Senate Procedure and Practice: An Introductory Manual

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Overview

From the Foreword by U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist: The United States Senate is often referred to as the world's greatest deliberative body. And that is for good reason. The Senate Chamber — from its inception to its Golden Age to the present day — has been the setting for some of the most moving, decisive, and consequential debates in American history. But why the Senate? Why the Senate and not its sister chamber — the House of Representatives? Why the Senate — so unlike the upper chambers of many other nations? Why the Senate — not for a few years or even decades — but continuously over the entire course of the Republic? The Senate is first and foremost a legislative body. It exists to pass legislation that may become law or to prevent legislation from becoming law. Beyond that, its responsibilities are to consent or deny consent to the ratification of treaties, to provide advice and consent on presidential nominees, and to try impeachments. It is by far the most powerful and influential upper chamber anywhere in the world. The Senate has a unique character — it is a small, stable, stately, thoughtful, independent, experienced, deliberative body. With equal legislative authority to the House of Representatives, it was hoped by the Framers that the Senate would be a steady anchor in the sometimes raging seas of representative democracy. This — along its duties specified in the Constitution — was the Framer's design for the Senate. But it was just a design. The Senate required a structure from which it could operate. And that structure has for more than 200 years taken take the form of Senate procedure — standing rules, rule-making statutes, and precedents. The Senate's rules, rule-making statures, and precedents are nothing less than the institution's DNA: they have evolved over time; they are intertwined; they are complex; and those who unlock and understand and apply Senate procedure can hold tremendous sway over their colleagues and the course of the Senate's deliberations. But, above all, together the Senate's rules and practices form a whole. It is a whole that faithfully reflects the Framers' design and ambition for the body. It is a whole that remains true to the Senate's two paramount values: unlimited debate and minority rights. And it is a whole that to this day calls extraordinary individuals from every state into the service of the nation. So how does the United States Senate work? Martin B. Gold, a long-time Senate staffer and a highly distinguished scholar, makes an extraordinary and extraordinarily successful effort in Senate Procedure and Practice: An Introductory Manual to explain and illustrate not only how the Senate works, but, most importantly, why it has worked so well for more than 200 years. Indeed, to understand Senate procedure is to understand, in many respects, the greatness of America.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Gold has taken a subject, U.S. Senate rules and procedures, that would normally occupy a few dozen pages of a manual and woven it into a book-length treatment filled with fascinating stories and discerning insights about how and why the Senate operates as it does. The result is an interesting, educational study of the Senate. Highly recommended.
CHOICE
Gold has taken a subject, U.S. Senate rules and procedures, that would normally occupy a few dozen pages of a manual and woven it into a book-length treatment filled with fascinating stories and discerning insights about how and why the Senate operates as it does. The result is an interesting, educational study of the Senate. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742534513
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin B. Gold is a partner in Covington & Burling's Washington office and is co-chair of the firm's Legislative Practice Group. Most recently, Mr. Gold served as Floor Advisor and Counsel to United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, assisting in all aspects of floor procedure and strategy during Senator Frist's first session as Majority Leader. He has over thirty years of legislative experience in the public and private sectors. His prior Senate experience included service as counsel to former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker and counsel to former Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Thereafter, Mr. Gold was a principal and founder of Gold & Liebengood and The Legislative Strategies Group, two leading Washington lobbying firms. Mr. Gold earned his J.D., M.P.A., and B.A. degrees from The American University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Senate Procedure and Practice Chapter 2 Legislative Business Chapter 3 Floor Debates Chapter 4 Legislation and Committee Procedures Chapter 5 Bills and Joint Resolutions Chapter 6 The Amendment Process Chapter 7 Voting in the Senate Chapter 8 Finalizing Legislation to Send to the President's Desk Chapter 9 The Appropriations and Budget Processes in the Senate Chapter 10 Executive Business and the Executive Calendar

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