Congressional dysfunction

11 Cards


2014-04-30 13:57:52 -0400

  1. What is congressional dysfunction?
  2. Is Congress popular?
  3. Is Congress less productive than it used to be?
  4. What is political polarization?
  5. Have both parties polarized equally?
  6. What is the filibuster?
  7. Is money the problem?
  8. Didn't the Founding Fathers want Congress to be gridlocked?
  9. Why won't Obama lead?
  10. You didn't answer my question!
  11. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 11

    What is congressional dysfunction?

    Congress, in this case, refers to the legislative branch of the United States government. It's composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. And it is, by far, the most powerful branch of the US government.

    Congress is mentioned first in the Constitution, and its enumerated powers far exceed those of the Supreme Court or the presidency. The simplest way to see this is to envision a direct collision between Congress and the other branches: Congress can pass legislation into law over the president’s veto. The president, meanwhile, doesn’t even have a way to make Congress consider legislation, much less pass anything into law over congressional objections. Meanwhile, nominees to the Supreme Court must pass a vote in the Senate, and Congress retains the power to alter the composition of the Court (the Court has nine members currently because Congress decreed it would have nine members in the Judiciary Act of 1869).

    When people talk about congressional dysfunction they usually mean that Congress, despite its vast authority, seems paralyzed in the face of the nation's toughest problems. The paralysis usually stems from disagreements between the two parties, and is exacerbated by the unusual construction of the US Congress, which makes it possible for one party to control the House while the other controls (or at least exercises veto power) in the Senate. A secondary (and arguably related) problem people are sometimes referring to is the perception that the personal relationships between members of the two parties are angrier than they've been in the past.

  2. Card 2 of 11

    Is Congress popular?

  3. Card 3 of 11

    Is Congress less productive than it used to be?

  4. Card 4 of 11

    What is political polarization?

  5. Card 5 of 11

    Have both parties polarized equally?

  6. Card 6 of 11

    What is the filibuster?

  7. Card 7 of 11

    Is money the problem?

  8. Card 8 of 11

    Didn't the Founding Fathers want Congress to be gridlocked?

  9. Card 9 of 11

    Why won't Obama lead?

  10. Card 10 of 11

    You didn't answer my question!

  11. Card 11 of 11

    How have these cards changed?

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