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Congressional Leadership/Crash Course Government and Politics

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Congressional Leadership/Crash Course Government and Politics


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Type: Audio/Video


In this episode, Craig Benzine explores the leadership structure of congress. We'll break out the clone machine to examine the responsibilities of the speaker of the house, the majority, and minority leaders, as well as the majority and minority whips in both the Senate and the House. As the leadership heavily influences assignments to committees and acts as the primary point of contact with the media, they wield significant power in influencing the public dialog.

Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 12
United States Government
11 ) Evaluate constitutional provisions of the legislative branch of the government of the United States, including checks by the legislative branch on other branches of government.

•  Comparing rules of operations and hierarchies of Congress, including roles of the Speaker of the House, the Senate President Pro Tempore, majority and minority leaders, and party whips
•  Identifying the significance of Congressional committee structure and types of committees
•  Tracing the legislative process, including types of votes and committee action, from a bill's presentation to presidential action
Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Government
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Compare the composition and organization of both bodies of the U.S. Congress as well as the roles and responsibilities of congressional leadership.
  • Explain the formal and informal process by which a bill becomes a law.
  • Identify the key constitutional provisions of the legislative branch including power and limitations.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • bicameral
  • Senator
  • Representative
  • checks and balances
  • congressional committee
  • Speaker of the House
  • Senate President Pro Tempore
  • majority/minority leader
  • majority/minority whip
Students know:
  • Powers granted to the legislative branch by the Constitution as well as limitations placed on the legislative branch by other branches.
  • Roles and responsibilities of various offices in the U.S. Congress, including committee framework.
  • Process by which a bill becomes a law including informal influences on the outcome of a bill's passing and composition.
Students are able to:
  • Classify powers of the legislative branch over other branches as well as checks on the legislative branch by other branches.
  • List in chronological order the steps by which a bill becomes a law while identifying at what points other factors may influence the ability of the bill to be passed, including lobbying efforts, as well as the composition of the bill, such as riders or amendment.
Students understand that:
  • The constitutional framework of the legislative branch, as well as how informal processes and organizational considerations, have shaped the modern U.S. Congress.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.USG.AAS.12.11- Define legislative branch of government; identify the major roles and/or responsibilities of the legislative branch of government, recognize the legislative branch is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate and identify the differences between them.
SS.USG.AAS.12.11a- List in chronological order the steps by which a bill becomes a law.

Tags: committees, congressional leadership, majority leader, minority leader, speaker of the house
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Author: Ginger Boyd