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ShortAnswer Questions (15)
Why do only a small percentage of bills introduced into Congress become laws?
To what extent are the two chambers of Congress equal in power and influence?
What is the role of Committee Chairmen in Congress, and why have they been the
subject of criticism?
Traditionally pigeonhole bills to block further progress substantially rewrite bills and
actively work with other committee members to promote a bill
Recently successive Speakers have limited them by imposed term limits
disregarding seniority to appoint favouring party loyalty intervening directly in
committee proceedings to obtain favoured outcome
Still control committee agenda, funding serve as spokesperson supervise
Appointment through seniority rule allows them to run committees for their own
Can disregard national interest borderline undemocratic?
Can be one corner of an iron triangle
Seniority rule also called `senility rule' not always favoured
What is meant by 'porkbarrel politics', and what is its significance in Congress?
How significant is the role of political parties within Congress?
Increasing partisanship (has been argued to be most partisan for over 100 years)
Increasing significance of partisanship (e.g. increased use of filibuster, now in
Gridlock is more common during divided government suggesting parties play a role
Since Contract With America (from Gingrich in 1994), suggested a stronger, more
confident/less fragmented role for parties
Recent House Speakers have been almost `leader of the opposition' e.g. Boehner,
Committee chairs are always drawn from majority party
No not significant
No centralised party control (threeline whip, collective responsibility)
Campaign funding raised personally (would include with point 1)
Broad church parties with factions within each party, making cohesion rare
Most Congressmen (particularly in House) are driven by constituents, not party
Committee chairs are selected on seniority rule (but always majority party)
Essay Questions (45)