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Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process
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Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process

Eleventh Edition


October 2019 | 488 pages | CQ Press
The book does an outstanding job in covering all the necessary details on congressional rules and procedures, most of which are not easy to understand. [...] It has been and will remain to be a must-read for all the congressional politics students and Washington insiders.

– Hong Min Park, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process examines the entire arc of the legislative process—from a bill’s introduction, to its signature into law, to congressional review of the law’s administrative implementation—and the many procedural pitfalls that exist along the way. Author Walter J. Oleszek and co-authors Mark Oleszek, Elizabeth Rybicki, and Bill Heniff, Jr. do not shy away from the complexity of the topic, yet they ensure that the operations of Congress are understandable to students and practitioners alike. Through an array of interesting examples, case studies, and the authors’ personal anecdotes, this definitive work delivers timely explanation and analysis of the nation’s premier lawmaking institution.
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1: Congress and Lawmaking
The Constitutional Context

 
Functions of Rules and Procedures

 
Rules and Policymaking in Congress

 
Congressional Decision Making

 
The House and Senate Compared

 
Pressures on Members

 
 
Chapter 2: The Congressional Budget Process
Authorization–Appropriations Process

 
Establishing a Congressional Budget Process

 
Evolution of Statutory Budget Procedures

 
Case Study: The Government Shutdown of 2013

 
 
Chapter 3: Preliminary Legislative Action
Categories of Legislation

 
Bill Referral Procedure

 
Consideration in Committee

 
The Committee Chair’s Role

 
Committee Hearings

 
The Markup

 
Committee Markup Procedures

 
The Report

 
Bypassing Committees

 
 
Chapter 4: Scheduling Legislation in the House
The House Legislative Calendars

 
Minor and Noncontroversial Measures

 
Privileged Legislation

 
Major Legislation

 
Promises of Openness by the Majority Party

 
Legislation Blocked in Committee

 
Final Scheduling Steps

 
 
Chapter 5: House Floor Procedure
Debate

 
Voting

 
Consideration of Major Legislation

 
Final Procedural Steps

 
Opposition Tactics

 
 
Chapter 6: Scheduling Legislation in the Senate
Legislative and Calendar Days

 
Calendars and Rule XIV

 
Motion to Proceed to Consider a Bill

 
Bills Taken Up by Unanimous Consent

 
Bills Privileged for Consideration

 
Clearance

 
Holds

 
Executive Businesses

 
Major Scheduling Considerations

 
 
Chapter 7: Senate Floor Procedure
Debate and the Filibuster

 
Cloture

 
The Amending Process

 
Principle of Precedence and the Amendment Trees

 
Unanimous Consent Agreements and the Amending Process

 
Strategic Uses of Amendments

 
Quorum and Voting Procedures

 
Procedural Change in the Senate

 
 
Chapter 8: Resolving House–Senate Differences
Procedural Methods for Reaching Agreement

 
Amendment Exchange Between the Chambers

 
Preconference Considerations

 
Conference Committee Process

 
Presidential Approval or Veto

 
Case Study: A Procedural Sketch: The Surface Transportation Conference, 2012

 
 
Chapter 9: Legislative Oversight
Oversight: An Overview

 
Techniques of Oversight

 
Impeachment

 
Oversight Trends and Incentives

 
Lack of Consensus on Oversight

 
 
Chapter 10: A Dynamic Process
Observations About Lawmaking

 
Centralization of Authority in the Speakership

 
Congress and the Information Age

 
Resurgence of Sharp Partisanship

 
 
Glossary of Selected Congressional Terms
 
Selected Bibliography
 
Selected Internet Sources
 
Index

“With no exaggeration, I love teaching this text. The main strength of the text is the framing of the work around the policy making process. Our Political Science program has a strong Public Administration tone, so this text explains how the nuts and bolts of policy are created and how the legislative branch truly affects the outcome. We are trying to prepare our students to work in government, so any textbook that explains the nitty-gritty of policy-making is a must teach."

Joshua R. Meddaugh
Clayton State University

“The book does an outstanding job in covering all the necessary details on congressional rules and procedures, most of which are not easy to understand. Oleszek and et. al. successfully explains very technical concepts in a clear and accessible fashion. In addition, a lot of examples and anecdotes certainly help. It has been and will remain to be a must-read for all the congressional politics students and Washington insiders.”

Hong Min Park
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

“This book offers impressively comprehensive coverage of just about every aspect of congressional procedures that I can think of. In terms of the language, the text is very readable and accessible for undergraduates, and I appreciate how the authors have used quotes from members of Congress to illustrate numerous specific points.”

Greg M. Shaw
Illinois Wesleyan University

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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

Mark J. Oleszek

Elizabeth E. Rybicki

Bill Heniff Jr.

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ISBN: 9781506367491
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