Kevin McCarthy (California politician)
Kevin Owen McCarthy is an American politician serving in the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the current House Minority Leader, having served as House Majority Leader from August 2014 to January 2019, he has been the U. S. Representative for California's 23rd congressional district since 2007; the 23rd district, numbered as the 22nd district from 2007 to 2013, is based in Bakersfield and includes large sections of Kern County and Tulare County as well as part of the Quartz Hill neighborhood in northwest Los Angeles County. He was chairman of the California Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation. McCarthy worked as district director for U. S. Representative Bill Thomas, in 2000 was elected as a trustee to the Kern Community College District, he served in the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2006, the last two years as Minority Leader. When Thomas retired from the U. S. House in 2006, McCarthy won the election. McCarthy was elected to House leadership as the Republican Chief Deputy Whip, from 2009 to 2011, House Majority Whip, from 2011 until August 2014, when he was elected House Majority Leader to replace the outgoing Eric Cantor, defeated in his primary election.
After announcing his candidacy for Speaker on September 28, 2015, he dropped out of the race on October 8 in favor of Paul Ryan. When the Republicans lost their majority in the 2018 midterm elections, McCarthy was subsequently elected as House Minority Leader, making him the first California Republican to hold the post. McCarthy was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Speaker in 2019. McCarthy was born in Bakersfield, the son of Roberta Darlene, a homemaker, Owen McCarthy, an assistant city fire chief. McCarthy is a fourth-generation resident of Kern County, he is the first Republican in his immediate family, as his parents were members of the Democratic Party. He attended California State University, where he obtained a B. S. in marketing in 1989 and an M. B. A. in 1994. In 1995, he was chairman of the California Young Republicans. From 1999 to 2001, he was chairman of the Young Republican National Federation. From the late 1990s until 2000, he was district director for U. S. Representative Bill Thomas, who, at the time, chaired the House Ways and Means Committee.
McCarthy won his first election as a Kern Community College District trustee. McCarthy was elected to the California State Assembly in 2002, becoming Republican floor leader during his freshman term in 2003, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2006. McCarthy entered the Republican primary for California's 22nd District after his former boss, Bill Thomas, announced his retirement, he won the three-way Republican primary—the real contest in this Republican district—with 85 percent of the vote. He won the general election with 70.7% of the vote. McCarthy was unopposed for a second term. No party put up a candidate, McCarthy won a third term with 98.8% of the vote, with opposition coming only from a write-in candidate. Redistricting before the 2012 election resulted in McCarthy's district being renumbered as the 23rd District, it became somewhat more compact, losing its share of the Central Coast while picking up large parts of Tulare County. This district was as Republican as its predecessor, McCarthy won a fourth term with 73.2% of the vote vs. 26.8% for independent, No Party Preference opponent, Terry Phillips.
In his bid for a fifth term, McCarthy faced a Democratic challenger for the first time since his initial run for the seat, Raul Garcia. However, McCarthy was reelected with 74.8% of the vote. McCarthy won re-election to a sixth term in 2016 with 69.2% of the vote in the general election. McCarthy was reelected to a seventh term with 64.3 percent of the vote, with Democratic challenger Tatiana Matta receiving 35.7 percent of the vote. After the Republicans lost their majority in the 2018 elections, McCarthy was elected as House Minority Leader, fending off a challenge to his right from Jim Jordan of Ohio, 159-43. While as House Majority Leader he was second-in-command to the Speaker, as Minority Leader he is the leader of the House Republicans. Committee assignments Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer CreditCaucus memberships Congressional Western Caucus House Republican steering committee House Republican chief deputy whip, 2009–2011 House majority whip, 2011–2014 House majority leader, 2014–2018As a freshman congressman, McCarthy was appointed to the Republican steering committee.
