the People`s Branch

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Transcript the People`s Branch

Duties of Congress
In pairs, use your copy of the Constitution
to complete House? Senate? Congress?
going over the differences between the two
 After completing this, everyone will be
given a Legislative Card
 Talking with your partner, decide if the card
goes with the House, the Senate, or
 Place your card on the board under the
proper heading
Why do people hate Congress but love
their personal Congressperson? Why the
 Why do you think the Founding Fathers
gave members of the House shorter terms
than the Senate?
 Why did the Founding Fathers originally
not allow people to elect Senators? What
do you think they were afraid of?
 Why didn't the Founding Fathers give any
office term limits?
A Day in the Life
How is being a Congressmen similar to
running a business? How is it different?
 How hard do you think people in
Congress work? Why?
 What would happen if Congress was
disbanded tomorrow? How would the
country change?
There should be a limit on the
number of terms a member of
Congress should be allowed to serve.
 Move to how you feel about this
statement – Strongly disagree,
Disagree, etc
 Be prepared to talk with the other
people who agree with you to give a
group reason why you think that way
How would Congress change if
members were suddenly given term
 What are advantages to having term
limits? Disadvantages?
 Why do you think that Congress has
never had term limits imposed on them?
Write a position paper based on the
question, “Is the U.S. Congress truly ‘The
People’s House?’”
 To support the position, include an analysis
comparing the House of Representatives
and the Senate in the following areas:
 Qualifications of both
 Stated and desired leadership qualities
 Responsibilities
 Election process
Legislative Powers
What are some of the powers of
Why is Congress given these powers
instead of the States?
Dynamic Legislative Process
Congressional Powers
1. Article II, Section 2 - Advise and Consent
2. Article III, Sec 1 - Creation of federal courts by majority
of both houses of Congress
3. Article IV, Section 3 - Admission of new states by
consent of Congress
4. Article V - Congress can propose amendments by 2/3
of both houses
5. Amendment 12 - House chooses president if candidate
doesn’t get a majority of electoral votes, Senate chooses
6. Enforcement Clauses of Amendments 13-15, 19, 23-26
- Congress has the power to pass laws necessary to
carry out the Amendments
7. Amendment 25 - Both houses must approve a new vice
president appointed by the president
Congressional Powers
Research your topic
 After I give the signal, get with the
others who have your topic
 Come together and decide on a single
“expert” answer
 Present your “expert” answer to the rest
of the class
Quick Quiz!
Write on a separate sheet of paper:
 3 powers of the legislative branch;
 2 roles of the legislative branch;
 1 check the legislative branch has on
another branch; and
 1 check that another branch of the
government has on the legislative
Powers of Congress
Do any roles or powers of the legislative branch impact the economy?
fiscal policy – the use of government spending and revenue collection
to influence the economy (can be used to influence economic growth,
employment, prices, and international relations)
monetary policy – the use of interest rates to control the money supply
and the rate of interest (done by the Federal Reserve, the central bank
of the United States)
regulatory policy – in a truly free enterprise system, the government
would be absent from the economy, but since unlimited freedom is
impossible and can lead to conflicts, the government must maintain
some regulation over the economy.
Federal Reserve – the privately owned, publicly controlled central bank
of the United States. The Federal Reserve regulates the supply of
money in the economy through interest notes or by altering the reserve
requirement, discount rate, and open market options. The Federal
Reserve also supplies paper currency, called Federal Reserve Notes,
holds banks’ reserves, provides check clearing services, and
supervises member banks.
Federal Budget Module
Federal Budget
Revenue (bring money in)
 Taxation, including income, payroll, corporate, and excise
Expenditures (spend money)
 Defense, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, interest on
the debt, non-defense discretionary items (education,
foreign aid, unemployment, space & technology, etc.)
 The Executive Branch creates the budget. The Legislative
Branch must approve the budget. The two branches must
work together to achieve compromise.
 Government spending and taxation affects the amount of
money in the economy thereby impacting levels of
investment and the sector of investment.
Congress in the Economy
Each group will be given 3 terms
Your group is to research how these terms relate to
Use your textbook and devices to look them up
Group 1:Interest rates, money supply
Group 2: trade relations, distribution of tax revenue
Group 3: anti-monopoly laws, unemployment
Group 4: right to work laws, tariff laws
Group 5: industrial safety, quality regulation
Group 6: banking regulation
Congress in the Economy
How the government regulates free
Government regulation of monopolies
Environmental regulations on industries
Unemployment insurance requirements
Safety and health regulations in the workplace
Workmen’s compensation insurance
Product standards and testing
Government taxation and regulation costs
private businesses creating an opportunity cost
in expansion and investment.
Congress in the Economy
 Foreign Aid – accounts for approximately one percent of the
United States budget; aid is given to countries such as Mexico,
Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan to promote peace, security, economic
development, human rights, and provide for health and
educational services
 Sale of weapons – done to support foreign allies such as Israel
 Free Trade Agreements – promotes economic development,
examples include North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) and the United States- Australian Free Trade
Agreement along with many others
 Boycott/Sanctions – are intended to bring about political
changed in countries that have strained diplomatic relations with
the United States, including Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and
Congress in the Economy
International Trade Policies
 The Office of the United States Trade
Representative (USTR) was created by Congress
and operates as part of the Executive Branch. The
USTR has the responsibility of development and
implementation of U.S. trade policy, including
coordinating with Congress on pending legislation
and testimony.
