Representation and Lawmaking in the First Branch
- Casey Burgat - George Washington University
- Charles Hunt - Boise State University
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November 2022 | 480 pages | CQ Press
Congress Explained: Representation and Lawmaking in the First Branch helps students understand the individual members who operate the pulls-and-levers of the branch to achieve their legislative goals. Instead of introducing Congress through abstract theories or a list of procedures and processes, Casey Burgat and Charles Hunt walk students through the inner workings of Congress and how its members have come to see their jobs as representatives. Beyond passing legislation, representation includes how members communicate with their constituents, act in their home districts, and reflect the people whom they are tasked to serve. Discussing member motivations, purposes, backgrounds, and constraints allows students to thoroughly engage with how Congress, government, and politics fulfill their core responsibilities to the American people.
Chapter 1: Introduction: A Broken Congress?
Chapter 2: Mastering the Basics: House and Senate
Chapter 3: Representation: Congress and their Constituents
Chapter 4: Congressional Elections: The Pathway to Congress
Chapter 5: Parties in Congress: Power and Polarization
Chapter 6: The Congressional Committee System: Dividing the Workload
Chapter 7: Policymaking in the Gridlock Era
Chapter 8: The Congressional Budget Process: Follow the Money
Chapter 9: Congress and the President: The Two Ends of Pennsylvania Avenue
Chapter 10: Congress, the Courts, and the Bureaucracy: Non-Legislator Legislating
Chapter 11: Congress and External Influencers – Interest Groups, Activists, and Media
Chapter 12: Conclusion: The Congress We Deserve
"This book sets the standard for Congress textbooks!"
University of Missouri - Columbia
"An excellent book to tell the story of the institution of Congress while highlighting its individual members - which is so hard to pull off. But this book does it very well."
Weber State University
"This textbook cuts through the idealized and obsolete descriptions of how Congress works in order to explain what really makes the contemporary Congress tick in all of its dysfunctional functionality."
Worcester State University
"It makes the complexities of Congress more accessible to students who really do not understand the institution outside of Schoolhouse Rock."