An Historical Tapestry of Controversies, Risks, Mistakes, Victories, and Defeats through Arlen Specter’s Long Career
Because of the power-fearing drafters of the U.S. Constitution, presidents have had to look beyond the formal powers of the office to influence Congress and push a legislative agenda. In Between the Branches, a book of unprecedented depth, Kenneth Collier traces the evolution of the methods the White House has developed to influence Congress over nine adminstrations, from Eisenhower to Clinton.
Although compromise is an inherent part of politics, many politicians chose not to adjust their goals for fear of losing supporters or a strong debate position. It is the strategies of these office holders that John Gilmour describes in Strategic Disagreement, illuminating lost opportunities to pass important legislation resulting from such disagreements.
“Megabills” that package scores of legislative proposals into House and Senate bills generate unprecedented disagreements between the House and Senate, requiring congressional leaders, the president, committee chairs, and junior members to play new roles in this struggle for resolution.
Conference committees of hundreds of members, informal negotiations among party leaders, and preconference strategizing and behavior are among the new realities of bicameralism that are viewed in this study. These conferences are vital because they generally are the last arenas in which large-scale changes can be made in legislation. Conference committees of hundreds of members, informal negotiations among party leaders, and preconference strategizing and behavior are among the new realities of bicameralism that are viewed in this study. These conferences are vital because they generally are the last arenas in which large-scale changes can be made in legislation.
This account of the struggle for coal mine health and safety legislation in the U.S. examines the series of laws that steadily expanded the role of the federal government from the late 1800s through the 1980s. Curran concludes that federal legislation has done little to improve change conditions in the coal mines.
One of the most important changes in Congress in decades was the extensive congressional reforms of the 1970s, which moved the congressional budget process into the focus of congressional policy making and shifted decision making away from committees. This overwhelming attention to the federal budget allowed party leaders to emerge as central decision makers. Palazzolo traces the changing nature of the Speaker of the House’s role in the congressional budget process from the passage of the Budget nd Impoundment Control Act of 1974, through the 100th Congress in 1988.
This book follows the impact of economic ideas and opinions on federal employment policy from the 1946 Employment Act to the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982. Among many factors, Mucciaroni traces policy failures to the fact that labor and management were not centrally involved in making policy, and employment programs lacked a stable and organized constituency committed to their success. Additionally, employment programs were not integrated with economic policy, were hampered by conflicting objectives, and were difficult to carry out effectively.
Studying the travel behavior of senators and representatives between 1959 and 1980, Glenn Parker examines the increased attention paid to home constituents, and the political benefits of this action. He situates his findings in historical context, to understand the many dynamics of the legislator-constituent exchange.
Congressional supervision of the way the executive implements legislative mandates-“oversight” of the bureaucracy-is one of the most complex and least understood functions of Congress. In this book, Morris Ogul clarifies the meaning of oversight and analyzes the elements that contribute to its success or neglect.