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Party and Procedure in the United States Congress

Second Edition

Edited by Jacob R. Straus and Matthew E. Glassman

Understanding how Congressional political parties utilize floor procedure to advance a legislative agenda is fundamental to understanding how Congress operates. This book offers students and researchers an in-depth understanding of the procedural tools available to congressional leaders and committee chairs and how those tools are implemented in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and during negotiations between the chambers. While other volumes provide the party or the procedural perspective, this book combines these two features to create a robust analysis of the role that party can play in making procedural decisions. Additionally, the contributors provide an opportunity to take a holistic look at Congress and understand the changing dynamics of congressional power and its implementation over time. The second edition of Party and Procedure in the United States Congress includes case studies and analyses of the changes and innovations that have occurred since 2012, including the “nuclear option.” « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 360Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-5872-3 • Hardback • July 2016 • $87.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-5873-0 • Paperback • July 2016 • $39.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-5874-7 • eBook • July 2016 • $37.00 • (£24.95)
Jacob R. Straus is an analyst with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress with a research specialization on Congress, lobbying and ethics, public policy and American political development. He is an adjunct professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Shady Grove campus.

Matthew E. Glassman is an analyst with the Congressional Research Service, where he focuses on congressional operations and administration, legislative branch appropriations, and congressional history. He teaches courses on the Congress and interest groups as an adjunct professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
1. Navigating Congress in the Age of Partisanship / Jacob R. Straus and Matthew E. Glassman

Section I: Legislative Language
2. Drafting the Law: Players, Power, and Processes /
Scott Levy

Section II: House of Representatives
3. Keeping the Team Together: Explaining Party Discipline and Dissent in the U.S. Congress /
Matthew Green and Briana Bee
4. The Motion to Recommit in the U.S. House /
Jennifer Hayes Clark
5. Evolution of the Reconciliation Process, 1980-2015 /
James V. Saturno
6. Post-Committee Adjustment in the Contemporary House: The Use of Rules Committee Prints /
Mark J. Oleszek
7. Longitudinal Analysis of One-Minute Speeches in the House of Representatives /
Colleen J. Shogan and Matthew E. Glassman

Section III: Senate
8. A Good Leader Never Blames His Tools: The Evolving Majority Party Toolkit in the U.S. Senate /
Aaron S. King, Frank J. Orlando, and David W. Rohde
9. The Electoral Politics of Procedural Votes in the U.S. Senate /
Joel Sievert
10. Partisanship, Filibustering, and Reform in the Senate /
Gregory Koger
11. Irregular Order: Examining the Changing Congressional Amending Process /
Michael S. Lynch, Anthony J. Madonna, and Rachel Surminsky
12. From Base Closings to the Budget: Exceptions to the Filibuster in the United States Senate /
Molly E. Reynolds

Section IV: Inter-Chamber Analysis and Negotiation
13. Intraparty Caucus Formation in the United States Congress /
James Wallner
14. Gender and Party Politics in a Polarized Era /
Michele L. Swers
15. The Government Shutdown of 2013: A Perspective /
Walter J. Oleszek
First edition praise: For many scholars, trying to understand what Congress is doing and why it is doing it is a challenge. It is essential to understand the combined impact of political parties, organization, and the role and use of procedure. This volume provides an accessible and insightful set of essays that explain how political parties, institutional organization, and procedures such as roll call votes, the decline of deliberation in the Senate, the use of motions, and the filibuster in the Senate affect the functioning of Congress. The chapters are all clearly written and focus on important real-world examples. Highly recommended.

First edition praise: Each work in this volume highlights the importance of procedural rules in a unique and intriguing manner. . . . The power of this book is the way examinations of both narrow and broad uses of procedural rules are seamlessly woven together. Individually, each book chapter can stand on its own, but together these works paint a fascinating picture of the strategic use of procedural rules in the modern Congress.
APSA Legislative Studies Section Newsletter, Book Notes

“To quote a line from The Wire, ‘the game is out there, and it’s either play or get played.’ This excellent set of readings lucidly explains a rapidly changing legislative process, and lays out important details not available in most other books on Congress. With a nice balance of theoretical and practical perspectives, it provides a splendid overview of how party leaders, committee chairs, and backbench members play the game of legislative politics.”
John J. Pitney Jr., Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics, Claremont McKenna College

“The breadth of topics that the volume covers is impressive yet specific enough to be both a stand alone text for classes and a supplement to more general books on the House, Senate, or American government more generally.”
Wendy J. Schiller, Professor, Brown University

  • an analysis of leadership elections using votes for Speaker Boehner in the 113th and 114th Congress as case studies (Green and Bee)

  • an analysis of the use of budget reconciliation as a procedure for the passage of non-budget legislation, including the Affordable Care Act (Saturno)

  • an analysis of how Senators use procedure to hide their true policy preferences, using a unique survey data set of constituent assessment of Senators voting records (Sievert)

  • the nuclear option in the Senate and how that has changed the filibuster on executive nominees (Koger)

  • a discussion of gender, party, and procedure (Swers)

  • a discussion of bill drafting and the importance of legislative language by a former committee staffer (Levy)

  • the politics of the 2013 government shutdown (Oleszek)

  • an analysis of Senate amendments and their purpose (Lynch, Madonna, and Surminsky)