Readers will learn how congressional powers have changed with different interpretations of the Constitution, how a colorful gallery of power brokers (famous and infamous) made its mark, and how politics (both electoral and within the Capitol) affects legislation, oversight efforts, and other actions. The volume includes a "mini-pedia" of alphabetically organized entries and the concluding chapter highlights some fascinating examples of interactions between Congress and the other branches of federal government.
In this sequel to Beyond Gridlock?—a study published at the beginning of the Clinton administration, when government was in the hands of one political party—the contributors address this dilemma.
They begin by evaluating the effectiveness of the U.S. governmental system during the first two years of the Clinton administration, when both branches were controlled by a single party. They then move to a wider debate about the state of affairs in the American political system: what are the consequences of the Republican takeover of Congress, and will fundamental changes be required to make our system work effectively? Looking to the future, they outline the prospects for governance in the months and years to come.
In addition to the editor, the contributors are Howard H. Baker, Jr., Harold R. Bruno, Jr., Becky Cain, Lloyd N. Cutler, Thomas J. Downey, Kenneth M. Duberstein, Bill Frenzel, Charles O. Jones, Thomas E. Mann, Patricia McGinnis, Milton D. Morris, Kevin P. Phillips, Robert D. Reischauer, Donald L. Robinson, Robin Toner, and Vin Weber.
Copublished with the Committee on the Constitutional System
The Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress is intended to provide greater civic understanding for young Americans and to provide a handy reference to more serious students of the legislative process in the United States. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes listing the dates Congress has been in session and all the people who have held leadership positions in Congress, a comprehensive bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on congressional leaders, elections, and legislative practices. This book is an excellent access point for high school students, college students, and anyone interested in a better understanding of the legislative process in the United States.
Problems such as the burgeoning federal deficit indicate that careerism and legislative "experience" may not be all they are cracked up to be. Proponents of term limits argue that abolishing careerism would open the political process to a new type of candidate - the aspiring citizen legislator - who wishes to take a brief time out from his or her work to make a contribution to society. But opponents of term limits counter that such a change would induce an unhealthy dependence on congressional aides and professional lobbyists. Who is correct? You decide.
The 73 Republican freshmen who entered the House of Representatives after the 1994 election were a well-organized group with majority status and a commitment to change. This book examines the extent to which they were successful in redirecting policy and reforming the institutions of representative government--and the extent to which those same institutions moderated, and even frustrated, efforts to introduce radical, rapid--indeed revolutionary--change. Contrasts are drawn both with the role of the Republican freshmen in the Senate and with the power of the President as manifested in the 1995-96 budget battle.
The book is based on interviews conducted by the author when he was an APSA Congressional Fellow in the offices of Rep. George P. Radanovich, president of the freshman Republican class, and Sen. Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.