Pennsylvania

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REVIEW - LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

In the last session, we discussed that the the Legislative Branch consists of 2“Houses”

        House of Representatives (lower house) - Based on Population

        Senate (upper house) - 2 per State

    

We discussed Qualifications, Terms of Office, and that

Your address determines who is your representative. 

 

Find Federal and State Representatives at http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page. 

 

Find County officials at http://www.votespa.com/en-us/voting-and-elections/be-prepared/Pages/County-Contact-Information.aspx. 

 

Find Township/Municipality officials at https://www.civicsforgrownups.org/copy-of-legislators-by-zip-4.

 

We touched on Legislator’s Job Descriptions

    Law Maker, Committee Member, Representative & Servant of Constituents
        

We promised to give you more information about 

    Salary and Benefits

    Powers

    Who are the leaders of the House and Senate

    Which Committees have the most influence

    How people become Representatives and Senators and

    what it means that your Legislators are also Politicians 

 

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH - SALARY & BENEFITS - NEW MATERIAL 

Representatives and Senators earn $174,000 per year
    Free Franking (postage)
    License Tags
    American Flags
    Packages wrapped free for mailing
    Generous Pension Plan    
    Expense Accounts for

        Travel
        Equipment & Office Leasing
        Communications

        Stationery

    Benefits/Discounts/Services

        Special Health Care Plan          

        Health Club

        Legal Advice                    

        Library Services

        Discounts in Stationery Store        

        Free Parking

        Reduced Barber/Beauty Shop Rates     

        Use of Recording & TV Studios

        Federal Retirement Plan 

        (not Social Security)

    

Expressed Powers

    Tax                        

    Borrow money

    Regulate trade                

    Coin money
    Establish bankruptcy codes        

    Determine naturalization procedures
    Postal power                    

    Grant copyrights and patents
    Power over territories            

    Judicial powers
    War powers

 

What we need to do…

 

        Know which Congressional District you live in

            Know who represents the district in Congress    

            Have the Representative’s contact info (phone, address, email)

        Know who your state Senators are

            Have the Senators’ contact info (phone, address, email)

        Vote in ALL elections

        Contact your Representative and Senators 

            to ask questions 

            to express concerns

 

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH - LEADERS IN THE HOUSE/SENATE

Leaders in the House

    Speaker of the House - Paul Ryan

        Leader of Majority Party

        Only votes in a tie

        Appoints temporary speaker to debate

        3rd in succession for presidency

        Earns more than others - $223,500

    

Leaders in the Senate

    President of the Senate - VP Mike Pence

        Presides over debates and votes

        Only votes in a tie

        2nd in line for presidency

        Earns $227,300

    President Pro Tempore - Warren Hatch

        Serves in the absence of VP

        Usually member of majority party    

        Earns $193,400

 

Leaders in the House and Senate

    Floor Leaders

        Legislative strategists

        Carry out goals of party

        Majority and Minority Leader

        $193,400

    House Floor Leaders

        Kevin McCarthy - R

        Nancy Pelosi - D

    Senate Floor Leaders

        Mitch McConnell - R

        Chuck Schumer - D

    

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH - COMMITTEES

Standing Committees
    Permanent groups for specific topics
    Draft, debate & advance bills
    Bills must be identical & pass both houses
    President signs or vetoes
    Congress can override vetoes

 

House Committees    

    Appropriations    Judiciary

    Armed Services    Merchant Marine & Fisheries

    Banking, Finance & Urban Affairs    Post Office & Civil Service

    Budget    Public Works & Transportation

    District of Columbia    Rules

    Education & Labor    Science, Space & Technology

    Energy & Commerce    Small Business

    Foreign Affairs    Standards for Official Conduct

    Government Operations    Veterans Affairs

    House Administration    Ways & Means

 

Senate Committees

    Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry    

    Finance

    Appropriations    

    Foreign Relations

    Armed Services    

    Governmental Affairs

    Banking, Finance & Urban Affairs    

    Judiciary

    Budget    

    Labor & Human Resources

    Commerce, Science & Transportation    

    Rules & Administration

    Energy & Natural Resources    

    Small Business

    Environment & Public Works    

    Veterans Affairs

 

Joint Committees -

    Economic Committee,

    The Library, Printing,

    Taxation

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH - PATHWAY TO THE LEGISLATURE

The Constitution outlined a system in which citizens would serve one or two terms and go home, but legislators are now often lifetime, career politicians. This change introduces new elements to the pathway to a legislative seat: power games, Gerrymandering, and propaganda.