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Act of Congress : how America's essential institution works, and how it doesn't by This is an account of how Congress today really works, and doesn't, that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken, as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest, so is our democracy. Here, the author, whose career at The Washington Post has made him a keen and knowledgeable observer of Congress, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate, revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. This book tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with the author throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. The author explains how lobbying affects a bill, or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country, more eager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. In this book the author shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails.
Call Number: HG181.K325 2013
Publication Date: 2013-05-07
Congress and the Classroom : from the Cold War to "No Child Left Behind" by
Call Number: LC89.A54 2007
Publication Date: 2008-06-12
Congress and the Nation by
Call Number: REFERENCE JK1041.C76
Publication Date: 1965 -
Congress for Dummies by
Call Number: JK1021.S55 2002
Publication Date: 2002-10-03
Congressional Ethics by
Call Number: JK1121.C66 2012
Publication Date: 2013-01-22
The American Congress : The Building of Democracy by Congress is the heart and soul of our democracy, the place where interests are brokered, laws are established, and innovation is turned into concrete action. It is also where some of democracy's greatest virtues clash with its worst vices: idealism and compromise meet corruption and bitter partisanship. The American Congress unveils the rich and varied history of this singular institution. Julian E. Zelizer has gathered together forty essays by renowned historians to capture the full drama, landmark legislation, and most memorable personalities of Congress. Organized around four major periods of congressional history, from the signing of the Constitution to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, this volume brings a fresh perspective to familiar watershed events: the Civil War, Watergate, the Vietnam War. It also gives a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known legislation debated on the House and Senate floors, such as westward expansion and war powers control. Here are the stories behind the 1868 vote to impeach President Andrew Johnson; the rise of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and a leading advocate for pacifism; and the controversy surrounding James Eastland of Mississippi, who carried civil rights bills in his pockets so they could not come up for a vote. Sidebars further spotlight notables including Huey Long, Sam Rayburn, and Tip O'Neill, bringing the sweeping history of our lawmaking bodies into sharp focus. If you've ever wondered how Congress worked in the past or what our elected officials do today, this book gives the engaging, often surprising, answers.
Publication Date: 2004-09-21
Are Changing Constituencies Driving Rising Polarization in the U.S. House of Representatives? by This report addresses two questions: first, whether the spatial distribution of the American electorate has become more geographically clustered over the last 40 years with respect to party voting and socioeconomic attributes; and second, whether this clustering process has contributed to rising polarization in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Publication Date: 2015
Congress, Presidents, and American Politics: Fifty Years of Writings and Reflections by When Lee H. Hamilton joined Congress in 1965 as a US Representative from southern Indiana, he began writing commentaries for his constituents describing his experiences, impressions, and developing views of what was right and wrong in American politics. He continued to write regularly throughout his 34 years in office and up to the present. Lively and full of his distinctive insights, Hamilton's essays provide vivid accounts of national milestones over the past fifty years: from the protests of the Sixties, the Vietnam War, and the Great Society reforms, through the Watergate and Iran-Contra affairs, to the post-9/11 years as the vice chairman of the 9/11 commission. Hamilton offers frank and sometimes surprising reflections on Congress, the presidency, and presidential character from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama. He argues that there are valuable lessons to be learned from past years, when Congress worked better than it does now. Offering history, politics, and personal reflections all at once, this book will appeal to everyone interested in understanding America of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Publication Date: 2016-04-18
Congress Investigates by For more than 200 years, Congress has conducted numerous high-level investigations that have riveted the nation, inspired landmark legislation, and transformed American history. These investigations have focused on a wide array of subjects and issues, covering some of the most significant events in our nation's past, including John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868, the Teapot Dome scandal in 1924, the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, and the attacks on September 11, 2001. These events have been turning points in American history, and they are vital to our understanding of the U.S. government and political system.
Since the publication of the first edition of Congress Investigates: A Documented History more than 35 years ago, Congress has conducted additional investigations of critical historical importance. In addition to new, in-depth articles on these recent investigations, every original article, written by distinguished historians, has been updated and includes illustrations, detailed chronologies, and brief overviews of each investigation. The authors have also added an introduction to every original document in the set, highlighting its significance and historical importance. Loaded with outstanding articles and special features, Congress Investigates: A Critical and Documentary History, Revised Edition is a definitive, comprehensive, and up-to-date reference on this fascinating subject.
Publication Date: 2011
Cycles of Spin : Strategic Communication in the U.S. Congress by How do politicians try to shape their news coverage? Sellers examines strategic communication campaigns in the U.S. Congress. He argues that these campaigns create cycles of spin: leaders create messages, rank-and-file legislators decide whether to promote those messages, journalists decide whether to cover the messages, and any coverage feeds back to influence the policy process. These four stages are closely related; decisions at one stage influence those at another. Sellers uses diverse evidence, from participant observation and press secretary interviews, to computerized content analysis and vector auto regression. The result is a comprehensive and unprecedented examination of politicians' promotional campaigns and journalists' coverage of those campaigns. Countering numerous critics of spin, Sellers offers the provocative argument that the promotional messages have their origins in the actual policy preferences of members of Congress. The campaigns to promote these messages thus can help the public learn about policy debates in Congress.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
First Person Political : Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service by In First Person Political, Grant Reeher combats the public's alienation from and distrust of politicians by putting a personal face on everyday political life. Through moving personal interviews, Reeher allows legislators to tell their own stories about how and why they came to politics, the experience of serving in their state legislature, their decisions to stay or leave, and the many trials they face in the name of public service. Reeher contends that these politicians do have the public good in mind and often suffer great personal losses for their chance to represent the people and fight for what they think is right. His research also shows that those who choose to run for office often come from a background of deep community involvement. Reeher argues against public cynicism about our elected officials, and his profiles stir not only our praise and respect for these legislators, but also a greater belief in the democratic process itself. The excerpts from his interviews provide a rarely afforded intimate look at these politicians. What emerges from these stories is a humane and believable portrait of public servants acting on behalf of the public good, a portrait that should provide some comfort, perhaps even inspiration, for citizens concerned about the state of American democracy.
