Process of bad legislation- ESEA, EDA

Why do we hate congress, but love our senator/representative l Evaluate Congress by collective Why do we hate congress, but love our senator/representative l Evaluate Congress by collective standards l Evaluate Senator/Representative in representative term l Standards are mutually exclusive

Representation vs. Lawmaking l Congress plays two important roles – Lawmaking or getting things Representation vs. Lawmaking l Congress plays two important roles – Lawmaking or getting things done – Representation or Legitimacy- airing points of view

Impact on Institutions l Congress is a reelection machine. l Mayhew-- Impact on Institutions l Congress is a reelection machine. l Mayhew-- "If a group of planner sat down and tried to design a pair of American national assemblies with the goal of serving members' electoral needs year in and year out, they would be hard pressed to improve on what exists. "