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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How to Select a US Member of the House of Representatives, Part 1 of 2

Referring to the foundation for this process as How to Select an American President by James A. George with James A. Rodger © 2107 Archway Publishing, here is how to apply it to selecting a representative to Congress.

To perform the responsibility as a citizen to recruit, evaluate, and select candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, I propose the following process:

1.              Define the job
2.              Derive skill, knowledge, and experience requirements
3.              Solicit candidate resumes
4.              Compare resumes with the requirements and seek to verify the candidate's claims
5.              Score the resumes
6.              Select the highest scoring candidates

Also, refer to these additional articles:

First, begin by understanding the Job Model for a US Member of the House of Representatives.

As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government’s legislative branch. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must: (1) be at least twenty-five years old; (2) have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years; and (3) be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state they represent.

As with other Constitutionally-defined requirements, they are out of date and wholly inadequate. Yet, leave it to Congress to correct that. They won’t.

We the People and our political parties can force changes and improvements.

Understand that at the time of the birth of the nation, citizens didn’t live that long and rose to maturity in life early. The economy was largely agrarian and the population was sparse. The nation has grown and is vastly more complex as are the needs of the people.

Job Model of a US Member of the House of Representatives

“Whether working on Capitol Hill or in his/her congressional district, a representative’s schedule is extremely busy. Often beginning early in the morning with topical briefings, most representatives move quickly among caucus and committee meetings and hearings. They vote on bills, speak with constituents and other groups, and review constituent mail, press clips and various reports. Work can continue into the evening with receptions or fundraising events. 

Task 1: Represent the needs and issues of constituents of their respective Districts.
Subtask 1.1: Meet with and listen to constituents
Subtask 1.2: Communicate with constituents
Subtask 1.3: Share their sources and contributors to legislative content

Task 2: Create laws, amend, and retire them.
2.1: Create implementation schedules.
2.2. Define systems for implementing laws and regulations.
2.3. Enact budgets and funding mechanisms.

Task 3: Caucus and participate in Committee meetings.
Subtask 3.1: Collaborate with members
Subtask 3.2: Acquire knowledge about legislative topics through participation
Subtask 3.3: Negotiate and compromise

Task 4: Research and review sources of legislative input.
Subtask 4.1: Engage external sources of expertise
Subtask 4.2: Consult with Department heads
Subtask 4.3: Engaged representatives of the Executive Branch

Task 5: Vote for or against political measures, motions, and bills

Task 6: Impeach as necessary.

“The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, which, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration. In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers which include the power to initiate all bills related to revenue, the impeachment of federal officers, who are sent to trial in the Senate, and in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for President, the duty falls upon the House to elect one of the top three recipients of electors for that office, with one vote given to each state for that purpose.
The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, who is elected by the members thereof and is therefore traditionally the leader of the controlling party. He or she and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conferences, depending on whichever party has more voting members. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol. 
The party with a majority of seats in the House is known as the majority party. The next-largest party is the minority party. The Speaker, committee chairs, and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts (for instance, the "ranking members" of committees) in the minority party. committees) in the minority party. 
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Former Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller confer with President Barack Obama at the Oval Office in 2009. 
The Constitution provides that the House may choose its own Speaker.[33] Although not explicitly required by the Constitution, every Speaker has been a member of the House. The Constitution does not specify the duties and powers of the Speaker, which are instead regulated by the rules and customs of the House. Speakers have a role both as a leader of the House and the leader of their party (which need not be the majority party; theoretically, a member of the minority party could be elected as Speaker with the support of a fraction of members of the majority party). Under the Presidential 
Succession Act (1947), the Speaker is second in the line of presidential succession behind the Vice President. 
The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House but does not preside over every debate. Instead, s/he delegates the responsibility of presiding to other members in most cases. The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the House chamber. The powers of the presiding officer are extensive; one important power is that of controlling the order in which members of the House speak. No member may make a speech or a motion unless s/he has first been recognized by the presiding officer. Moreover, the presiding officer may rule on a "point of order" (a member's objection that a rule has been breached); the decision is subject to appeal to the whole House. 
Speakers serve as chairs of their party's steering committee, which is responsible for assigning party members to other House committees. The Speaker chooses the chairmen of standing committees, appoints most of the members of the Rules Committee, appoints all members of conference committees, and determines which committees consider bills.Each party elects a floor leader, who is known as the Majority Leader or Minority Leader. The Minority Leader heads his party in the House, and the Majority Leader is his party's second-highest-ranking official, behind the Speaker. Party leaders decide what legislation members of their party should either support or oppose. 
Each party also elects a whip, who works to ensure that the party's members vote as the party leadership desires. The current majority whip in the House of Representatives is Steve Scalise, who is a member of the Republican Party. The current minority whip is Steny Hoyer, who is a member of the Democratic Party. The whip is supported by chief deputy whips. 
In the 112th Congress, the Democratic Party has an additional Assistant Minority Leader, Jim Clyburn, who ranks between the whips and the caucus/conference chair.After the whips, the next ranking official in the House party's leadership is the Party Conference Chair (styled as the Republican Conference Chair and Democratic Caucus Chair). 
After the Conference Chair, there are differences between each party's subsequent leadership ranks. After the Democratic Caucus Chair is the Campaign Committee Chair (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee), then the co-chairs of the Steering Committee. For the Republicans it is the Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee, followed by the Campaign Committee Chairman (styled as the National Republican Congressional Committee). 
The chairs of House committees, particularly influential standing committees such as Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Rules, are powerful but not officially part of House leadership hierarchy. Until the post of Majority Leader was created, the Chair of Ways and Means was the de facto majority leader.

Be sure to read Part 2: 

U.S. House of Representatives 

1 comment:

  1. This is a reminder about this advice about how to select elected representatives.