GOVT CLASS

Read: Section 11.1 – The Institutional Design of Congress1) Review pages 375 and 376. Why is difficult to pass legislation through Congress? What are the three functions that this difficulty serves? (4 – 6 sentences)2) How many members of the House of Representatives are there? The Senate? How long of a term does a member of each body serve for? (1 – 2 sentences)3) How often does redistricting happen? What does this process entail? (2 – 3 sentences)4) Explain the tactic of gerrymandering. What is it, and why do both political parties engage in it when they can? Review figure 11.4 in the textbook and explain how Austin, Texas is an example of gerrymandering in action. (3 – 5 sentences)5) Review the “Finding a Middle Ground” box on pages 378-79. Answer the questions at the bottom of the box in 1 – 2 sentences each.6) Explain and provide an example of an enumerated power, an implied power, and an inherent power of Congress. 7) What is congressional “oversight”? Review page 413. How has Congress struggled to maintain oversight in the realm of foreign policy? (2 – 3 sentences)Read: Section 11.2 – Congressional Elections8) Describe how both the McCain-Feingold Act and the Citizens United decision influenced campaign funding in the modern era. (3 – 5 sentences)9) What is “surge and decline” theory? (2 – 3 sentences)Read: Section 11.3 – Congressional Representation10) Explain the differences between the delegate, trustee, and politico models of representation. (3 – 5 sentences)11) What is the concept of collective representation? (1 – 2 sentences)Read: Section 11.4 – House and Senate Organizations** Please Note: To get the level of detail that I am looking for in this section you should plan to
spend approximately 30 – 45 minutes exploring these websites and answering the questions below. High quality answers will reflect a substantial amount of time and energy spent researching the topics below, particularly in regards to issue stances of representatives and senators. 12) Go to: www.house.gov and identify who has the following positions, and what their job is: Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Majority Whip, Minority Leader, Minority Whip. Also, on the upper right hand corner of the website, input your zip code to find out who your representative is. Who are they, and what party are they from?13) Visit your representative’s website by clicking on their name after searching for them. Explore their website. What issue areas seem to be important to them? What is the most recent legislation they have sponsored? After looking at the bills they have sponsored and other parts of their website, do you think this individual represents the same kinds of preferences that you believe exist in your community?14) Go to: www.senate.gov and identify who has the following position, and what their job is: Republican Leader, Majority Whip, Democratic Leader, Minority Whip, President Pro-Tempore. 15) Click on “Find My Senators” on the top left of the page. Who are they? Now, click on each of their names to bring you to their official Senate websites. Explore the website by reading their biography, key issues, etc. What committees does each Senator serve on? Does each senator seem to share the same stances on issues that are important to them? 16) Pick 2 committees from the House website and 2 committees from the Senate website. Visit their websites and summarize what they describe the job of their committee to be. List the ranking Democratic and Republican members of each of the committees. Discuss some of the recent work that each committee has been engaged in. Read: Section 11.5 – The Legislative Process17) Audio Recording. In 1 – 3 minutes, briefly explain the standard steps in how a bill becomes a law. Refer to Figure 11.20 to assist you in your answer. Briefly mention (in 15 or so seconds) how modern legislation is different.Understand Your Preferences:18) One of the most contentious debates about policy making today is about the potential elimination of the filibuster in the Senate. Read the following article that outlines the arguments in favor and against eliminating the filibuster.
https://upfront.scholastic.com/issues/2019-20/010620/should-the-filibuster-be-eliminated.html#1120LWhich argument seemed to be more appealing to you? Should the filibuster be eliminated? Why or why not? (4+ sentences)Reflecting on What You’ve Learned: Answer each in at least 2 – 3 complete sentences19) What was the most interesting thing you learned about in this learning guide? Why was it interesting to you?20) What do you still have questions about this learning guide? If you don’t have any specific questions, what would you like to learn more about?

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