17.2f Legislative: Powers and Functions Flashcards Preview

XVII Politics Comparing Democracies > 17.2f Legislative: Powers and Functions > Flashcards

Flashcards in 17.2f Legislative: Powers and Functions Deck (7)
Loading flashcards...

Scrutiny in Congress

Congress scrutinises the executive differently to Parliament

Separation of powers means that no executive members are members of Congress, and so there is no oversight on the floor of either chamber, as with Question Time in Parliament.

Congress can remove a member of the executive from office through impeachment.

Committees summon members of the executive to answer questions before them, however, the president does not appear before a committee.

Congress votes to confirm executive and Supreme Court appointments.

Congress votes to ratify treaties.


Scrutiny in Parliament

Parliament has many opportunities to scrutinise the executive.

Question time, including Prime Minister’s questions, provides the opportunity to question a minister’s actions and policies.

Select committees scrutinise government departments and question the ministers leading them.

Backbenchers write questions to ministers, and MPs ask about issues which affect their constituents.

A vote of no confidence can be tabled to try to remove the government and prime minister.


Lawmaking in the US

In Congress, the Senate and House of Representatives have equal lawmaking powers.

Bills must pass through both the House and the Senate, which includes a committee and voting stage before it can be signed into law by the president.

Bills pass through both houses of Congress at the same time.

If the bill fails in one of the chambers then it dies and does not become law.


Lawmaking in the UK

In Parliament, the House of Commons has more lawmaking power than the House of Lords.

The House of Lords can propose amendments and delay legislation, but lacks the power to stop bills passing into law.


Comparing lawmaking 1

In Parliament, most legislation is from the government’s legislative programme.

In Congress there is no government programme of legislation.


Comparing representation 1

Representation of constituents is highly important in Congress.

Whilst representation of constituents is still important in parliament, the party has more of an influence over parliament’s members than in Congress.


Comparing representation 2

Members of Congress prioritise representing their constituents over their party, as constituents choose each party’s candidate for Congress and vote for them in elections.

In the UK, the party has influence over MPs because they select the candidates who stand for election.

In 2016 the Republican member Tim Huelskamp lost his primary in Kansas to another Republican nominee and so could not stand for congressional election for the Republican Party.