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Congress - Key Terms and Concepts


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1.when 2 or more members of a legislature agree in advance to vote for each other's bills; there are no penalties for this, only the threat of voter disapproval if it is discovered
5.a policy that allows congressional members to substitute their fax signature (frank) for postage when sending materials through the mail
7.a voting district that returns an incumbent legislator with at least 55% of the vote
8.a custom that both Congressional chambers follow that gives preference to members with the longest continuous service when selecting committee chairpersons and holders of other significant posts
9.the refusal of the president to spend money that congress has appropriated
11.a legislature made up of 2 parts, ex: the U.S. Congress
12.when bills pass both chambers of Congress in different forms, a special joint committee is appointed to reconcile difference - composed of House and Senate members
16.a temporary law that Congress passes when an appropriations bill has not been decided by the beginning of the new fiscal year (October 1)
20.a measure that one chamber of Congress adopts; these don't have to be adopted by the president or by the other chamber of Congress
21.a legislator who acts as an assistant and helps the House majority or minority leader, or the Senate majority or minority leader
23.the residents in an electoral district; a group of individuals represented by a legislator
24.a parliamentary technique to end debate and to bring the matter under consideration to a vote in the Senate
25.the budget prepared and submitted by the president to Congress
2.congressional responsibility to determine if the laws it has passed are being enacted and enforced in the way Congress intended
3.the House committee that deals with all tax measures
4.a committee within the House or the Senate charged with considering bills within certain, specific subject areas. While the committee itself is permanent, its membership changes over time
5.a standing committee in the Senate, in charge of taxes
6.the practice of drawing legislative district boundaries with an eye toward creating a political advantage for a particular party. In order to increase its electoral strength, the state legislature's dominant party tries to manipulate the shape of a district
10.districts taht almost automatically re-elect House of Representatives incumbents
13.an assistant to the floor leader for the majority party
14.legislator who votes directly according to the views of the voters who elected him or her, no matter what the legislator's personal views are
15.the minimum number of legislative members who must be present in order to transact business
17.a person authorized to act as a representative for another
18.the legislative role combining concepts of instructed delegate and trustee concepts; the legislator switches the roles according to the issue being considered - sometimes also used as a derogatory term for a politician
19.unlimited speech-making in the Senate, designed to stall the legislative process and halt action on a particular bill
22.a legislator who acts according to his or her conscience and the broad interests of the entire society, as opposed to the specific agenda of his or her constituents or another narrow interest

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