 Trade agreements must be approved by Congress.
Fiscal Policies
 The Executive Branch submits a budget from the
President to Congress. Congress through a series of
hearing created a budget resolution, which unlike an
ordinary bill does not go to the President for a
signature or veto.
Congress in the Economy
Policies fostering competition and entrepreneurship Patent – a
license issued to an inventor granting the exclusive right to
manufacture, use or sell his or her invention for a limited period
of time
 On one hand, patent laws aim to prevent the copying or imitation of
patented goods, and thus complement competition policies in that they
contribute to a fair market behavior. On the other hand, competition laws
may limit patent rights in that patent holders may be barred from abusing
their rights.(from the World Intellectual Property Organization)
Examples of other relevant topics depending on current events
 Anti-trust legislation
 Copyright – the exclusive, legal right of a person to reproduce, publish,
and sell, his or her own literary, musical, or artistic creations
 Regulation of patents and copyrights is a power given to Congress.
In your table groups, discuss and identify
sources of revenue and expenditures and the
role of the legislator in the budget process
The Executive Branch is also responsible for
international policy. How does the budgetary
process influence this?
What does budget allocation show about the
priorities and values that the current
government budget illustrates?
Congress Involvement
What is the difference among the following three
groups —private sphere; voluntary agencies; and the
private sphere - (individuals pursuing their private
interests within the law)
voluntary agencies - (people working together in an
organization to pursue interests common to all of them)
Government - (formal legislative, executive, and judicial
institutions at the local, state, and national levels to create
public policy to improve the everyday life of its citizens)
What is an example of each group?
Whose Problem?
Cancer research
Exploration of space
Predatory encroachment on the Internet
Environmental concerns and global warming
Energy (“green,” coal, nuclear, grid concerns)
Rising costs of health care, uninsured children and families
Deteriorating infrastructure (bridges, railroads, highways, etc.)
Rising cost of education
Technology in the classroom
Incentives for new entrepreneurships in the field of science
and/or technology
Which sector or combination of sectors (private sphere,
voluntary agency, or government) would be the best to tackle
the issue?
Impact of Congress
Public Policy
What is public policy?
 Public policy can be defined as a set of
ideas embodied in government laws,
rules, or regulations that guide a course
of action to deal with public issues or
problems to improve the general welfare
of its citizens.
 What do you know about public policy?
Technology and Congress
How have government policies affected
technological innovations?
 Examples: tax policies by local, state and national
governments can favor or hinder new business
development (tariffs, quotas, NAFTA, zoning
requirements, tax abatements
What role has the Congress played in
technological innovation in history?
 approved funding, wrote appropriate laws, copyright
and patent laws have long been part of U.S. way of
doing business. Many technological innovations
have been borne of military funding. Nuclear energy,
Internet, NASA, technology/business incubators, etc.
Kennedy Space Program
Public Policy
What other inventions or markets have
been created because of government
funding, including military and defense.
 Radio, automotive, television, airplane,
highway system, cell phones, navigational
Find a newspaper article, a magazine article, or a printout
of an article from the Internet about an issue currently
before Congress.
 You need this article to discuss in class the next day.
 The article should be attached to a piece of paper.
 You should apply what you have learned to the issue by
completing the following tasks in writing:
 Identify the issue.
 Identify the steps being followed to accomplish a goal related to
the issue.
 Who is involved? What do the people involved wish to
accomplish? What are their positions relative to the issue?
 What are the next steps that will be taken? (Example: current
issues before Congress include heath care reform and issues
related to the recession and banking crisis of 2008-2009.)
The 17th Amendment
Look up the 17th amendment and read it
to yourself
 Underline any words you don’t
 Discuss with the people at your table
group what you think this amendment
The 17th Amendment
What are some advantages of this
amendment? What are some
 What are some of the arguments for this
amendment? Against?
17th Amendment
The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the
United States Constitution established direct election of
United States Senators by popular vote.
 It also alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the
Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their
governors to make temporary appointments until a special
election can be held.
 Under the original provisions of the Constitution, senators were
elected by state legislatures; this was intended to ensure that the
federal government contained representatives of the states, and
also to provide a body not dependent on popular support that
could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming
before Congress".
 However, over time various issues with these provisions, such
as the risk of corruption and the potential for electoral deadlocks
or a lack of representation should a seat become vacant, led to a
campaign for reform.
17th Amendment
Critics of the Seventeenth Amendment claim that by
altering the way senators are elected, the states lost any
representation they had in the federal government and
that, in addition to violating the unamendable state
suffrage clause of Article V, this led to the gradual "slide
into ignominy" of state legislatures, as well as an
overextension of federal power and the rise of special
interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously
occupied by state legislatures.
 In addition, concerns have been raised about the power of
governors to appoint temporary replacements to fill vacant
senate seats, both in terms of how this provision should
be interpreted and whether it should be permitted at all.
What are the powers delegated to the Congress?
Are any of the powers more important than
others? If so, which ones? Why are they more
Why is it beneficial for the federal government to
have certain powers rather than the states?
How does the complex procedure for enacting
laws provide multiple opportunities for citizen
How does Congress use committees to expedite
the work of Congress?
How can a citizen impact the legislative process?