A2 Key Terms Government & Politics Unit 4a, Topic 2 (The Legislature) AQA

I apologise for the occasional short-hand.

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House of Representatives
Lower house in the bicameral US Congress. 435 reps each serving two-year terms. Each state receives representation in proportion to population, but each state is entitled to at least one rep
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Senate
Upper house in Congress. Senate consists of 100 senators, each serving 6 year terms. 1/3 of Senate up for re-election every two-years, so constantly changing. Each state receives two senators
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Exclusive powers
Powers reserved solely to either House of Reps or Senate
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Concurrent powers
Powers shared between House of Reps and Senate
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Gridlock
Signifies failure to get action on policy proposals and legislation in Congress. Thought to be exacerbated by divided gov't and partisanship
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Representation
How legislators represent their constituents: the trustee model, the delegate model and the mandate model. Can also mean who represents the electorate - called the resemblance model of representation, considers gender, race, etc.
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New Democrats
Centrist faction in Democratic Party, emerged after G.H.W. Bush's victory in 1988. Identified with centrist social/cultural positions and neoliberal fiscal values
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Blue Dog Coalition
A group of congressional Democrats from Dem. Party who identify themselves as moderates. Formed in 1995 - give more conservative members a more unified voice after Democrat's loss of the House in 1994 mid-term elections
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Rockefeller Republicans
Faction of Repub. Party holding moderate liberal views to those of Nelson Rockefeller. Term fallen out of use by end of 20C, been replaced by phrase 'moderate Republican' (rare!)
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House Speaker
Selected by members of maj. party and functions as leader of that party. Ceremonially, speaker represents whole house but politically is the voice of the party in power - John Boehner
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Committee System
Made up of many types of committees which perform legislative and investigatory functions. Fact that it is only in the committee rooms that members of exec. branch can be directly questioned gives system an added importance
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Standing Committees
Most important type. Made up of policy specialists
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Select Committees
Appointed to perform a special function beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee. Usually created by a resolution that outlines its duties and powers. Investigative in nature, rather than legislative. Generally expires on completion.
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Conference Committees
Committee of the Congress appointed by House and Senate to resolve disagreements on a particular bill. Usually composed of snr. members of standing committees of each House that originally considered the legislation.
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House Rules Committee (HRC)
Rather than being responsible for a specific area of policy, is in charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. One of the most powerful committees, often described as 'an arm of the leadership' + 'Traffic cop of Congress
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Bipartisanship
Close co-operation between the two major parties. In the US system of gov't, where it is possible to have a Pres. of one party and a Congress of another. Thought to be crucial to political success
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Seniority Rule
A rule stating that the chair of a congressional standing committee will be the member of the maj. party with the longest continuous service on that committee
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Filibuster
Device by which an individual senator, or group of senators, can attempt to talk a bill to death by using delaying tactics. - Comes from Senators' right of unlimited debate. A 3/5 (60 votes) is required to end a filibuster
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Senate

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Upper house in Congress. Senate consists of 100 senators, each serving 6 year terms. 1/3 of Senate up for re-election every two-years, so constantly changing. Each state receives two senators

Card 3

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Exclusive powers

Back

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Card 4

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Concurrent powers

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Card 5

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Gridlock

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