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Congress and Its Members

Congress and Its Members

15th Edition

Congress and Its Members is the gold standard for the Congress course.

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July 2015 | 616 pages | CQ Press
[Congress and Its Members] is the gold standard to which all Congress texts should aspire.”
- Ross Baker, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Congress and Its Members is the gold standard for courses on the U.S. Congress. It offers comprehensive coverage of the legislative branch and its process by looking at the tension between Congress as a lawmaking institution and as a collection of re-election-minded politicians. The Fifteenth Edition covers the 2014 midterm elections and includes discussions of the agenda of the new Congress, White House-Capitol Hill relations, party and committee leadership changes, judicial appointments, and partisan polarization. Offering a balance of great scholarship and currency, this best seller features lively case material along with relevant data, charts, exhibits, maps, and photos. 
Part I: In Search of the Two Congresses
Chapter 1: The Two Congresses
The Dual Nature of Congress  
The Two Congresses in Comparative Context  
Divergent Views of Congress  
Chapter 2: Evolution of the Modern Congress
Antecedents of Congress  
Congress in the Constitution  
Institutional Evolution  
Evolution of the Legislator’s Job  
Part II: A Congress of Ambassadors
Chapter 3: Going for It: Recruitment and Candidacy
Formal Rules of the Game  
Districting in the House  
Becoming a Candidate  
Nominating Politics  
Chapter 4: Making It: The Electoral Game
Campaign Strategies  
Campaign Resources  
Campaign Techniques  
The Parallel Campaigns  
Who Votes?  
How Voters Decide  
Election Outcomes  
Chapter 5: Being There: Hill Styles and Home Styles
Hill Styles  
Looking Homeward  
Office of the Member Inc.  
Members and the Media  
Part III: A Deliberative Assembly of One Nation
Chapter 6: Leaders and Parties in Congress
The Speaker of the House
Leaders of the Senate
Selection of Leaders
Leadership Activities
Party Caucuses, Committees, and Informal Groups
Party Continuity and Change
Chapter 7: Committees: Workshops of Congress
The Purposes of Committees  
Evolution of the Committee System  
Types of Committees  
The Assignment Process  
Committee Leadership  
Policy Making in Committee  
Committee Staff  
Committee Reform and Change  
Chapter 8: Congressional Rules and Procedures
Introduction of Bills  
Referral of Bills  
Scheduling in the House  
House Floor Procedures  
Scheduling in the Senate  
Senate Floor Procedures  
Resolving House-Senate Differences  
Chapter 9: Decision Making in Congress
The Power to Choose  
Types of Decisions  
Determinants of Voting  
Legislative Bargaining  
Part IV: Policy Making and Change in the Two Congresses
Chapter 10: Congress and the President
The President as Legislator  
The Veto Power  
Sources of Legislative-Executive Cooperation  
Sources of Legislative-Executive Conflict  
The Balance of Power  
Chapter 11: Congress and the Bureaucracy
Congress Organizes the Executive Branch  
Congressional Control of the Bureaucracy  
Chapter 12: Congress and the Courts
The Federal Courts  
The Court as Referee and Umpire  
Advice and Consent for Judicial Nominees  
Chapter 13: Congress and Organized Interests
American Pluralism  
Pressure Group Methods  
Groups and the Electoral Connection  
Groups, Lobbying, and Legislative Politics  
Regulation of Lobbying  
Chapter 14: Congress, Budgets, and Domestic Policy Making
Stages of Policy Making  
Types of Domestic Policies  
Characteristics of Congressional Policy Making  
Congressional Budgeting  
The 1974 Budget Act  
Chapter 15: Congress and National Security Policies
Constitutional Powers  
Who Speaks for Congress?  
Types of Foreign and National Security Policies  
Structural Policies  
Strategic Policies  
Crisis Policies: The War Powers  
Part V: Conclusion
Chapter 16: The Two Congresses and the American People
Twenty-First-Century Challenges  

Congress and Its Members is very nearly perfect. I have found its structure to be enormously useful, and given how broad a goal it has, I think it works great. In particular, it is very well written and contains plenty of good examples that are essential to bringing such a peculiar institution as Congress to life. It is very clear the authors are experts on the topic, not just from an academic perspective but also from day-to-day real life experience.”

Elizabeth Palmer
University of Arizona

“I have used it throughout my teaching career because it is so complete and so easy for the students to understand.…It is simply the best one can get.”

Kenneth Cosgrove
Suffolk University

[Congress and Its Members] is the gold standard to which all Congress texts should aspire. It is comprehensive, well written, and well organized....The recent addition of Lee and Schickler as co-authors brings to the book freshness of perspective and good solid knowledge of the way Congress works.”

Ross Baker
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 6

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Roger H. Davidson

Roger H. Davidson is professor emeritus of government and politics at the University of Maryland, and has served as visiting professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. During the 2001–2002 academic year, he served as the John Marshall Chair in political science at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. His books include Remaking Congress: Change and Stability in the 1990’s, co-edited with James A. Thurber (1995), and Understanding the Presidency, Seventh Edition, co-edited with James P. Pfiffner (2012). Davidson is co-editor with Donald C.... More About Author

Walter Joseph Oleszek

Walter J. Oleszek is a senior specialist in the legislative process at the Congressional Research Service. He has served as either a full-time professional staff aide or consultant to every major House and Senate congressional reorganization effort beginning with passage of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970. In 1993 he served as Policy Director of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress. A longtime adjunct faculty member at American University, Oleszek is a frequent lecturer to various academic, governmental, and business groups. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Congressional Procedures and the... More About Author

Frances E. Lee

Frances E. Lee is professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland. She has been a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution and an APSA Congressional Fellow. Most recently, she is the author of Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign (2016). She is also author of Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles, and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate (2009), which received the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for the best book on legislative politics in 2010 and the D. B. Hardeman Prize for the best book on the U.S. Congress published in 2009. She is co-author, with Bruce I. Oppenheimer, of Sizing Up the Senate: The... More About Author

Eric Schickler

Eric Schickler is Jeffrey & Ashley McDermott Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Disjointed Pluralism: Institutional Innovation and the Development of the U.S. Congress (2001), which won the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for the best book on legislative politics in 2002, and of Racial Realignment: The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932–1965 (2016). He is also the co-author, with Donald Green and Bradley Palmquist, of Partisan Hearts and Minds (2002); with Gregory Wawro, of Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate (2006), which won the Fenno Prize in 2007;... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781483388885