House of Cards

Season 1, Episode 9 “Chapter 9”
Summary: Russo hits the road with V.P. Matthews. Frank and Stamper try to
whip up support in Congress. Claire looks out for herself.
American Government Basics: Making a Bill a Law
Proposing a Bill
- Representatives gather
research about an
issue & draft a bill
- Representatives gather
sponsors and general
support from the
- The bill is introduced

Debating a Bill
- A committee of experts
reviews and approves
of the bill
- Representatives debate
and make changes to
the bill to create a
final version

Voting on a Bill
- Representatives vote
yes or no on passing
the bill
 Needs 218 yes’s to

- It is passed to the
Senate, where it must
go through the same

1. Hard sell: an issue that will be hard to persuade people to agree with
2. A feather in someone’s hat: a success that will help the person in
the future
3. To despise: strongly hate
4. To have the gall: to be bold, “have guts”
5. To stonewall: to block someone by refusing to answer questions
6. To tick of: to anger someone
7. Single-malt: whiskey
8. To eat one’s own hat: to admit you were wrong, when you thought
you were right; “to eat your words”
9. To atone: to make amends
10. “A faint blip on my radar”: something that doesn’t matter or you
don’t care about
11. Directive: a specific order
12. To proposition: to suggest having sex, not in a subtle way
13. To go hat in hand: to ask someone for money or help, often in a
submissive way
14. Caucus: a meeting of the leaders of a political party to select
candidates or delegates
15. Windbag: someone who talks a lot and never makes their point
While watching the episode, write down any words that you do not
know or have questions about.

Connect each character with the adjectives that describe them.
Peter Russo
Gillian Cole


Write the name of the character who said this quote.
“A great man once
said that everything
in life is about sex.
Except sex.”


“I will say this: If the
bill fails, it's not the
end of the world.”

“If I didn't think you
were such a liability
to yourself,
congressman, I might
even like you.”


Comprehension Questions:
1. What do you think is the significance of the first scene with Peter’s son
playing with toy soldiers? Who is bothered by the children’s presence?
Who seems to enjoy it?
2. Why does Zoe break off her fling with Frank? Does Frank react badly to
this? Why would he?
3. How much do you think Jeanine knows about Zoe’s relationship with
4. What decision does Claire make about the offer from SanCorp? Do you
think she feels guilty at all?
5. Do you think Peter’s campaign can continue without the watershed
bill? How will Peter react to this loss?
6. How soon do you think Frank will find out that Claire was the one who
betrayed him? What do you think Frank will do?