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41 Terms
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pork barrel spending
legislation that directs specific funds to projects within districts or states
trading of votes on legislation by members of Congress to get their earmarks passed into legislation
the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies
a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body.
the process of allotting congressional seats to each state according to its proportion of the population, following the decennial census
states' redrawing of boundaries of electoral districts following each census
the intentional use of redistricting to benefit a specific interest or group of voters
partisan gerrymandering
drawing of district boundaries into strange shapes to benefit a political party
majority-minorty districts
districts were the majority of people are from a minority group
the uneven distribution of the population among legislative districts
being already in office as opposed to running for the first
incumbency advantage
institutional advantages held by those already in office who are trying to fend off challengers in an election
Speaker of the house
the leader of the House of Representatives, chosen by an election of its members
Political Action Committee
an organization that raises money for candidates and campaigns
House majority leader
the person who is the second in command of the House of Representitives
a member of Congress, chosen by their party members, whose job is to ensure party unity and discipline
minority leader
the head of the party with the second highest number of seat in Congress, chosen by the party's members
Senate majority leader
the person who has the most power in the Senate and is the head of the party with the most seats
Committee chair
leader of a congressional committee who has authority over the committee's agenda
Discharge petition
a motion filed by a member of Congress to move a bill out of committee and onto the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote
House Rules Committee
a powerful committee that determines when a bill will be subject to debate and vote on the House floor, how long the debate will last, and whether amendments will be allowed on the floor
Committee of the Whole
consists of all members of the House and meets in the House chamber but is governed by different rules, making it easier to consider complex and controversial legislation
a delay placed on legislation by a senator who objects to a bill
unanimous consent agreement
an agreement in the Senate that sets the terms for consideration of a bill
a tactic through which an individual senator may use the right of unlimited debate to delay a motion or postpone action on a piece of legislation
a procedure through which senators can end debate on a bill and proceed to action, provided 60 senators agree to it
the power of a president to reject a bill passed by Congress, sending it back to the originating branch with objections
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
the executive branch office that assists the president in setting national spending priorities
entitlement program
a program that provides benefits for those who qualify under the law, regardless of income
mandatory spending
spending required by existing laws that is "locked in" the budget
discretionary spending
spending for programs and policies at the discretion of Congress and the president
budget surplus
the amount of money remaining when the government takes in more than it spends
budget deficit
the shortfall when a government takes in less money than it spends
national debt
the total amount of money that a country's government has borrowed, by various means.
delegate role
the idea that the main duty of a member of Congress is to carry out constituents' wishes
trustee role
the idea that members of Congress should act as trustees, making decisions based on their knowledge and judgement
politico role
representation where members of Congress balance their choices with the interests of their constituents and parties in making decisions
agreement between the parties to work together in Congress to pass legislation
a slowdown or halt in Congress's ability to legislate and overcome divisions, especially those based on partisanship
divided government
control of the presidency and one or both chambers of Congress split between two major parties
Lame duck period
period at the end of a presidential term when Congress may block presidential initiatives and nominees