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Oversight Function
A supervisory activity of congress that centers on its consitutional responsibility to see that the exectutive branch carries out the laws faithfully and sends appropriations proberly
Representation function
the responsibility of a legislature to represent various interests in society
100 members, must be 30 years of age
House of Represnatives
435 members, represnation of states based on population, must be 25 years of age.
Characteristics of memebers of Congress
40% of the membes are lawyers, usually of smaller firms. Highly educated upper middle class, minorities have grown, however whites is still overwheliming, only 15% women.
Evolution of Congress
100 years ago, congress was made up of people who only served a couple years, now once you're in congress, it's very hard to loose your seat. They usually want to stay in washington once they geth their seat, since it's so hard to get in the first place.
Pork-Barrel projects
referring to legislature that funds a special project for a particular locale, such as a new highway or hospital. Incubent can deliever this, it helps to explain why incubent appear in media.
Advantages of having people in congress stay in congress
not a bad thing to have people in congress that know whattheir doing and are good at it.
Disadvantages of having people in congress stay in congress.
no new blood, many americans believe in term limits, but it will probally never become a law because congress has to pass it.
The reallocation of house seats among states after each census as a result of population changes
The process of altering election districts in order to make them as nearly equal in population as possible. This takes place every 10 years after every population census.
The process by which the party in power draws election district boundries in a way that advanteages its canidate.
What event has made redistricing more controversial in recent years?
Texas in 2003, the republicans won majority in 2001, but then redrew the lines again in 2003.
Speaker of the house
Only leadership position stated in the consitution. They assign bills to certain committess. 3rd person in line to become president if the president passes while in office.
Current Speaker of the House
Denice Haster
Majority Leader
corninates strategy for the republicans
Current Majority Leader
Jon Banner
Minority Leader
Represntation of the democrats
Current Minority Leader
Nancy Paloski
Minority/Majority Whip
Someone who is responsible for going out and spoles person between base and leaders.
Current Majority Whip
Roy Blunt
Presiding officer
Vice president, only breaks ties.
Current Presiding officer
Dick Channey
President Pro Tempor
Leader of senate when presiding officer is absent
Current President pro tempor
Ted Stevens
Majority Leader Of senate
the most powerful person in senate, heades the majority party caucus. Voice in chamber, position much like speaker of the house.
Standing Committees
Permanent congressional committess with responsiblity for a particular area of public policy. 15-20 in each House
Memebership of committees
all have a majority of republicans, members of congress look for assignments that will bring pork-barrel back to their state. Each committee is led by a chair that will decide if and when an issue will be runed into a bill. The chair is picked based on senority only!

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