Flashcards in 17.2e Legislative: Upper Houses of Government Deck (5)
Strengths of the Senate
The Senate has strong scrutiny powers over the other branches of government.
The Senate has the power to confirm appointments to the executive and judiciary by a majority vote.
The Senate has the power to try impeachment cases of members of the executive.
The Senate has the power to ratify treaties which have been formed and negotiated by the president.
The Senate is more prestigious than the House, with Senators serving longer six-year terms in office and representing the whole state.
Strengths of the House of Lords
The House of Lords is strong at investigating and debating important policy issues.
Members of the House of Lords are experts in different policy areas and highly experienced.
Legislative debate in the House of Lords is detailed and of a high quality.
The House of Lords represents people in society who are less well represented in public life including people from different professional backgrounds and of different political views.
Weaknesses of the Senate 1
The Senate’s legislative power is limited because it has equal legislation power to the House of Representatives.
Neither chamber can impose its will on the other meaning that they must agree for any legislation to pass.
Weaknesses of the Senate 2
The filibuster has been increasingly used in the Senate, which is a tactic of extending debate on legislation to delay a vote from taking place and stop the bill passing.
60 votes are needed to end the filibuster and vote on passing a bill which makes it harder to pass laws.
Direct scrutiny is limited to committees, which the president rarely gives evidence to.