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Congress and Its Members
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Congress and Its Members

Eighteenth Edition

Other Titles in:
Congress

August 2021 | 656 pages | CQ Press
The Gold Standard for Congress Courses for Over Thirty Years  

Congress and Its Members offers comprehensive coverage of the U.S. Congress and the legislative process by examining the tension between Congress as a lawmaking institution and as a collection of politicians constantly seeking re-election. The highly anticipated Eighteenth Edition considers the 2020 elections, the final years of the Trump administration, and first 100 days of the Biden Administration while discussing the agenda of the new Congress, White House–Capitol Hill relations, party and committee leadership changes, judicial appointments, and partisan polarization, in addition to covering changes to budgeting, campaign finance, lobbying, public attitudes about Congress, reapportionment, rules, and procedures. Always balancing great scholarship with currency, this bestseller features lively case material along with relevant data, charts, exhibits, maps, and photos.  

New and updated material for the 18th edition includes:
  • Analysis of the 2020 congressional elections, including increased nationalization, regional shifts, and member turnover
  • Data on the diversity of the new Congress in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and professional background
  • Explanation of recent Supreme Court rulings on partisan gerrymandering
  • Overview of the post-2020 census reapportionment of House seats and prospects for partisan gerrymandering
  • Effects of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic on congressional campaigns, election administration, congressional rules and procedures, lobbying, and federal budget politics.
  • The post-2020 politics of organizing a 50-50 Senate and prospects of Senate filibuster reform
  • Congress’s return to earmarks and other adjustments to congressional rules and procedures
  • The Biden administration’s approach to trade and diplomacy and its effects on congressional politics
  • Coverage of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and what it says about Congress's relationship with the public and its role in American democracy
  • Updated data on public opinion of Congress and Congress's productivity as a lawmaking institution
  • A new concluding chapter reflecting on Congress’s institutional strengths and weaknesses
  • Fresh examples and illustrations in every chapter relating concepts to recent events and contemporary members
Instructors! Sign in at study.sagepub.com/davidson18e for additional teaching resources. 
 
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 4. Making It: The Electoral Game
Campaign Strategies

 
Campaign Resources

 
Campaign Techniques

 
Who Votes?

 
How Voters Decide

 
Election Outcomes

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 5. Being There: Hill Styles and Home Styles
Hill Styles

 
Looking Homeward

 
Office of the Member Inc.

 
Members and the Media

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 8. Congressional Rules and Procedures
Introduction of Bills

 
Scheduling in the House

 
House Floor Procedures

 
Scheduling in the Senate

 
Senate Floor Procedures

 
Resolving House–Senate Differences

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 9. Decision Making in Congress
The Power to Choose

 
Types of Decisions

 
Determinants of Voting

 
Legislative Bargaining

 
Conclusion

 
 
PART IV. POLICY MAKING AND CHANGE IN THE TWO CONGRESSES
 
Chapter 10. Congress and the President
Constitutional Powers

 
Leadership

 
Sources of Legislative–Executive Conflict and Cooperation

 
The Balance of Power

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 11. Congress and the Bureaucracy
Congress Organizes the Executive Branch

 
Congressional Control of the Bureaucracy

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 12. Congress and the Courts
The Federal Courts

 
The Supreme Court as Policy Maker

 
Advice and Consent for Judicial Nominees

 
Conclusion

 
 
Chapter 13. Congress and Organized Interests
American Pluralism

 
Pressure Group Methods

 
Groups and the Electoral Connection

 
Groups, Lobbying, and Legislative Politics

 
Regulation of Lobbying

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
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

 
Conclusion

 
 
PART V. CONCLUSION
 
Chapter 16. The Two Congresses and the American People
Congress as the “Broken Branch”

 
Congress’s Vital Role

 
Twenty-First-Century Challenges

 
Conclusion

 
 
Appendix A. Party Control: Presidency, Senate, House, 1901–2023
 
Appendix B. Internships: Getting Experience on Capitol Hill
 
Suggested Readings
 
Notes
 
Index