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The Polarized Congress: The Post-Traditional Procedure of Its Current Struggles argues that the rise of the polarized Congress means a totally different Congressional procedure, especially after 2007, compared to the accustomed "traditional" one. Polarized Congress explores a host of lesser-known, even sometimes below the radar, aspects of the post-traditional or polarized model. These range from "ping-ponging" of major measures between chambers (without conferencing), to the Senate Majority Leader's new "toolkit". They go from the now-crucial "Hastert Rule" in the House, to the astonishment of legislating the Affordable Care Act by singular procedures including budget reconciliation. The book challenges the easy assumption, especially by the non-specialist press, that Congressional procedure is descending into nothing more than chaotic brutishness or eternal stalemate. Instead, it explains the transformation of the traditional model about "how a bill becomes a law" before 2000, into the new current model in which Congress acts very differently.
As a governing body, Congress continually adapts to changes in process and practice. This procedural context governs every aspect of the House and Senate and affects lawmakers as they make voting decisions, expedite or delay legislation, or defeat a bill. Walter Oleszek's definitive work, Congressional Pocedures and the Policy Process, examines how the majority and minority parties use procedural devices to achieve their political goals and offers an assessment of the role of conference committees in reconciling bicameral differences. Not shying away from the complexity of the topic, Oleszek ensures that the machinations of Congress are understandable through an array of interesting examples, cases, and anecdotes that he is particularly well-positioned to witness and experience first-hand. Updates include an analysis of budget "brinksmanship," the increased used of "filling the tree" in the senate, and a look at how the oversight approach of Congress triggers legislative-executive clashes.
Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it's a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. Identifying the overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse, It's Even Worse Than It Looks profoundly altered the debate about why America's government has become so dysfunctional. Through a new preface and afterword, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein bring the story forward, examining the 2012 presidential campaign and exploring the prospects of a less dysfunctional government. As provocative and controversial as ever, It's Even Worse Than It Looks will continue to set the terms of our political debate in the years to come.
Analyzes the impacts of partisanship, polarization, and institutional reforms on how the U.S. Congress resolves inter-cameral differences
In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop coined the term "the big sort." Armed with startling new demographic data, he made national news in a series of articles showing how Americans have been sorting themselves into alarmingly homogeneous communities -- not by region or by state, but by city and even neighborhood. Over the past three decades, we have been choosing the neighborhood (and church and news show) compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. The result is a country that has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred that people don't know and can't understand those who live a few miles away. How this came to be, and its dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work. In The Big Sort, Bishop has taken his analysis to a new level. He begins with stories about how we live today and then draws on history, economics and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.
Despite what your students may have learned in Schoolhouse Rock, the textbook “how-a-bill-becomes-a-law” scenario is a rarity. As evidenced with health care reform legislation, most major measures wind their way through the contemporary Congress in what Barbara Sinclair has dubbed “unorthodox lawmaking.” Whatever path a bill takes—whether considered by multiple committees or subjected to a filibuster in the Senate—Sinclair explores the full range of special procedures and processes that make up the legislative process, as well as the reasons these unconventional routes evolved. This much-anticipated fourth edition updates the book through the end of the 111th Congress. Sinclair incorporates new examples and new case studies throughout, including the economic stimulus bill of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and, of course, the health care reform legislation of 2009–2010. New coverage also includes recent developments in the Senate (for example, filling the amendment tree); major changes in how the House and Senate resolve their differences (fewer conferences and more informal bargaining and amendments); and earmarks and changes in the appropriations process. With Sinclair’s unique perspective, Unorthodox Lawmaking introduces students to the intricacies of Congress while also providing the tools to assess the relative successes and limitations of the legislative process.
Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy

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