THE CONTEMPORARY CONGRESS offers concise coverage of all the foundations of a course on Congress. From the underlying theory of representative democracy and the process of elections to committee dynamics and the legislative process on the House and Senate floor to the relationship between Congress and the Presidency under unified and divided party government, THE CONTEMPORARY CONGRESS includes a view into the rules, politics, and party strategy that determine the policy decisions made every day in the U.S. Congress, especially important in the contemporary era of strong Republican Party government.
Loomis (political science, U. of Kansas) sees the contemporary US Congress as reflecting tensions between centralizing forces, such as the House leadership, and decentralizing forces, such as the individualistic Senate. He discusses changes that have occurred since the Republicans took control in 1994, including a new legislative ascendancy in setting the national policy agenda; and he also addresses the possibility that the US is entering a less settled stage of congressional development. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Burdett A. Loomis is a professor of political science at the University of Kansas. He received his Ph.D. form the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1974, served as an American Political Science Congressional Fellow in 1975-1976, and has taught at the University of Kansas since 1979. He has written on a variety of topics, including Congress, interest groups, state legislatures, and public policy. In 1984, Loomis directed the Congressional Management Project, which produced the first of many editions of SETTING COURSE: A CONGRESSIONAL MANAGEMENT GUIDE. Aside from teaching courses on congressional politics, interest groups, and policy making, since 1983 Loomis has directed public internship programs in Washington and Topeka. He currently serves as chair of the political science department and Interim Director of the Robert J. Dole Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at the University of Kansas.
Wendy Schiller (Ph.D., University of Rochester) is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Brown University (Twitter acct @profwschiller). She did her undergraduate work in political science at the University of Chicago, served on the staffs of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Governor Mario Cuomo, and completed Fellowships at the Brookings Institution and Princeton University. At Brown, she teaches popular courses titled The American Presidency, Introduction to the American Political Process, and Congress and Public Policy. Among books she has authored or co-authored are THE CONTEMPORARY CONGRESS (Thomson-Wadsworth) and PARTNERS AND RIVALS: REPRESENTATION IN U.S. SENATE DELEGATIONS (Princeton University Press). She has also published in academic journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Studies in American Political Development, and the Journal of Politics. Her most recent book is ELECTING THE SENATE: INDIRECT DEMOCRACY BEFORE THE 17TH AMENDMENT. She is a frequent contributor to major national news outlets and is the political analyst for WJAR10, the local NBC affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island.
Preface. About the Author. 1. Drama of Representation. 2. Evolution of Congressional Decentralization and Recentralization. 3. The Changing Environment of Congressional Politics. 4. Congressional Elections: Roots of the Centrifugal Congress. 5. The Legislative Process and the Rules of the Game. 6. Parties and Leadership Capturing the Congress. 7. Congressional Committees. 8. The Individual Enterprise. 9. Presidential-Congressional Relations. 10. The Competitive Congress. Index.