Republican leader John Boehner appointed him chairman of the Republican platform committee during the committee's meetings in Minneapolis in August 2008, which produced the Republican Party Platform for 2008. He was one of the three founding members of the GOP Young Guns Program. After the 2008 elections, he was chosen as chief deputy minority whip, the highest-ranking appointed position in the House Republican Conference, his predecessor, Eric Cantor, was named minority whip. On November 17, 2010, he was selected by the House Republican Conference to be the House majority whip in the 112th Congress. In this post, he was the third-ranking House Republican, behind House speaker John Boehner and majority leader Eric Cantor. In August 2011, McCarthy and Cantor led a group of 30 Republican members of Congress to Israel, where some members took part in a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee, including one member—Representative
Thomas Miller McClintock II is an American politician, the U. S. Representative for California's 4th congressional district, serving since 2009. A member of the Republican Party, he served as an assemblyman and state senator. McClintock unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in the California recall election and for Lieutenant Governor of California in the 2006 election. McClintock was born in White Plains, New York and graduated in 1978 from UCLA. Aged 23, he was elected Chairman of the Ventura County Republican Party, served until 1981, he was chief of staff to State Senator Ed Davis from 1980 to 1982. From 1992 to 1994, he served as the director of the Center for the California Taxpayer, he was director of the Claremont Institute's Golden State Center for Policy Studies from 1995–96. McClintock ran for California's 36th State Assembly district, based in Thousand Oaks, in 1982 at the age of 26 after redistricting, he defeated Democrat Harriet Kosmo Henson 56–44%. In 1984, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Tom Jolicoeur 72–28%.
In 1986, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Frank Nekimken 73–25%. In 1988, he won re-election to a fourth term, defeating George Webb II 70–29%. In 1990, he won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Ginny Connell 59–36%. After running for Congress in 1992 and for controller in 1994, he decided to run for the Assembly again in 1996, he ran for California's 38th State Assembly district and defeated Democrat Jon Lauritzen 56–40% to win his sixth assembly term. In 1998, McClintock won re-election to a seventh term unopposed, he authored California's lethal injection use for California's death penalty law. He opposed tax increases and supported spending cuts, he was a strong proponent of abolishing the car tax. In 2000, he decided to retire from the California Assembly to run for California's 19th State Senate district, he ranked first in the May 7th open primary with 52% of the vote. In November, he defeated Democrat Daniel Gonzalez 58–42%. In 2004, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Paul Joseph Graber 61–39%.
In 2008, McClintock voted against Proposition 2, which prohibits confining calves and hens in small cages in which they cannot extend their limbs. "Farm animals are food, not friends", he said in response to backlash to his no vote. He cited concern about increased grocery bills. McClintock has a long history of opposing various tax increases. In 2000 he was instrumental in proposing a two-thirds reduction in the vehicle license fee, or car tax. In 2003, he opposed then-Governor Gray Davis's attempt to rescind a rollback of a vehicle license fee. McClintock has opposed deficit reduction efforts that would have increased taxes, he supported performance-based budgeting. He ran for California State Controller, he won the Republican primary, defeating John Morris, 61–39%. In the general election, he faced Kathleen Connell, former Special Assistant to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and Director of L. A. Housing Authority. Despite the fact that Connell outspent McClintock by a 3-to-1 margin, McClintock only lost by two percentage points, 48–46%, with three other candidates receiving the other 6% of the vote.
McClintock ran for State Controller again in 2002, facing Democratic nominee Steve Westly, an eBay executive. Westly outspent him 5-to-1. McClintock's campaigns focused on increasing accountability for the state budget; the ads featured the character Angus McClintock, a fictional cousin and fellow Scottish American extolling Tom McClintock's virtues of thriftiness and accountability with low-budget fifteen-second ads. He lost by a margin of just 0.2%, or 16,811 votes behind Westley, who won with a plurality of 45.3% of the vote. McClintock obtained 45.1% of the vote, while three other candidates obtained a combined 9.5% of the vote. In 2003, he ran for the recall election against incumbent Democrat Gray Davis. Republican and film actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won the election with 49% of the vote. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante finished second with 31% of the vote, about 17 points behind Schwarzenegger. McClintock finished in third place with 14% of the vote, about 35 points behind Schwarzenegger.
