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Government 2302 Exam 1 Study Guide Essay

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Chapter 12: Congress
1) What did the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility Act of 2009 do and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act do that impacts college students? 430 a) The CARD act of 2009, restricted credit card companies from raising interest rates on existing balances. It also prevented credit card companies from charging a fee for exceeding their borrowing limit unless these customers had explicitly requested this service. It also made it more difficult for credit card companies to target those under 21 years of age- since they now had to provide either proof of parental consent or proof of financial capability. i) The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility act made loans available to more students by having the federal government loan directly to students. This change eliminated billions in subsidies paid to the banks that had offered student loans. It also blocked a proposed interest rate increase, keeping the rate at 3.4% 2) What is a constituency and what relationship are they supposed to have to their representatives? 437 a) The constituents of a district are the residents in an area for the elected official. 3) What is a bicameral legislature and what are the houses of Congress? 437 a) A legislative assembly is composed of two chambers/houses. 4) What are the formal qualifications for holding office in Congress? 437 a) House

i) Minimum age: 25 years old
ii) US Citizenship: at least 7 years as a US Citizen
iii) Length of term: 2 years
iv) Number representing each state: depends on population
v) Constituency: Local
b) Senate
i) Minimum age: 30 years old
ii) US Citizenship: at least 9 years as a US citizen
iii) Length of term: 6 years
iv) Number representing each state: 2 per state
v) Constituency: Local and National
5) According to Table 12.1, what are the differences between the House and the Senate? 437-8 a) The age requirements are different, as are the citizenship requirements. The term for the Senate is 6 years whereas the House is only 2 years, however with the House, you have representatives based on your states population, not a predetermined amount. 6) Why does the House tend to represent PACs and interest groups more than the Senate? 438 a) I believe that the House would have more interest involvement with the PAC (political action committees) then the Senate because they more focused on a local level of politics then the Senate. In addition, with elections being held every two years, they are more in tuned to the interests of businesses and local interest groups. 7) What is the difference between sociological and agency representation? 438 a) A sociological representation is when the candidate or incumbent has the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious, or educational background as their constituents. i) Agency representation is the concept that regardless of the elected officials personal background or preferences, they will always vote with their constituents even when that vote may be contrary to their own. Hire and fire our representatives when they don’t follow the needs/desires of the general public. 8) How many women were in the House in 1990 and how many in 2010? 439 a) 1990- 29 women in the house

b) 2010- 78 women in the house
9) What are the three main occupational backgrounds of members of Congress? 439 a) The legal profession (most dominant), public service and politics is second, with many members of congress coming from business and industry. 10) How many people does each US Representative represent? 440 a) As many as 660,000

11) Why are members of Congress often free to “represent” their own interests in the legislative process and on what issues are they most likely to do this? 442? a) When the constituents of their district do not have very strong views. 12) Why does the racial composition of Congress? 441

a) 82% white, 9% black, 6% Hispanic, 2% Asian/Pacific, 0.2% Native American 13) How much of their time and their staff time is spent on constituency casework? 442 a) 50.7% of their time- House
b) 39% of their time- Senate
14) What 3 factors related to the electoral system affect who gets elected & what they do once in office? Basically, what personal or informal qualifications are needed to run for Congress? 442-444 a) Ability to raise funds, personal ambition, name recognition, political support, incumbency 15) What is EMILY’S List and what has been its impact? 442-443 a) EMILY’s list is the most powerful fund-raiser of all the PACs, specifically to recruit women for politics and fund their campaigns. 16) What is the rate of re-election and what is meant by incumbency—what are the advantages? Specifically, what are the re-election rates in the House and Senate? 443-444 a) Incumbency is the concept of running for the office which you are currently performing the job for. i) House- 98% success rate

ii) Senate- 90% success rate
17) Why do some people support term limits and who would benefit the most from them? 444 a) Term limits are believed to be the only real way to get new blood/diversity into Congress. They believe that career politicians will ensure that there is very little turnover. 18) What is apportionment and redistricting and how can it have an impact on the winner? 446 What is gerrymandering? 446 a) Gerrymandering: the manipulation of district boundaries to benefit the interests of a particular group. b) Apportionment: every 10 years, the allocation of the congressional seats among the 50 states. c) Redistricting: Redrawing of the election districts and redistributing legislative representatives. Occurring every ten years- or in response to a legal challenge. d) Redistricting in theory makes it so that the population of the particular district is balanced, however there are times that the redistricting occurs in such a way that the district boundaries are impossible to determine. 19) What happened in Texas in 2001-2003 and did the Court agree? 446-447 a) The Texas Republicans redrew the maps without waiting for the census to occur. Democrats left to Oklahoma and New Mexico to prevent the passage of the plan, eventually the legislature approved the plan. 20) Has the Supreme Court played the role of “umpire” in controversies surrounding redistricting? 447 a) They have, but it doesn’t appear to be a constant thing. The only time mentioned in the text is in 1995 in the Miller v Johnson which stated race could not be predominate factor in creating districts. 21) What impact did the 1964 Civil Rights Act have on the number of minorities being elected to Congress? 447 a) In the consideration of drawing districts, race has had a big impact. Eventually, amendments were put in place to increase the number of racial minorities 22) What did the Court do in 1995 in the case of Miller v Johnson? a) Determined that race could ...

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