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UNIT 4 MASTERY PROJECT

1) Identify

and explain the organization of the Legislature

The Legislature is bicameral, therefore is composed of 2 houses: the upper house


(the Senate) and the lower house (the House of Representatives). The Senate holds more
power than the House of Representatives and different requirements for membership.
Membership includes 100 members (2 from each state), each member holding office for
6 years elected every 2 years, must be at least 30 yrs. Old, must be a citizen for 9 years,
and must live in the state representing. The upper house is apportioned through equal
representation. After the 17th Amendment, the people could directly elect their senators
of each state. Before the amendment, members were chosen by the state legislatures in
each state. Direct election of representatives of the House has always been around
without any amendments granting direct election. The Representatives of the House
include 435 members that are apportioned by population, thus by proportional
representation. The 2 yr. term of each representative meant they had to pay attention to
the public opinion of their constituents or they wouldnt be reelected. Members are
chosen from districts within each state. Madison wanted the most powerful branch of
government divided so that there was no centralization of power. Each term of office is
divided into two 1-yr sessions. In cases of national emergency, the President may call
special sessions with Congress. Each house of Congress chooses its own leadership and
makes its own rules.

2. Identify and provide an example of the powers of the Legislature, both


formal and informal.
Congress has the power to make laws, to create all other courts besides the Supreme
Court (Article 3, Section 1), impeach government officials, make treaties, coin money,
declare war, establish a navy/army, propose amendments, may confirm the
appointment of executive officers, and can select a President (the House of Reps) and/or
a Vice President (the Senate). These powers are divided among the Senate and House of
Reps. For example, the Senate has the power to hold impeachment trials, ratify treaties
(requiring a 2/3rds vote of the Senate), and confirm the appointment of executive
officers that require Senate confirmation. The House of Reps. are given the power to
impeach the President and other federal officials, can decide presidential elections if no
candidate wins the majority of the electoral college, and is given the Power of the
Purse in which All bills for raising revenue--originate in the House of Representatives
(Article 1, Section 7).

3. Identify and explain how Congress shares powers with the Executive,
Judiciary, and bureaucracy.
Congress can change the jurisdiction of federal courts and the judiciary can change the
jurisdiction of Congress if proved unconstitutional. The Executive appoints officials and
Congress has approval powers over those appointments. The Senate can reject Judicial
nominees. The Delegation of Powers involves a direct sharing of power between the
executive and Congress, in which in times of crisis Congress gives its powers to the
President who will be able to act much faster. The Executive and Congress can veto
eithers legislation.

4. Discuss the implications of Congress sharing powers with each of the


following: Executive, Judiciary, and bureaucracy.
The implications of sharing powers throughout all three branches equates to a system of
checks and balances which sustains a decentralized alignment of power throughout the
branches. Sharing powers obtains a teamwork environment of government. It was
implied in the Constitution for the branches of government to work as a team and not be
tyrannical in any ways. For example, the President and Congress sharing the
responsibility of declaring war or not leads to a stronger method of accuracy versus one
branch with the possibility of war in their hands. Sharing with the bureaucracy leads to a
direct connection with the people on legislation that affects them and their lives.

5. Discuss the functions that Congress performs.


Making laws, checking on the judiciary and executive branches for balances of power,
and ensuring the people are satisfied with their legislations or they are not reelected.
Congress is supposed to function as the voice of the people which requires them to listen
to the changing opinions of their constituents or their elections will flop.

6. Identify how the power of the Congress has/may evolve gradually.


Through the necessary and proper clause/elasticity clause and the interstate commerce
clause, Congress is reasonably (as long as they are within constitutional means) flexible
in their powers. If not explicitly stated in the enumerated powers, Congresss
jurisdiction expands.

7. Identify how the power of the Congress has/may changes dramatically


as a result of crisis.
Through the Delegation of Powers,
Congress can declare war a

8. Identify and discuss the ties between the Congress and political parties.
Congress is influenced by political parties. The major political party is the
one usually gets the major votes on issues. They get to define the districts.
However now there are laws limiting those actions by the 17th amendment.
9. Identify and discuss the ties between the Congress and interest groups.
Interest groups influence congress by giving them money for their
campaigns. They can influence congressman's decision on certain issues.
10. Identify and discuss the ties between the Congress and media.
The media can make or break a congressman's career. they influence
publicity and since congressmen need that to be reelected they must keep
the media in their favor.
11. Identify and discuss the ties between the Congress and state and local
governments.
Congress can influence the bureaucracy that runs the state and local gov'ts
by influencing it's law making. The state can give bills to congress that they
want passed.
Audrey Enriquez and Marian Hanna