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HOUSE? CONGRESS? SENATE? HELP!

By: Chyna Anderson Period: 6th Chapter 11 project

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1: Congress ingredients . . . . . 3 - 5 Section 2: How does a Bill become a LAW? . . . . . . 6 - 8 Section 3: Committee System . . . . . . 9 - 10

SECTION 1
Congress ingredients

The Origin & Powers of Congress


Since the farmers of the constitution wanted to keep the power from being centered on a few people a legislative body was formed. Great Compromise
Lets go back a little, to the Virginia and New Jersey Plan, New Jersey smaller states wanted all states to have the same number of representatives to Congress and Virginia Large states wanted representation to be determined by the population of the state. Which brought about the GREAT COMPROMISE, and this separated the U.S congress into two different but very powerful chambers, also known as a bicameral, The House of Representatives and Senate and since this compromise focused on place in the legislature, it seeked and ended deadlock or the difficulty between the two , by having the smaller states receive the same representation in the Senate, but the number of each states representatives in the House would be based on population and the House would have the only right to originate incomerelated legislation.

But to give more detail the Constitution says each state has two senators, who serve 6 year terms of office and the terms are bent so that 1/3rd of the senate is senators chosen by the state legislatures. However the 17th Amendment, adopted in 1913s, provided for the direct election of senators by popular vote. Reapportionment
There are 435 members in the House of Representatives or HOR, simply because each state representation in the House is set equal to its population, the Constitution provides for a national census every ten years; population shifts are handled by Redistribution of seats among the states after the census is taken.

Duties of the House and Senate


The House and the Senate share the power to declare war raise an army and navy, borrow and coin money, regulate interstate trade, create federal courts, establish rules for the adoption of immigrants, and make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the former Powers.

The House alone has the power to originate revenue bills. However, this power is restrained because the House and the Senate must approve all (including revenue) bills. The House of Representatives has the power of impeachment, which is the power to properly charge the president, vice president and other national government civil officers with serious crimes. The Senate is empowered as the court to try impeachments, with the chief justice of the Supreme Court to be in charge where two-thirds majority of Senate vote is required for impeachment. The Constitution also gives the Senate power to approve major presidential actions such as federal judgeships, ambassadorships and cabinet posts. Also, the Senate has power to approve treaties with foreign nations. While the president may make treaties, they require approval (two-thirds majority again) from the Senate. Thus, the executive branch accounts for the Senates beliefs when discussing a truce.

Electing Congress
With a congressional election every two years, voters have plenty of opportunities to express their feelings towards the job congress is doing.

The Incumbency Effect


The incumbency effect is the advantage that elected representatives have over newcomers in getting reelected. Voters usually prefer candidates with prior experience. Incumbents are more likely to be reelected than their challengers. They have advantages such as easier access to campaign resources such as group endorsements, monetary funds, campaign workers, and issue information.

Redistricting (Gerrymandering)
Redistricting happens every ten years following the completion of the U.S. Census. Due to changes in populations, districts can become significantly larger or smaller than they are meant to be; redistricting is the process of redrawing the lines to equalize district size by population. There are other factors to be considered as well, summarized below. Because of the complexity of issues to be considered, the redistricting process allows opportunities for legislators to make partisan decisions in an attempt to keep or gain districts. States have different laws and procedures for redistricting; various leaders have called for reform in our state redistricting process to guarantee neutral results. The first basic goal of redistricting is to regulate population over districts, with the goal of defending equal representation (so each persons vote counts the same) For instance, if the ideal population of a ward is 1,000 people, and 400 move elsewhere, that ward will likely gain territory in an effort to bring the population back to 1,000, or within 1 percentage point deviation from that amount.

Name Recognition
Is an idea used in politics to describe the number of people who are aware of the elected officials. It is considered an important part in elections, as candidates with low name recognition are unlikely to receive votes from people who only sometimes follow politics. Name recognition is also considered a

major difficulty for challengers hoping to defeat incumbents. Incumbents are politicians who have already been elected to a certain office, and are now running for re-election to that same office. By definition, the fact that incumbents are already in office gives them name recognition. This proves to be a huge advantage over most challengers. There are multiple ways candidates can add to their name recognition during the campaign, for example Radio and television advertisements, which are very helpful.

Casework
Assistance provided by members of Congress to constituents who encounter a complaint with a federal agency or the federal government. Examples include cases related to political protection, Social Security benefits, the military, Veterans Administration concerns and etc.

Campaign Financing
Are basically all the funds or money raised and spent to promote candidates, parties or policies in electoral contest. Incumbents have the upper hand because of their prior experience, but challengers have a less likely chance of collecting funds simply because contributors worry because of their chances of winning, and most PACs strongly prefer incumbent members because they dont want to risk giving money to a longshot or unlikely winner.