Publication Date: 2006-01-30
How Congress Works and Why You Should Care by How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is a concise introduction to the functions and vital role of the U.S. Congress by eminent former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton. Drawing on 34 years as a U.S. Representative, Hamilton explains how Congress reflects the diversity of the American people, serves as a forum for finding consensus, and provides balance within the federal government. Addressing widespread public misperceptions, he outlines areas where Congress can work better and ways for citizens to become more engaged in public affairs through their representatives in Washington. How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of Congress, and how all citizens can participate in its unique mission.
Publication Date: 2004-03-01
The Last Hurrah? : Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2002 Congressional Elections by The 2002 midterm elections were noteworthy U.S. congressional campaigns for many reasons. They marked the last national contests before implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) and thus were expected by many to be the "last hurrah" for soft money. These midterm campaigns provided a window on the activity of parties, interest groups, and political consultants on the eve of BCRA, as they prepared to enter a new era of American elections. The results of Campaign 2002 were remarkable. As the party in power, the Republicans defied history by gaining seats in both houses of Congress, giving them a majority in the Senate. To some degree this resulted from the GOP's new emphasis on "ground war" voter mobilization. Another key was the unusually aggressive support of the sitting president, who leveraged his popularity to advance his party's candidates for Congress. Th e Last Hurrah? analyzes the role of soft money and issue advocacy in the 2002 battle for Congress. Having been granted access to a number of campaign operations across a broad array of groups, David Magleby, Quin Monson, and their colleagues monitored and documented a number of competitive races, including the key South Dakota and Missouri Senate contests. Each case study breaks down the campaign communication in a particular race, including devices such as advertising, get-out-the-vote drives, "soft money" expenditures, and the increasingly influential role of the national parties on local races. They also discuss the overall trends of the midterm election of 2002, paying particular attention to the impact of President Bush and his political operation in candidate recruitment, fundraising, and campaign visits. Magleby and Monson consider an important question typically overlooked. How do voters caught in the middle of a hotly contested race deal withand react toa barrage of television and radio ads, direct mail, unsolicited phone calls, and other campaign communications? They conclude with a look to the future, using the trends in 2002 to understand just how candidates, political parties, and interest groups might respond to the new campaign environment of BCRA.
Publication Date: 2004-04-08
Party Lines : Competition, Partisanship, and Congressional Redistricting by The legitimacy of the American electoral system depends on sustaining reasonable levels of fairness, accountability, responsiveness, and common sense. Recent Congressional elections fly in the face of those requirements, however, with a startling lack of competition, growing ideological polarization, and a fierce struggle between the parties to manipulate the electoral rules of the game. Party Lines addresses these problems head on in an authoritative and timely analysis of redistricting in the United States. The practice of state legislatures redrawing district lines after the decennial census has long been a controversial aspect of our governing system. Recent developments have added new urgency to earlier debates. The sorry spectacle of mid-decade partisan gerrymandering in Texas renewed public attention to the potential problems of redistricting, reinforcing the view that it is unfairly dominated by self-serving elected officials and parties. The perfunctory character of Congressional elections is another growing problemin 2002, only four House incumbents were defeated in the general election, the lowest in American history. Despite a hotly contested presidential contest in 2004, that number increased by only three. In Pa rty Lines, eminent political analysts explain the legal and political history of redistricting since the one personone vote revolution in the 1960s and place it in the larger context of American politics. The authors document the impact of redistricting on competition, polarization, and partisan fairness, and they assess the role technology played in the redistricting process. The final chapter analyzes options for reform, including most importantly the use of independent redistricting commissions as an alternative to the normal state legislative process. Redistricting reform is no panacea but it is a start toward ensuring that American voters still have the largest say in who will represent them. Contributors include Micah Altman (Harvard Universtity), Bruce Cain and Karin MacDonald (University of California, Berkeley),Cherie Maestas (Texas Tech), Sandy Maisel (Colby College), Thomas Mann (Brookings), Michael McDonald (George Mason University), Nathaniel Persily (University of Pennsylvania ), and Walter Stone (University of California, Davis).
Publication Date: 2008-05-31
U. S. Congress by The checks and balances written into the Constitution helped create one of the most democratic structures in our government, Congress, the ideals of which has inspired numerous other countries’ leaders since our country’s founding. However, with managing the opinions and views of so many groups comes a complex structure that now, more than ever, each American should try to understand. From the budget process to the development of new legislation affecting our day-to-day life, this guide concisely outlines the systems within Congress so any citizen can understand them and more effectively participate as voters.
Publication Date: 2013-05-31