• February 23rd, 2017


Order Description

.       Describe what it means to say that our nation has a bicameral legislature. Identify the two houses of Congress, and describe how each state is represented in each house. Use this information to explain how one state may be represented by fewer than five persons in Congress while another may be represented by more than 50. Describe the terms of office in each house of Congress.
2.       Describe what incumbency means, what a constituency is, and what pork-barrel legislation represents. How is incumbency both a positive and a negative for a legislator
3.       One of the functions of Congress is to represent the interests of the American people. In an effort to respond to changes in the population, every 10 years the U.S. census results in the House of Representatives being reapportioned. What are reapportionment and redistricting? Explain gerrymandering.
4.       What are the leadership positions in each house of Congress? What is a party caucus?
5.       As part of its lawmaking function, Congress makes laws authorizing federal programs and appropriating necessary funds. List and briefly describe the specific types of powers (such as regulating commerce) that Congress has that are related to lawmaking.
6.       Besides lawmaking, Congress has an oversight responsibility. Describe this oversight responsibility. How does this function add to Congress’ power?
7.       Since there are so many issues and potential pieces of legislation that Congress deals with daily, areas of interest are divided into several committees. Each committee is staffed by members of both parties.
Explain the role and function of congressional committees.
8.       In order for a policy idea to become law, certain steps must occur. From a bill’s initial introduction, follow the process a bill must go through to eventually end up on the president’s desk for signature. Provide a full description of this process. What happens if the president fails to sign the bill into law? What are the positives and negatives related to the time it takes for a bill to become law?

9.       According to your textbook, the intention of the framers of our Constitution was for the members of Congress to act in a spirit of compromise. In this way, resulting legislation would reflect the interests of the many rather than those of a particular faction. In practice, what are the dangers and inefficiencies when party unity and partisanship cause Congress to become deadlocked and unable to agree upon action? Provide examples from recent history .
10   Interest groups attempt to influence politicians and public policy in a variety of ways. Define the term interest group, distinguishing it from a political party, and briefly describe some of the ways interest groups seek influence.

11.       Discuss the differences between economic groups and citizen groups. Which areas does each try to influence, and why? From which sources does each of these groups receive the funds needed to function?
12.       Through inside lobbying, groups seek to gain direct access to officials in order to influence their decisions. Describe key elements and tactics of the process of inside lobbying. Define outside lobbying. Who is involved, and who are the targets? What tactics are used, and what relationship is there with elections?

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