Successful Challengers
Are challengers that beat incumbents, but how might this happen? Well, weakness of course, age, ideology, a past or present scandal, unfavorable redistricting and etc. Some seem like a sitting duck because they were elected by a slight number of votes, also vulnerable incumbents shed light on the higher-quality opponents or those who have previously been in office and are capable of raising enough campaign funds , such experienced challengers are more likely to defeat incumbents than are newcomers with little to no knowledge in politics For instance Senate challengers have more success in elections than House opponents because they are higher-quality candidates .

Racial Gerrymandering
Basically, this form of gerrymandering is the process of molding voting districts for the sole purpose of giving specific racial and ethnic groups too much voting representation. The wrong logic behind racially gerrymandered voting districts is that certain races and ethnicities deserve their own voting union. This has been one of the racial lobby's most powerful, troublesome tools.

SECTION 2
How Does A Bill Become A Law?

The Bill Begins Laws begin as ideas. These ideas may come from a Representativeor from a citizen like you. Citizens who have ideas for laws can contact their Representatives to discuss their ideas. If the Representatives agree, they research the ideas and write them into bills. The Bill Is Proposed When a Representative has written a bill, the bill needs a sponsor. The Representative talks with other Representatives about the bill in hopes of getting their support for it. Once a bill has a sponsor and the support of some of the Representatives, it is ready to be introduced. The Bill Is Introduced In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill is introduced when it is placed in the hoppera special box on the side of the clerks desk. Only Representatives can introduce bills in the U.S. House of Representatives. When a bill is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill clerk assigns it a number that begins with House of Representatives. A reading clerk then reads the bill to all the Representatives, and the Speaker of the House sends the bill to one of the House standing committees. The Bill Goes to Committee When the bill reaches committee, the committee membersgroups of Representatives who are experts on topics such as agriculture, education, or international relationsreview, research, and revise the bill before voting on whether or not to send the bill back to the House floor. If the committee members would like more information before deciding if the bill should be sent to the House floor, the bill is sent to a subcommittee. While in subcommittee, the bill is closely examined and expert opinions are gathered before it is sent back to the committee for approval. The Bill Is Reported When the committee has approved a bill, it is sentor reportedto the House floor. Once reported, a bill is ready to be debated by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Bill Is Debated When a bill is debated, Representatives discuss the bill and explain why they agree or disagree with it. Then, a reading clerk reads the bill section by section and the Representatives recommend changes. When all changes have been made, the bill is ready to be voted on. The Bill Is Voted On If a majority of the Representatives say or select yes, the bill passes in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is then certified by the Clerk of the House and delivered to the U.S. Senate. The Bill Is Referred to the Senate

When a bill reaches the U.S. Senate, it goes through many of the same steps it went through in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is discussed in a Senate committee and then reported to the Senate floor to be voted on. Senators vote by voice. Those who support the bill say yea, and those who oppose it say nay. If a majority of the Senators say yea, the bill passes in the U.S. Senate and is ready to go to the President. The Bill Is Sent to the President When a bill reaches the President, he has three choices. He can: Sign and pass the billthe bill becomes a law. Refuse to sign, or veto, the billthe bill is sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the Presidents reasons for the veto. If the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate still believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote on the bill. If twothirds of the Representatives and Senators support the bill, the Presidents veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law. Do nothing (pocket veto)if Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes law after 10 days. If Congress is not in session, the bill does not become a law. The Bill Is a Law If a bill has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been approved by the President, or if a presidential veto has been overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.

SECTION 3
Committee System
Standing Committee Permanent legislative panel established by the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate rules, because they have legislative jurisdiction, standing committees consider bills and issues and recommend measures for consideration by their respective chambers. They also have error responsibility to monitor agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions, and in some cases in areas that cut across committee control. Due to their lasting nature, these committees exist beyond the closure of each two year meeting of Congress. Joint Committee A type of legislative committee that has both Senators and Representatives as members. It is unusual because normally committees work within their own Houses and consist of only Representatives for House committees and Senators for Senate committees. Joint committees are formed in order to get input on planned laws from both Houses of Congress in order to facilitate the legislative process. Usually, one or the other House of Congress passes a proposed law, and then sends it to the other House for approval. However, it often happens that the next House wants to make changes. If they do, it makes the changes then sends it back to the House that originated the bill with a statement why the changes were made. This process could waste time so to avoid that, some of the more important and complex bills are reviewed by a joint committee so the bill is acceptable to both Houses right away. Select Committee A select committee is a committee consisting of 15 main members from different parties. Its job is to keep the Government in check and to monitor their many departments. They can also monitor Government, making certain they are blamed for their actions. It is also a Temporary and closed after their job was completed. Conference Committee A temporary, advertisement panel composed of House and Senate conferees which are formed for the purpose of reconciling differences in legislation that has passed both chambers. Conference committees usually come together to resolve bicameral differences on major and divisive legislations.