HOW ARE MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE BRANCH INFLUENCED IN THEIR DECISION MAKING BY THEIR POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE PARTY?
a. Attention getting story or quote
b. Present issue
c. Present party affiliations in Congress
2. How does party influence come into play
3. Does the party completely control the decisions made by its individual members?
a. No, some, like the Blue Dog Coalition (made up of fiscally conservative Democrats) or possibly more liberal Republics.
b. Also account for Independents like Lieberman, who although usually votes with the Democrats, can, like in the instance of Health Reform, lean more with the Republicans.
4. Example—health care reform
a. Although not exactly a division between democrats and republicans, (some cross party lines to vote) almost exclusively a democratic initiative.
b. Since FDR in 1935 wanted to include some national health insurance in social security, Democrats have seemed to have a mission in this regard
i. Republicans have had some interest, but often just to counter the attention paid by the Democrats
ii. Earlier this year, this pet project of Obama, was taken on by the Speaker and the Majority leader. Five congressional committees were formed, all chaired by Democrats.
c. House passed on November 7, narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system. Lawmakers there voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years and provide coverage to most American citizens who currently do not have it.
i. Concessions had to be made
ii. Only one Republican, Representative Anh Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill, and 39 Democrats opposed it
iii. had to severely weaken their position on the public option and on abortion to get the measure passed
d. Nov. 18, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada introduced an $848 billion plan in Senate
i. But the health care issue has become so fraught with controversy that...