Congress Essay

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Legislative Branch We have talked about how the powers of our government are fragmented between the 3 branches. Within the legislative branch, there is further fragmentation. We have a bicameral legislature. Look at the Constitution in the back of the book, what is your 1st impression, Article 1 is much larger than 2 and 3. Therefore, the legislative branch is the most important, this is the coup de grace of representative government. What are the Differences between the House and the Senate? Slide 3 I. Differences between the House and the Senate. (not exhaustive) 1. House represents a district and the Senate represents a whole state (what are the implications of these differing constituencies: homogeneity and heterogeneity) 2. House: 25 yrs. Old and election every 2 years. Senate: 30 yrs. Old and election every 6 years (What are the consequences of these differences) 3. Originally, the House was designed to be a new kind representative institution. Elected by the people every 2 years, this is mob rule, unruly. This body was designed to be close to the people. The Senate, on the other hand, was designed to temper the hotheadedness of the mob rule of the house. They were appointed by the state legislatures, and viewed as the body of reason, supposed to be more conservative. Slide 4 II. 4 of the Functions of Congress 1) Lawmaking: Laws and policy ( most important formally) Bill becomes a Law 1) Introduced (anyone in the chamber) & given a number. The ideas for legislative proposals may come from an individual Representative or Senator, from any of the executive departments of the Government, from private organized groups or associations, or from any individual citizen. However, they can be introduced in their respective Houses only by Senators and Representatives. Senators may bring

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