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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.
For almost four decades, the editors of Congress Reconsidered, Lawrence C. Dodd and Bruce I. Oppenheimer have delivered the best contemporary work from leading congressional scholars in a form that is both analytical and accessible. The tradition continues in this Eleventh Edition as contributing authors focus on the many ways Congress has changed over time and examine the conditions that foster these developments. Some of the most noted names in congressional studies address topics from broad dynamics affecting the institution, elections and constituencies, parties and internal organization, inter-branch relations, and policymaking. This new edition also ends with a capstone chapter on the milestone 2016 elections. Simply put, this bestselling volume remains on the cutting edge of scholarship, identifying patterns of change in Congress and placing those patterns in context.
Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras are four Spanish speaking countries in Central America that possess uniformed military institutions. These four countries represent different approaches to reforms of civil-military relations, and embody varying degrees of success in both institutional democratization and the managing of security forces. In this book, Orlando J. Pérez expertly examines the competing theories of civil-military relations in Central America to advance our understanding of the origins, consequences and persistence of militarism in Latin America. Divided into four parts, Pérez begins by proposing a theoretical framework for analyzing civil-military relations, including an analysis of how U.S. foreign and military policy affects the establishment of stable civilian supremacy over the armed forces. Part Two examines the institutional and legal structures under which civil-military relations are carried out revealing in Part Three the reorientation of the missions and roles performed by the armed forces in each country. The concluding part analyzes the role beliefs of members of the military and public opinion about the armed forces in relation to other institutions. Combining both qualitative and quantitative data, Pérez bridges the gap between structural and cultural analyses for a more comprehensive understanding of the links between micro and macro level factors that influence civil-military relations and democratic governance.
An in-depth study of women congressional candidates over the past two decades
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The U.S. government takes in and spends almost $2 trillion annually, and setting the budget that guides federal spending is an enormously complex undertaking. The federal budget entails the active participation of the president, key advisers, and many members of Congress, the efforts of thousands of staff in the executive and legislative branches, and the attention of numerous interest groups. It consists of thousands of big and small decisions, complicated rules and procedures, and debate over the composition and amount of public revenue and spending. With so much at stake, it is not surprising that budgeting is often a difficult, conflict-laden process. As big as the budget is, there is never enough money to satisfy all demands. As the budget has grown and become more prominent in U.S. political and economic life, the scope for conflict has expanded. In some years the budget is the centerpiece of the president's agenda as well as the vehicle for enacting much of Congress's legislative output. This revised and significantly expanded edition of The Federal Budget concerns the politics and processes of federal budgeting and the policies that emerge from them. It describes how budgeting works at each stage of executive and legislative action—from preparation of the president's budget through the appropriation and expenditure of funds—and assesses the impact of budget rules on policy decisions. It explains how the budget was transformed from deficit to surplus over the past five years and discusses various proposals to change the rules. It analyzes the changes in the appropriations process, friction between the president and Congress, and the reliance on omnibus legislation to resolve budget impasses. In addition to vital statistics and extracts from important documents, the book also features case studies that dramatize contemporary budgetary politics, providing readers with a "you are there" appreciation of how budgeting decisions are made in Washington.

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