Cover image for Congress and its members
Congress and its members
Davidson, Roger H.
Personal Author:
Eighth edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 505 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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JK1021 .D38 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This best-selling text offers much-needed perspective and context to help students follow fast-changing events taking place on Capitol Hill. Davidson and Oleszek reveal the inherent tension between Congress as a lawmaking institution and Congress as a collection of re-election-minded politicians.

Congress and Its Members has always won over students by combining a wealth of material about Congress and the latest scholarship with a lively, engaging, approach that never talks down to readers. Davidson and Oleszek thoughtfully employ colorful examples, quotations, photos, and graphics to enliven and underscore the general points being made in the text.

Author Notes

Roger H. Davidson is professor emeritus of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently he is visiting professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For the 2001-2002 academic year, he serves as the John Marshall Chair in political science at the University of Debrecen, Hungary
Walter J. Oleszek is senior specialist in American national government at the Congressional Research Service. He is an adjunct professor of political science at American University and lectures frequently on political affairs in the United States and abroad

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Part 1 In Search of the Two Congresses
1 The Two Congressesp. 3
The Dual Nature of Congressp. 4
Divergent Views of Congressp. 9
2 Evolution of the Modern Congressp. 13
Antecedents of Congressp. 13
Congress in the Constitutionp. 17
Institutional Evolutionp. 26
Evolution of the Legislator's Jobp. 33
Conclusionp. 39
Part 2 A Congress of Ambassadors
3 Going for It: Recruitment Roulettep. 41
Formal Rules of the Gamep. 42
Districting in the Housep. 46
Becoming a Candidatep. 58
Nominating Politicsp. 68
The Money Factorp. 70
Conclusionp. 83
4 Making It: The Electoral Gamep. 85
Campaign Strategiesp. 86
Campaign Resourcesp. 88
Campaign Techniquesp. 96
The Parallel Campaignsp. 100
Who Votes?p. 101
How Voters Decidep. 104
Election Outcomesp. 116
After the Election Is Overp. 121
5 Being There: Hill Styles and Home Stylesp. 123
Hill Stylesp. 124
Looking Homewardp. 137
Office of the Member, Inc.p. 145
Members and the Mediap. 151
Conclusionp. 156
Part 3 A Deliberative Assembly of One Nation
6 Leaders and Parties in Congressp. 159
Leaders of the Housep. 160
Leaders of the Senatep. 173
Selection of Leadersp. 183
Leadership Activitiesp. 184
Party Caucuses, Committees, and Informal Groupsp. 189
Party Continuity and Changep. 192
Conclusionp. 197
7 Committees: Workshops of Congressp. 199
The Purposes of Committeesp. 200
Evolution of the Committee Systemp. 202
Types of Committeesp. 203
The Assignment Processp. 209
Committee Leadershipp. 217
Policy Making in Committeep. 217
Committee Staffp. 222
Committee Reform and Changep. 224
Conclusionp. 228
8 Congressional Rules and Proceduresp. 231
Introduction of Billsp. 233
Referral of Billsp. 236
Scheduling in the Housep. 238
House Floor Proceduresp. 246
Scheduling in the Senatep. 250
Senate Floor Proceduresp. 253
Resolving House-Senate Differencesp. 257
Conclusionp. 260
9 Decision Making in Congressp. 263
The Power to Choosep. 264
Types of Decisionsp. 265
Determinants of Votingp. 273
Giving and Taking Cuesp. 282
Legislative Bargainingp. 284
Conclusionp. 289
Part 4 Policy Making and Change in the Two Congresses
10 Congress and the Presidentp. 293
The President as Legislatorp. 294
Lobbying Congressp. 308
Sources of Legislative-Executive Cooperationp. 312
Sources of Legislative-Executive Conflictp. 315
The Balance of Powerp. 317
Conclusionp. 319
11 Congress, the Bureaucracy, and the Courtsp. 321
Congress Organizes the Executive Branchp. 322
Congressional Control of the Bureaucracyp. 335
Congress and the Courtsp. 342
Conclusionp. 346
12 Congress and Organized Interestsp. 349
A Nation of Joinersp. 349
Pressure Group Methodsp. 351
Groups and the Electoral Connectionp. 357
Groups and Legislative Politicsp. 361
Informal Groups of Membersp. 363
Regulation of Lobbyingp. 364
Conclusionp. 368
13 Congress, Budgets, and Domestic Policy Makingp. 371
Definitions of Policyp. 371
Stages of Policy Makingp. 372
Types of Domestic Policiesp. 375
Characteristics of Congressional Policy Makingp. 378
Congressional Budgetingp. 380
The 1974 Budget Actp. 386
The Dawn of the Surplus Era?p. 389
Conclusionp. 394
14 Congress and National Security Policiesp. 397
Constitutional Powersp. 398
Who Speaks for Congress?p. 399
Types of Foreign and National Security Policiesp. 401
Structural Policiesp. 402
Strategic Policiesp. 406
Crisis Policies: The War Powersp. 414
Conclusion: Congress and Globalizationp. 418
15 The Two Congresses and the American Peoplep. 421
Congress-as-Politiciansp. 422
Congress-as-Institutionp. 426
Into the Third Centuryp. 430
Reference Materialsp. 435
Appendix A. Party Control: Presidency, Senate, House, 1901-2001p. 436
Appendix B. The Partisan Landscape, 2000: Presidential Voting by Congressional Districtp. 438
Appendix C. Internships: Getting Experience on Capitol Hillp. 440
Notesp. 442
Suggested Readingsp. 483
Indexp. 489