It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Alfre Woodard reads Article I, Sections 1-3 at People For the American Way Foundation's 2009 Inaugural Reading of the Constitution at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event was held on January 18, 2009. Length: 5:21
The Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch of the United States Government includes
Congress, the chief law-making body in the country, and agencies that
provide support for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
American Public Opinion, Advocacy, and Policy in Congress by Paul BursteinBetween one election and the next, members of Congress introduce thousands of bills. What determines which become law? Is it the public? Do we have government "of the people, by the people, for the people?" Or is it those who have the resources to organize and pressure government who get what they want? In the first study ever of a random sample of policy proposals, Paul Burstein finds that the public can get what it wants - but mainly on the few issues that attract its attention. Does this mean organized interests get what they want? Not necessarily - on most issues there is so little political activity that it hardly matters. Politics may be less of a battle between the public and organized interests than a struggle for attention. American society is so much more complex than it was when the Constitution was written that we may need to reconsider what it means, in fact, to be a democracy.
Call Number: JK1764 .B88 2014 (RHC)
Publication Date: 2014
Act of Congress by Robert G. KaiserAn eye-opening 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, Robert G. Kaiser, whose long and distinguished career at The Washington Post has made him as keen and knowledgeable an observer of Congress as we have, 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. Act of Congress 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 Kaiser 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. Kaiser 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. Kaiser shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails. Act of Congress, as entertaining as it is enlightening, is an indispensable guide to a vital piece of our political system desperately in need of reform.
Call Number: HG181 .K25 2013 (DP)
Publication Date: 2013
The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress by Eric Schickler (Editor); Frances E. Lee (Editor)No legislature in the world has a greater influence over its nation's public affairs than the US Congress. The Congress's centrality in the US system of government has placed research on Congress at the heart of scholarship on American politics. Generations of American government scholars working in a wide range of methodological traditions have focused their analysis on understanding Congress, both as a lawmaking and a representative institution. The purpose ofthis volume is to take stock of this impressive and diverse literature, identifying areas of accomplishment and promising directions for future work.
The twenty-six volumes of the Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789 aims to make available all the documents written by delegates that bear directly upon their work during their years of actual service in the First and Second Continental Congresses, 1774-1789.
Background material and data on the programs within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means. Includes program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics, including Social Security, employment, earnings, welfare, child support, health insurance, the elderly, families with children, poverty and taxation.