AP GOV Unit 4 Study Guide (Hizal)

Congressional Oversight of the Bureaucracy
Congress can choose to not fund the bureaucracy

Power of the Purse
The influence legislatures have over public policy due to the authority they wield to grant/reject the president’s budget requests to fund executive agencies/programs

Legislative work on behalf of individual constituents to solve their problems with gov. agencies and programs; cutting through red tape to get people what they think they deserve (ex: local senator pulls some strings for support)

Incumbent Advantages
Name recognition, experience, credit claim, franking rights, war chest —> incumbents are most likely the winning candidate

Incumbency rate difference in House and Senate
Senate incumbency is lower since it involves an entire state (harder to win over) whereas house incumbency rates are higher due to smaller districts in which the incumbent is more likely to meet people’s needs (esp. through casework)

Pork Barrel
Appropriation of gov. spending on projects solely to bring money to a representative’s district; added during Conference Committees *can be completely unrelated* (ex: Bridge to Nowhere by Ted Stevens, bridge btwn an island and Alaska)

Revenue Bills
Tax bills originating in the House to raise money for the government

Setup of Committees in the House and Senate
Committee of Committees decides who goes on what committee

Types of Committees
Standing committee – permanent, most important, responsible for particular issues;
Conference committee – put together similar legislation passed in diff. houses of Congress/compromise btwn the 2 houses;
Select committees – joint committees for special purposes, most often investigation (ex: Watergate)

Impact of the Federal Census on Congress
Leads to reapportionment

Consists of the House and Senate, created by the Connecticut Compromise; created in order to retard the process of creating bills/laws and provides checks and balances
Smaller states are overrepresented (ex: CA vs. WY representatives)

Confirmation of Presidential Nominations
Senate must approve presidential appointments to the federal judiciary and heads of bureaucratic agencies

Rules Committee
Most important committee in the House of Representatives that can influence legislation since they choose where the bills go in terms of assigned committees (and can kill a bill by sending it to an insignificant committee)

War Powers Congress
Congress gave themselves the power to pass a joint resolution in which troops stationed overseas by the president can be withdrawn/recalled immediately (cannot be overridden by the president)

Legislative Oversight
Congress’ monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly though hearings.

Presidential Succession Act of 1947
If the president dies then the vice president takes over, after which it is the Speaker of the House, the pro tempore, then down the cabinet

Executive Agreements
Treaties or agreements with foreign nations made by the president that does not require Senate approval

Power of the President’s Cabinet
The president’s cabinet can act as a burden to the president if their interest conflict since after official appointment they are more independent

Presidential Power (The Hats)
Chief Legislator (proposes/vetoes legislation, SOTU address)
Chief Executive (enforces laws, treaties, and court decisions as well as executive orders)
Commander in Chief (head of the armed forces)
Chief Diplomat (sets foregn policy, appoints ambassadors, sets treaties and acknowledges foreign governments)
Chief of State (ceremonial head of our nation, combines Chief Exec. and State roles)
Chief Jurist (appoints federal judges, issues pardons/amnesty)

Council of Economic Advisors
Three member body appointed by the president for advice on economic policy

Office of Management and Budget
Developed from Bureau of the Budget (1921), consists of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals to perform managerial/budgetary functions

Government Accountability Office
Keeps track/regulates taxpayer dollars

Natl. Security Council
Meet when a crisis occurs; involves the president, vice president, secretary of defense, and other military advisors

Vice Presidential Duties
Backup of the president, casts tie-breaking vote in the Senate

Removal of a President from office
25th Amendment and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 describe the cirumstances

Choosing White House Staff
Chief of Staff presides over the White House Staff

25th Amendment
Passed 1951; permits the vice president to become acting president if the president’s cabinet determines that the president is disabled; also outlines how a recuperated president can reclaim the job

Steps in passing a Law
Must go through House, Senate, and president for approval

Executive Privilege
The president can withhold particular information (such as discussions with the national security adviser) form Congress

Presidential Powers
Can veto legislation, commander in chief, executive orders and agreements

