Party and Procedure in the United States Congress is a well written, carefully researched, rich exploration of the intersection of legislative politics and policymaking. Grounded in the authors’ experience, participant observation and case studies, the book makes wide-ranging use of the political science literature on Congress, thereby successfully bridging the divide between the theory and practice of congressional politics and policymaking.
The authors in Party and Procedure in the United States Congress, including some of the leading lights among Congress scholars, are literally close to their subject given their extensive experience, observations and interviews. The bicameral perspective will prove especially useful in college courses on Congress and the legislative process. The book underscores the time-honored truth that he who knows the rules, rules.
(William F. Connelly Jr., author of James Madison Rules America)These excellent readings shine a bright light into some shadowy places. Procedure is a vital but often-misunderstood aspect of congressional life, and this book does a splendid job of showing how the rules of the game both reflect and influence party politics on Capitol Hill. In reading Party and Procedure in the United States Congress, both general readers and scholars of Congress will learn much that they did not know, and encounter thought-provoking challenges to received wisdom.
(John J. Pitney Jr., Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics, Claremont McKenna College)In this excellent volume, the authors use new empirical data and in-depth case studies to address a range of important questions about congressional parties, committees, and procedural innovations in both chambers. Undergraduates and congressional scholars alike will benefit from its compelling new insight.
(Kathryn Pearson, University of Minnesota)Each work in this volume highlights the importance of procedural rules in a unique and intriguing manner...The power of this book is the way examinations of both narrow and broad uses of procedural rules are seamlessly woven together. Individually, each book chapter can stand on its own, but together these works paint a fascinating picture of the strategic use of procedural rules in the modern Congress.
(APSA Legislative Studies Section Newsletter, Book Notes
)For many scholars, trying to understand what Congress is doing and why it is doing it is a challenge. It is essential to understand the combined impact of political parties, organization, and the role and use of procedure. This volume provides an accessible and insightful set of essays that explain how political parties, institutional organization, and procedures such as roll call votes, the decline of deliberation in the Senate, the use of motions, and the filibuster in the Senate affect the functioning of Congress. The collection of essays, edited by Straus (analyst, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress), is organized in four sections: "Leadership," which includes a single essay; "The House of Representatives"; "Senate"; and "Legislative Reconciliation between the Chambers," which includes an essay about health care reform in the 111th Congress. The chapters are all clearly written and focus on important real-world examples. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
About the Author
Jacob R. Straus is an analyst with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. His research focuses on Congress, lobbying and ethics, public policy and American political development.