What Was The New Deal?
The New Deal was a set of federal programs launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after taking office in 1933, in response to the Great Depression.
It had four major goals and achievements:
* Economic Recovery – Emergency Banking Act: The New Deal stabilised the banks and cleaned up the financial mess left over from the Stock Market crash of 1929. It stabilised prices for industry and agriculture, and it aided bankrupt state and local governments. It also injected a huge amount of federal spending to boost collective incomes.
* Job Creation – National Industry Recovery Act: ¼ Americans was out of work by 1933. The New Deal created a number of special agencies that provided jobs for millions of workers and wages that saved millions. It also recognized the rights of workers to organise the unions.
* Investment in Public Works – National Labour Relations Act: The New Deal built hundreds of thousands of highway, bridges, hospitals, theatres, libraries, city halls, homes, post offices, airports and parks across America – most of which are still in use today.
* Civic Uplift – Social Security Act: The New Deal touched every state, city, and town, improving the lives of ordinary people and reshaping the public sphere. New Dealers and the men and women who worked on New Deal programs believed they were not only serving their families and communities but building the foundations for a great and caring society.
In less than a decade, the New Deal changed the face of America.
How did it cause the national government to grow? This would be because The New Deal created a range of bills that was all passed, leading to new branches of government departments to form. Also, because of F. Roosevelt’s popularity and the power gained by the Democrats: legislation was able to be passed smoothly.
How well are (a) women and (b) ethnic minorities represented in the make-up of Congress? (a). Women and ethnic minorities are both under represented in the make-up of Congress. In the Senate, there are roughly around 17 women senators out of the 100. (b). Ethnic minorities have roughly 40 within the House, however in the Senate it bounces from 0 – 2. Reasons to ethnic minorities having more congressmen in the House than Senate would be due to the way they are elected; via the population. This also means that gerrymandering can happen, therefore it would be easy to get elected; rather than Senates is state based and African-Americans are minorities in all the states. One other reason would be that to run for Senate it is much more expensive to run than House; similar to previous reasons as running for a seat in House you can campaign in small areas, whereas running for Senate you must campaign the whole state.
Explain the roles of (a) the House Speaker; (b) majority and minority leaders. (a). The House Speaker has the power to referral; this means they are able to select which bills and discussions will come into place. They also put certain bills to certain committees, this can be an advantage and disadvantage as they can purposely put it through a committee they know that will pass the bill; or purposely put it through a committee that they know will decline it. The House Speaker also appoints the chairmen. (b). The majority leader also has the power to referral, while the minority leader chooses who from their party goes on what committee.
Explain the role of congressional standing committees. Standing committees are considered the most important type because they consider and shape the
vast majority of proposed laws. They also conduct investigations, such as the Senate Banking Committee’s investigation of President Bill Clinton’s Whitewater investments.
Why is the House Rules Committee so important? They are important as they determine how a bill will come to the floor of the House for a vote. They also decide how long the debate will be (unlike Senate, the House does not have unlimited time to debate on a bill) – they set out the rules of the debate, for example, stating whether any amendments can be made to the bill at this stage.
What is the role of conference committees in Congress? This occurs when the House and Senate need to reconcile different versions of the same bill. It is made up of members from both houses committees that originally considered the bill. Once the committee agrees on a compromise, the revised bill is returned to both houses of Congress for their approval.
Explain what congressional select committees do. These are temporarily formed for specific purposes, often to take a closer look at a particular issue. They usually do not draft legislation. Some, like the select committees to investigate the assassinations of JFK and MLK are obviously intended to have limited lives. Others, like the selection committee on aging and the selecting committee on Indian affairs, have existed for a number of years actually produce legislation. Sometimes long-standing select committees eventually become standing committees.
Explain how people come to chair congressional committees. This happens due to the seniority rule: this means the person longest on the committee will get to be chair of the congressional committees. They can also be appointed by the speaker.
Write a brief synopsis of the legislative process in Congress.
The First Reading
Committee Stage -Bills are assigned to a committee or pigeonholed. -If bills are considered, hearings are held. -Amendments are made in the mark-up session. -Lastly, the bill is reported out.
Timetabling -House: Rules Committee decides which bills will be debated under what conditions. -Senate: Majority and Minority leaders come to an agreement about the bill/conditions.
Second reading -Bill is now considered by the entire chamber and further amendments can be made. -In Senate: Filibustering can occur – 60 senators can vote for a cloture motion.
Third Reading -Final debate. -Further vote is taken.
Conference committee -If there is a significant difference between the versions of the bills.
The president and legislation -Forward to president. -President can veto. – Override a veto: 2/3 majority in both houses.
Explain what options the president has once bills are passed to him. They can sign it, veto it or just leave it lying on their desk.
Explain, with examples, the significance of the president’s veto power. Using the veto too often creates an impressions that the President in inflexible and unable to reach compromises; an example of this would be Franklin Roosevelt. Another thing it can show is their authority; an example of this would be George Bush in 2006 – when he veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 without an override attempt.
What factors affect voting by members of Congress? One factor would be that congressmen would vote in support/against a bill on behalf of their consistent support as they are representing them. Another factor would be the support congressmen get from PACs and pressure groups; this would impact on the way they vote on bills as the supporters would have a particular view on things and congressmen would vote that way. The views of the party they are in would also affect the way they vote.
Explain why and how Congress’ oversight of the executive underwent a significant change in January 2007. A period of inertia would be post 9/11 – When the Democrats who were elected in the congressional elections of 2006 took office, they began to look into Bush’s government; especially the late response to Hurricane Katrina.
What is the public’s view of Congress? How does this differ from their view of their own senators and representatives? The public may see Congress as a broken branch of government; especially currently as the Republicans are the majority in the House and the Democrats in the Senate. They therefore would make decisions based on their party’s policies/views rather than thinking about the nation as a whole. On a smaller scale, certain districts may have a positive view on Congress; this could be due to pork-barrel politics.
Explain the term “gridlock” When the word gridlock is used, this means that it is impossible to get anything done; especially passing legislation. This would be due to the disagreements among the legislature. An example of this would be the October 2013 Government shutdown.