PolySci Ch. 6

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Section 1

Question Answer
Bicameral legislature A two-house legislature
Apportionment The process of allotting congressional seats to each state according to it proportion of the population, following the decennial census
Bill A proposed law
Impeachment The power delegated to the House of Representatives in the Constitution to charge the president, vice president, or other "civil officers," including federal judges, with "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." This is the first step in the constitutional process of removing government officials from office
Incumbency Already holding office
Redistricting The process of redrawing congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats allotted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state
Gerrymandering The drawing of congressional districts to produce a particular electoral outcome without regard to the shape of the district

Section 2

Question Answer
Majority partyThe political party in each house of Congress with the most members
Minority party The political party in each house of Congress with the second most members
Party caucus (or conference) A formal gathering of all party members
Speaker of the House The only officer in the House of Representatives specifically mentioned in the Constitution; the chamber's most powerful position; traditionally a member of the majority party
Majority leaderThe head of the party controlling the most seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate; is second in authority to the Speaker of the House and in the Senate is regarded as its most powerful member
Minority leader The head of the party with the second highest number of elected representatives in the House of Representatives or the Senate

Section 3

Question Answer
Whip Party leader who keeps close contact with all party members of his or her party, takes vote counts on key legislation, prepares summaries of bills, and acts as a communications link within a party
President pro tempore The official chair of the Senate; usually the most senior member of the majority party
Standing committee Committee to which proposed bills are referred; continues from one Congress to the next
Joint committeeStanding committee that includes members from both houses of Congress set up to conduct investigations or special studies
Conference committee Special joint committee created to reconcile differences in bills passed by the House and Senate
Select (or special) committee Temporary committee appointed for a specific purpose

Section 4

Question Answer
Seniority Time of continuous service on a committee
Markup A session in which committee members offer changes to a bill before it goes to the floor
Hold A procedure by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill or nomination is brought to the floor. This request signals leadership that a member may have objections to the bill (or nomination) and should be consulted before further action is taken
Filibuster A formal way of halting Senate action on a bill by means of long speeches or unlimited debate
ClotureMechanism requiring the vote of sixty senators to cut off debate
Veto The formal, constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both the houses of Congress, thus preventing them from becoming law without further congressional action

Section 5

Question Answer
Pocket veto If Congress adjourns during the ten days the president has to consider a bill passed by both the houses of Congress, the bill is considered vetoed without the president's signature
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 Act that establishes the congressional budgetary process by laying out a plan for congressional action on the annual budget resolution, appropriations, reconciliation, and any other revenue bills
Reconciliation A procedure that allows consideration of controversial issues affecting the budget by limiting debate to twenty hours, thereby ending threat of a filibuster
Pork Legislation that allows representatives to bring money and jobs to their districts in the form of public works programs, military bases, or other programs
Programmatic requests Federal funds designated for special projects within a state or congressional district
War Powers Resolution Passed b Congress in 1973; requires the authorization of Congress to deploy troops overseas and limits the time of their deployment
Congressional review A process whereby Congress can nullify agency regulations by joint resolution of legislative disapproval

Section 6

Question Answer
Senatorial courtesy A process by which presidents generally allow senators from the state in which a judicial vacancy occurs to block a nomination by simply registering their objection
Trustee Role played by an elected representative who listens to constituents' opinions and then uses his or her best judgement to make final decisions
Delegate Role played by an elected representative who votes the way his or her constituents would want, regardless of personal opinions
Politico An elected representative who acts as a trustee or as a delegate, depending on the issue
Logrolling Vote trading; voting to support a colleague's bill in return for a promise of future support