Together, Republicans Schwarzenegger and McClintock were supported by 5,363,778 Californians, or 62.1% of the vote. 132 other candidates obtained the remaining 6.4% of the vote. McClintock performed the best in Stanislaus County, he cracked 20% or higher in several other counties: Mariposa, Tehama, Madera, Shasta, San Joaquin, Ventura. He ran for lieutenant governor in the 2006 elections, he defeated Tony Farmer in the Republican primary, 94–6%. In the general election, he lost to Democratic State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi 49–45%. 1992After redistricting, State Assemblyman McClintock decided to retire in order to challenge Democratic U. S. Congressman Anthony C. Beilenson in California's 24th congressional district, he won the nine-candidate Republican primary with a plurality of 34% of the vote, beating second-place finisher Sang Korman by eleven percentage points. Beilenson defeated McClintock 56–39%. 2008 On March 4, 2008, McClintock announced his candidacy for the U. S. House of Representatives in California's 4th congressional district, hundreds of miles away from the district McClintock represented in the state Senate.
The district's nine-term incumbent, fellow Republican John Doolittle, decided to retire. McClintock was unable to vote for himself in either the general election. Although he lived in Elk Grove, near Sacramento, for most of the year, his legal residence was in
Paul Cook (politician)
Paul Joseph Cook is an American politician, the U. S. Representative for California's 8th congressional district since 2013, he served as a member of California State Assembly from 2006 to 2012 and on the Yucca Valley town council from 1998 until 2006. He is a Republican. Cook was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1943, he was raised in Meriden and did not permanently move to California until the end of his military career. In 1966, he graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, earning a B. S. in teaching. That year, he joined the United States Marine Corps; as an infantry officer, Cook served in the Vietnam War. His actions in combat earned him many honors, including two Purple Hearts, he served in the Marine Corps for 26 years. After he retired from the Marine Corps in 1992 as a colonel, he earned an MPA from California State University, San Bernardino in 1996 and a master's in political science from University of California Riverside in 2000. From 1993 to 1994, he was Director of Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce.
From 1998 to 2002, he was a professor at Copper Mountain College. Cook taught courses on political violence and terrorism at University of California Riverside since 2002. In 2006, Cook ran for California's 65th Assembly District. Cook won a five candidate Republican primary field with 29% of the vote. In the general election, Cook defeated Democrat Rita Ramirez-Dean 60%–37%. In 2008, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Carl Wood 53%–47%. In 2010, he won re-election to a third term, defeating Wood again 58%–42%.. The 65th district included the cities of Banning, Big Bear Lake, Cherry Valley, Moreno Valley, San Jacinto, Sun City, Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley and other smaller communities and unincorporated areas in Riverside County and San Bernardino County; the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Taxpayers Association gave Cook a perfect 100% rating, 2007–2011. In 2010, Democratic Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez appointed Cook to chair the Veterans Affairs Committee, the first time a Democratic speaker had appointed a Republican to chair a committee since 2002.
Accountability and Administrative Review Committee Budget Committee Emergency Management Committee Governmental Organization Committee Higher Education Committee Inland Empire Transportation Issues Committee Master Plan for Higher Education Preservation of California's Entertainment Industry Committee Sunset Review Committee Veterans Affairs Committee Judiciary Committee In January 2012, 34-year incumbent Jerry Lewis announced he would not seek re-election in November. Cook entered the primary for the district, renumbered from the 41st to the 8th in redistricting, he finished second in the 13-candidate all-party open primary. He earned 15% of the vote. Fellow Republican and conservative activist Gregg Imus ranked first with 16% of the vote. Cook was endorsed by the California Off-Road Vehicle Association past presidents, the San Bernardino Sun, National Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition, the County Farm Bureau, state Assemblyman Steve Knight, state Senator Sharon Runner, U. S. Congressman Ed Royce.
