Overview, Key Understandings & Questions
Theme Key Understandings
- New political systems are shaped by emulating and opposing older systems of government
- Governments evolve over time as societies change
- Democratic governments rely on compromise
- In a representative democracy, population data shapes government structure and politics
- Bicameral legislatures assign unique powers to each house
- Congressional committees allow for specialized policy development in the legislative branch
- The process of a bill becoming a law involves deal making between the executive and legislative branches of government
What is the Legislative Branch?
- What are the specific powers of the legislative branch in regards to law making, taxing and spending, and oversight of the government?
- How does the legislative branch serve as a check on presidential power? Do you think it should have more or fewer "checks" on the president?
The Congress of the United States
- How is the U.S. Congress organized? Why did the founders choose to organize it in this way?
- Compare and contrast the responsibilities of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Which legislative body would you rather be a part of? Why?
House of Representatives
- How are representatives to the House of Representatives chosen? Whose interests are they supposed to represent in Congress?
- What are two powers unique to the House of Representatives?
- How are senators chosen? How is this different from how they were originally selected?
- Whose interests are Senators supposed to represent in Congress?
- What are two powers unique to the Senate?
- Describe the process for allocating and drawing congressional districts.
- How does the districting process affect the way decisions are made by Congress?
How a Bill Becomes a Law
- Explain the process it takes for a bill to become a law.
- Why is deal making important to this bill-to-law process?
Powers of Congress
- What are three specific powers of Congress that give them the most influence within the U.S. government?
- Does the power of Congress to investigate enhance or impede the effectiveness of the executive branch?
- Why does each house of Congress divide work up into committees?
- How does the work of congressional committees influence legislation?
"Legislative Branch." History Hub,
Entry ID: 2142493