Essay Questions

1. Examine the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate. Examine the ways in which their procedures differ and the reasons for these differences.

2. In the context of the concept of checks and balances, discuss the degree to which and the ways in which Congress exercises powers that are not legislative in nature. Be sure to indicate why Congress holds these powers and the extent to which these powers are used.

3. Discuss the development of majority–minority districts. Be sure to define this concept and provide a historical examination of how they came about. What results have come about because of their existence?

4. To what degree is it reasonable to expect racial and ethnic minority members of Congress to go beyond representing the constituents of their districts and states to representing members of their races/ethnicities? Do we see this occurring in Congress? If so, to what degree and how?

5. Why is it important to have descriptive representation in Congress for racial and ethnic minorities?