Presidential power to nullify/void a bill or action

War Powers Act
1973 reactionary act to American troops in Vietnam and Cambodia requiring presidents to consult with Congress prior to using military force and withdraw after 60 days (Congress must declare war or grant an extension); Congress can pass a joint resolution that cannot be overriden in which troops must be immediately withdrawn from wherever they have been stationed

Line Item Veto
Proposed by Ulysses S. Grant, giving presidents the power to disapprove of individual items within a spending bill

Divided Government and Nominations
Different party ruling in Congress and the president; Conflicting parties results in nullified nominations

Role of the Cabinet
Serve as advisers to the president

22nd Amendment
Passed by Congress in 1947; places a limit of two-terms on future presidencies

Presidential Approval ratings
Tends to plummet throughout the term, highest during the “honeymoon phase”

Executive Orders
Orders mandated by the president that cannot be overridden by Congress (ex: Exec. Order 9066)

President as a legislative Lobbyist
SOTU Address yo

Electronic Throne
“Bully Pulpit”; President has control over the TV channels and can reach homes across America (ex: SOTU Address)

Government Corporations
Government agency that operates like a business operation (ex: Postal Service)

The Hatch Act
Bars federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics showing partisanship and protects workers from bosses using power for political gain

President and the Bureaucracy
Appoints heads for bureaucratic agencies

The Iron Triangle
Consists of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and subcomittees; holds a lot of power and can get things done, an example of which can be observed in the nuclear revolution of the 40s and 50s

Sunset Laws
Requires the agencies defends the reasons for their existence

Criticisms of the Federal Bureaucracy
Red tape, enforced negative reputation (“lazy”, “inefficient”)

Bureaucratic Agency Budget
Congress controls each agency gets, depending on the political party in power, this determines how the budget is distributed to the agencies

Getting a job in the Federal Government
Office of Personnel Management decides who gets hired and performs extensive background checks; hires also incorporate affirmative action

Bureaucratic Expertise
Government bureaucracies have more expertise in issues in comparison to state and local governments since the bureaucracy deals with these issues more

Red Tape
Strict regulation that must be followed to get something done (ex: urinals in the male bathroom)

Getting fired by the Federal Government
Very difficult to fire a civil servant, who is given strong job security; there must be a valid reason to fire a civil servant who must be given a notice 30 days prior and a chance to appeal against the claim

Federal Bureaucratic agencies
Ex: OSHA (for workers’ rights)

Job of the Bureaucracy
Ultimately to carry out the individual goals of the bureaucratic agency; keep things orderly

Type of Supreme Court Opinions
Stare decisis, per curium (brief, unsigned opinion)

Stare Decisis
“Let the decision stand”; based on precedents

Judicial Review
Established by Marbury v. Madison; the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the constitutionality of laws/bills/acts

Amicus Curiae
“Friend of the court” briefs in which interest groups show interest in the outcome of a case that will likely affect them (ex: Tobacco and alcohol industries)

Federalist 78/Article III
Judicial branch is the weakest of the three branches with the least amount of power; interprets law but cannot create or enforce law

Characteristics of Supreme Court Justices
Uber old, plenty of experience/high status as high administrative officials in the field of law

Decision making process of an appeals court
Oversees and investigates the constitutionality of a case and the methods conducted during the case

Selection and role of the Chief Justice
Selected by President and approved by Congress

The road to the Supreme Court
District courts, Court of Appeals, Law clerks and to the Supreme Court

Interest groups and the Courts

Judicial Activism
Philosophy in which the justice system should make bold-decisions and

Judicial Restraint
Philosophy exemplifying original intent of the framers, plays a minimal role and tends to uphold precedents (ex: Dred Scott v. Sanford)

Checks on the Supreme Court
Legislative check: Amending the Constitution; Executive check: Implementation of policy, can ignore an outcome if necessary to enforce the law

Writ of Certiorari
The most common way to get a case onto the docket; issued after the rule of four has been followed and a case will be reviewed on the docket agenda

Influence interest groups have on Justice appointments
Influence of Congressmen (particularly the Senate members), who influence confirmation of presidential appointments

Supreme Court and Public Opinion
Public opinion does not necessarily matter the Court (though the Court is aware of the general consensus)

Types of Federal Courts
District, District Court of Appeals, Supreme Court