In the November election, Cook defeated Imus 58%–42%. In 2013, Cook co-signed a letter to president Barack Obama, urging him to finalize the Keystone XL pipeline, stating that it was about "jobs, jobs jobs." He expressed fear that China "is ready to take advantage of America's missteps with the Keystone pipeline."Early in 2017, Cook voted in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act. His reason for voting for the repeal was to ensure that "every American has access to quality care to fit their budget." In August 2017, he voted in favor of outlawing late term abortions, unless the woman was a victim of rape or incest or that her life was threatened. Cook voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. By voting for the bill, Cook says that the bill will "deliver crucial tax relief for middle-class and low-income Americans." He voted for this bill because more than 90 percent of taxpaying constituents will receive a tax break. He supports it because it simplifies the tax code. Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia Subcommittee on Terrorism and Trade Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Congressional Cement Caucus House Baltic Caucus Republican Main Street Partnership Congressional Western Caucus In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Cook was ranked the 33rd most bipartisan member of the House by the Bipartisan Index, a metric published by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy to assess congressional bipartisanship.
Cook is pro-life. Cook opposes Common Core State Standards. Cook supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, he supports legislation that "decreases premiums, makes it easier for employers to offer affordable healthcare options for their employees, allows greater freedom for people to purchase a plan of their choice." Cook believes. Cook resides in Yucca Valley with Jeanne. Congressman Paul Cook official U. S. House site Paul Cook for Congress Paul Cook at Curlie Appearances on C-SPAN Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Profile at Vote Smart Financial information at the Federal Election Commission Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
Sacramento is the capital city of the U. S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, Supreme Court of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California. Sacramento is the fastest-growing major city in California, owing to its status as a notable financial center on the West Coast and as a major educational hub, home of Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis. Sacramento is a major center for the California healthcare industry, as the seat of Sutter Health, the world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, the UC Davis School of Medicine, notable tourist destination in California, as the site of The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
Sacramento is known for its evolving contemporary culture, dubbed the most "hipster city" in California. In 2002, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento "America's Most Diverse City". Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Nisenan people indigenous peoples of California. Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento in 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican governor of Alta California granted the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to Swiss-born, Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who subsequently established Sutter's Fort and the settlement at the Rancho Nueva Helvetia. Following the American Conquest of California and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the waterfront developed by Sutter began to be developed and incorporated in 1850 as the City of Sacramento; as a result of the California Gold Rush, Sacramento became a major commercial center and distribution point for Northern California, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Nisenan and Plains Miwok Native Americans had lived in the area for thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would make Sacramento their home, these Native Americans left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, by fruits, bulbs and roots gathered throughout the year. In 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths; the air was like champagne, drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. "¡Es como el sagrado sacramento!" The valley and the river were christened after the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist. John Sutter Sr. first arrived in the area on August 13, 1839, at the divergence of the American and Sacramento Rivers with a Mexican land grant of 50,000 acres.
The next year, he and his party established Sutter's Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Representing Mexico, Sutter Sr. called his colony New Helvetia, a Swiss inspired name, was the political authority and dispenser of justice in the new settlement. Soon, the colony began to grow as more pioneers headed west. Within just a few short years, Sutter Sr. had become a grand success, owning a ten-acre orchard and a herd of thirteen thousand cattle. Fort Sutter became a regular stop for the increasing number of immigrants coming through the valley. In 1847 Sutter Sr. received 2,000 fruit trees, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. That same year, Sutter Sr. hired James Marshall to build a sawmill so that he could continue to expand his empire, unbeknownst to many, Sutter Sr.'s "empire" had been built on some thin margins of credit. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population.
In August 1848 Sutter Sr.'s son, John Sutter Jr. arrived in the area to assist his father in relieving his indebtedness. Now compounding the problem of his father's indebtedness, was the additional strain placed on the Sutters by the ongoing arrival of thousands of new gold miners and prospectors in the area, many quite content to squat on unwatched portions of the vast Sutter lands, or to abscond with various unattended Sutter properties or belongings if they could. In Sutter's case, rather than being a'boon' for Sutter, his employee's discovery of gold in the area turned out to be more of a personal'bane' for him. By December 1848, John Sutter Jr. in association with Sam Brannan, began laying out the City of Sacramento, 2 miles south of his father's settlement of New Helvetia. This venture was undertaken against the wishes of Sutter Sr. however the father, being in debt, was in no position to stop the venture. For
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem