The U S Senate

Author: Tom Daschle
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250011220
Release Date: 2013-01-22
Genre: Political Science

A follow-up to Selecting a President, co-written by the former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader, shares clear and concise explanations of how the United States Senate works, providing coverage of topics ranging from the electoral process and voting procedures to the Senate's historic beginnings and modern-day issues.

Congressional Record

Author: Congress
Publisher: Government Printing Office
ISBN:
Release Date: 2017-09-30
Genre:

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. The Congressional Record began publication in 1873 and is still published today.

Agenda Setting in the U S Senate

Author: Chris Den Hartog
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139499309
Release Date: 2011-05-16
Genre: Political Science

Proposes a new theory of Senate agenda setting that reconciles a divide in literature between the conventional wisdom – in which party power is thought to be mostly undermined by Senate procedures and norms – and the apparent partisan bias in Senate decisions noted in recent empirical studies. Chris Den Hartog and Nathan W. Monroe's theory revolves around a 'costly consideration' framework for thinking about agenda setting, where moving proposals forward through the legislative process is seen as requiring scarce resources. To establish that the majority party pays lower agenda consideration costs through various procedural advantages, the book features a number of chapters examining partisan influence at several stages of the legislative process, including committee reports, filibusters and cloture, floor scheduling and floor amendments. Not only do the results support the book's theoretical assumption and key hypotheses, but they shed new light on virtually every major step in the Senate's legislative process.

Politics or Principle

Author: Sarah A. Binder
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815723512
Release Date: 2001-09-19
Genre: Political Science

Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays legislation and thwarts the will of the majority? Are century-old procedures in the Senate hampering the institution from fulfilling its role on the eve of the 21st century? The filibuster has achieved almost mythic proportions in the history of American politics, but it has escaped a careful, critical assessment for more than 50 years. In this book, Sarah Binder and Steven Smith provide such an assessment as they address the problems and conventional wisdom associated with the Senate's long-standing tradition of extended debate. The authors examine the evolution of the rules governing Senate debate, analyze the consequences of these rules, and evaluate reform proposals. They argue that in an era of unprecedented filibustering and related obstructionism, old habits are indeed undermining the Senate's ability to meet its responsibilities. Binder and Smith scrutinize conventional wisdom about the filibuster—and show that very little of it is true. They focus on five major myths: that unlimited debate is a fundamental right to differentiate the Senate from the House of Representatives; that the Senate's tradition as a deliberative body requires unlimited debate; that the filibuster is reserved for a few issues of the utmost national importance; that few measures are actually killed by the filibuster; and that senators resist changing the rules because of a principled commitment to deliberation. In revising conventional wisdom about the filibuster, Binder and Smith contribute to ongoing debates about the dynamics of institutional change in the American political system. The authors conclude by suggesting reforms intended to enhance the power of determined majorities while preserving the rights of chamber minorities. They advocate, for example, lowering the number of votes required to end debate while increasing the amount of time for senators to debate controversial bills. Reform is possible, they suggest, that is consistent with the Senate's unique size and responsibilities.

Beyond Ideology

Author: Frances E. Lee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226470771
Release Date: 2009-12-15
Genre: Political Science

The congressional agenda, Frances Lee contends, includes many issues about which liberals and conservatives generally agree. Even over these matters, though, Democratic and Republican senators tend to fight with each other. What explains this discord? Beyond Ideology argues that many partisan battles are rooted in competition for power rather than disagreement over the rightful role of government. The first book to systematically distinguish Senate disputes centering on ideological questions from the large proportion of them that do not, this volume foregrounds the role of power struggle in partisan conflict. Presidential leadership, for example, inherently polarizes legislators who can influence public opinion of the president and his party by how they handle his agenda. Senators also exploit good government measures and floor debate to embarrass opponents and burnish their own party’s image—even when the issues involved are broadly supported or low-stakes. Moreover, Lee contends, the congressional agenda itself amplifies conflict by increasingly focusing on issues that reliably differentiate the parties. With the new president pledging to stem the tide of partisan polarization, Beyond Ideology provides a timely taxonomy of exactly what stands in his way.

The American Senate

Author: Neil MacNeil
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199339570
Release Date: 2013-05-31
Genre: Political Science

Winner of the Society for History in the Federal Government's George Pendleton Prize for 2013 The United States Senate has fallen on hard times. Once known as the greatest deliberative body in the world, it now has a reputation as a partisan, dysfunctional chamber. What happened to the house that forged American history's great compromises? In this groundbreaking work, a distinguished journalist and an eminent historian provide an insider's history of the United States Senate. Richard A. Baker, historian emeritus of the Senate, and the late Neil MacNeil, former chief congressional correspondent for Time magazine, integrate nearly a century of combined experience on Capitol Hill with deep research and state-of-the-art scholarship. They explore the Senate's historical evolution with one eye on persistent structural pressures and the other on recent transformations. Here, for example, are the Senate's struggles with the presidency--from George Washington's first, disastrous visit to the chamber on August 22, 1789, through now-forgotten conflicts with Presidents Garfield and Cleveland, to current war powers disputes. The authors also explore the Senate's potent investigative power, and show how it began with an inquiry into John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. It took flight with committees on the conduct of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II; and it gained a high profile with Joseph McCarthy's rampage against communism, Estes Kefauver's organized-crime hearings (the first to be broadcast), and its Watergate investigation. Within the book are surprises as well. For example, the office of majority leader first acquired real power in 1952--not with Lyndon Johnson, but with Republican Robert Taft. Johnson accelerated the trend, tampering with the sacred principle of seniority in order to control issues such as committee assignments. Rampant filibustering, the authors find, was the ironic result of the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation. No longer stigmatized as a white-supremacist tool, its use became routine, especially as the Senate became more partisan in the 1970s. Thoughtful and incisive, The American Senate: An Insider's History transforms our understanding of Congress's upper house.

Exceptions to the Rule

Author: Molly E. Reynolds
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815729976
Release Date: 2017-07-18
Genre: Political Science

Special rules enable the Senate to act despite the filibuster. Sometimes. Most people believe that, in today's partisan environment, the filibuster prevents the Senate from acting on all but the least controversial matters. But this is not exactly correct. In fact, the Senate since the 1970s has created a series of special rules—described by Molly Reynolds as “majoritarian exceptions”—that limit debate on a wide range of measures on the Senate floor. The details of these exemptions might sound arcane and technical, but in practice they have enabled the Senate to act even when it otherwise seemed paralyzed. Important examples include procedures used to pass the annual congressional budget resolution, enact budget reconciliation bills, review proposals to close military bases, attempt to prevent arms sales, ratify trade agreements, and reconsider regulations promulgated by the executive branch. Reynolds argues that these procedures represent a key instrument of majority party power in the Senate. They allow the majority—even if it does not have the sixty votes needed to block a filibuster—to produce policies that will improve its future electoral prospects, and thus increase the chances it remains the majority party. As a case study, Exceptions to the Rule examines the Senate's role in the budget reconciliation process, in which particular congressional committees are charged with developing procedurally protected proposals to alter certain federal programs in their jurisdictions. Created as a way of helping Congress work through tricky budget issues, the reconciliation process has become a powerful tool for the majority party to bypass the minority and adopt policy changes in hopes that it will benefit in the next election cycle.

The Last Great Senate

Author: Ira Shapiro
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781538109793
Release Date: 2017-12-28
Genre: Political Science

The Last Great Senate tells the story of the final four years of the progressive Senate of the 1960s and 1970s which compiled a record of accomplishment unmatched in our country’s history. It is a narrative history of the statesman who, working with an outsider president, Jimmy Carter, helped steer America through the crisis years of the late 1970s, transcending partisanship and overcoming procedural roadblocks that have all but crippled the Senate over the past quarter- century. The Last Great Senate recalls a critical juncture in American politics, offering a new view of the kind of leadership that will be required to restore the nation’s upper house to greatness. The book brings to life the renowned senators of the time---Ted Kennedy, Howard Baker, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Ed Muskie, Jacob Javits, Robert Byrd and others---while capturing the Senate as an ensemble cast in a way that no previous book has. Mr. Shapiro recounts a series of legislative battles, including the historic fight over the Panama Canal treaty and the rescues of New York City and Chrysler, that are remarkable case studies of the legislative process in action. His preface to this second edition provides a compelling summary of the Senate’s struggles since 1980, including the first six months of the Trump presidency. The author’s love of the Senate and his deep belief in its special role in our political system make the book an antidote to cynicism, leaving readers with some hope that the Senate can reverse its long decline to become again what Walter F. Mondale called “the nation’s mediator.”

Combat

Author: Warren B. Rudman
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: UOM:39015037348193
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The former New Hampshire senator provides a firsthand look at the legislative process, detailing the conflicts and compromises that shape American laws and life

The Death of Deliberation

Author: James I. Wallner
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739183052
Release Date: 2013-09-25
Genre: Political Science

This book provides a counter-view on the conventional wisdom regarding the United States Senate. Specifically, it presents an alternative approach to the broken Congress genre with the argument that the Senate is not characterized by gridlock and that party leaders cooperate to make the institution work.

Al Franken Giant of the Senate

Author: Al Franken
Publisher: Twelve
ISBN: 9781455540433
Release Date: 2017-05-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

#1 New York Times Bestseller "Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book - also unusual - because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy." - Louise Erdrich, The New York Times From Senator Al Franken - #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum - comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics. Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.

The U S Senate

Author: Burdett Loomis
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781483305240
Release Date: 2011-07-26
Genre: Political Science

With an avalanche of scholarship on the House, it can be tough to balance out coverage in a typical Congress course with appropriate readings on the "slow institution." Offering top-notch research geared to an undergraduate audience, Loomis' new edited volume represents a broad picture of the contemporary Senate and how it came to be. While addressing issues of delay, obstruction, and polarization in a variety of ways, the scholars in this collection are not proposing a reform agenda, but instead, explore the historical and political contexts for how difficult it can be to change a non-majoritarian, highly individualistic institution. Students will come away from these chapters with a much greater appreciation of the Senate's unique combination of tradition, precedent, and constitutional mandate.

Advise Dissent

Author: James Abourezk
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781556520662
Release Date: 1989
Genre: Political Science

The author, a two-term senator from South Dakota, recounts his life, political career, and the principles he fought for in government

Too Weak to Govern

Author: Peter Hanson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316123690
Release Date: 2014-11-24
Genre: Political Science

Too Weak to Govern investigates the power of the majority party in the United States Senate through a study of the appropriations process over a period of nearly four decades. It uses quantitative analysis, case studies, and interviews with policy makers to show that the majority party is more likely to abandon routine procedures for passing spending bills in favor of creating massive 'omnibus' spending bills when it is small, divided, and ideologically distant from the minority. This book demonstrates that the majority party's ability to influence legislative outcomes is greater than previously understood but that it operates under important constraints. However, the majority generally cannot use its power to push its preferred policies through to approval. Overall, the weakness of the Senate majority party is a major reason for the breakdown of the congressional appropriations process over the past forty years.