AP Government Chapter 12 Terms


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Side ASide B
Already holding office. Usually win congressional elections.
Activities of Congressmembers that help constituents as individuals.
pork barrel
List of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, etc.
bicameral legislature
Divided into 2 houses, like US Congress and every state except Nebraska.
House Rules Committee
Institution of the House of Reps. that reviews all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriation) from committees before they go to House.
Senate strategy where opponents of a bill talk it to death because of "unlimited debate." 60 votes can end it.
Speaker of the House
Mandated by Const. Chosen by majority party, has formal and informal powers, and is 2nd in line to succeed president.
majority leader
Partisan ally of Speaker/ manager of party in Senate. Schedules bills, influences commitee assignments, and rounds up votes.
Works with majority/ minority leader to count votes and lean on waverers.
minority leader
Lead of minority party in House or Senate.
standing committee
On separate subject-matters in different policy areas in each house of Congress.
joint committee
On few subject-matter areas with members from both houses.
conference committee
Formed when similar bills in each house. Smooths out the differences into a single bill.
select committee
For a specific purpose, like Watergate.
legislative oversight
Congress's monitor of bureaucracy and it's policy administration, usually through hearings.
committee chair
Most important influence of Congressional agenda. Schedule hearings, hire staff, appoint subcommittees, and manage commitee bills before the full house.
seniority system
Rule for picking committee chairs until the 70s. The member whi's served longest and whose party controls the chamber is picked.
congressional caucus
Group of Congressmembers charing an interest/ characteristic. Usually from both houses and both parties. 
Propsed law drafted in legal language. Anyone can draft, but only Congress can formally submit.

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