📚

All Subjects

 > 

🏛️ 

AP Gov

 > 

⚖️

Unit 2

2.3 Congressional Behavior

2 min readapril 29, 2020

Samantha Howey


Representatives represent their constituents, obviously.
Here are some examples of what they do:
  • vote on legislation ✅
  • help their constituents to deal with the government
  • receive complaints about federal services and act on them
  • sponsor voters who seek scholarships or government contracts 💵
  • receive the constituents’ suggestions on how to improve the government 🦻

Models of Representation

When a representative acts on the wills and wishes of their constituency it is considered the delegate model 😁. For example, a representative from a rural district will listen to their constituents' problems with the lack of financial resources for a hospital. That representative would go back to Washington to introduce legislation on this issue or support legislation on this topic when acting as a delegate.
Representatives will listen to their constituents, but will use their best judgment when deciding to vote. This is called the trustee model 🤔. An example of this is a representative voting against tax cuts because they feel they won’t do good for the nation, but a sizable portion of their constituents support the tax cuts.
The politico model involves both the trustee model and delegate model 😎. Legislators follow their own judgment until the public becomes vocal about a particular matter, then they follow the wills of their constituents. 

Divided Governments

Ideological divisions within Congress can lead to gridlock or create the need for negotiation and compromise.
Elections occasionally lead to divided governments. This can lead to partisan votes against presidential initiatives and congressional refusal to confirm appointments of “lame-duck” presidents of the opposite party.
Gerrymandering, redistricting, and unequal representation of constituencies have been partially addressed by the Supreme Court decision in Baker v. Carr (1962), which opened the door to equal protection challenges to redistricting and started the “one person, one vote” doctrine, and the no-racial-gerrymandering decision in Shaw v. Reno (1993).
🎥 Watch: AP GOPO - Congress' Committee System

Resources:

Was this guide helpful?

🔍 Are you ready for college apps?
Take this quiz and find out!
Start Quiz
FREE AP gov Survival Pack + Cram Chart PDF
Sign up now for instant access to 2 amazing downloads to help you get a 5
Join us on Discord
Thousands of students are studying with us for the AP US Government exam.
join now
Play this on HyperTyper
Practice your typing skills while reading Congressional Behavior
Start Game
💪🏽 Are you ready for the US Gov exam?
Take this quiz for a progress check on what you’ve learned this year and get a personalized study plan to grab that 5!
START QUIZ
Hours Logo
Studying with Hours = the ultimate focus mode
Start a free study session
📱 Stressed or struggling and need to talk to someone?
Talk to a trained counselor for free. It's 100% anonymous.
Text FIVEABLE to 741741 to get started.
© 2021 Fiveable, Inc.