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Call to Order: Floor Politics in the House and Senate
     

Call to Order: Floor Politics in the House and Senate

by Steven S. Smith
 

Congress is playing by new rules--a changing distribution of power in Congress, a more complex interplay of rules and procedures and policy, and a new role for floor politics in the legislative process. In Call to Order, Smith outlines how a fairly stable period of reform in the 1950s and the early 1960s erupted into a turbulent period of reform in the 1970s. New

Overview

Congress is playing by new rules--a changing distribution of power in Congress, a more complex interplay of rules and procedures and policy, and a new role for floor politics in the legislative process. In Call to Order, Smith outlines how a fairly stable period of reform in the 1950s and the early 1960s erupted into a turbulent period of reform in the 1970s. New issues spawned a variety of organized interest groups, and these, coupled with growing constituency pressures, increased the demand for members to champion causes. But floor politics in the 1980s took on a distinct character, particularly in the House. Budget politics, new procedural innovations, leadership tactics, and other developments made these years quite different from the unsettled seventies. Smith carefully considers these changes, their relationships to one another, the new role of floor activity in both houses of Congress, and the overall implications for congressional policy making.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Congressional 'junkies' will this book...[It] will show up, well worn, on the shelf of every serious student and practitioner of legislative politics." —Charles O. Jones, University of Wisconsin

Booknews
Smith (political science, U. of Minnesota) writes of the changing distribution of power in Congress, the interplay of rules, procedures, and policy, and the role of the floor in the legislative process. Concludes with an analysis of how developments on the chamber floors have affected committee power, and argues that while congressional committees have lost much of their former autonomy, they still are robust forces in policymaking. Paper edition, $11.95, not seen. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815780144
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
05/28/1989
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Steven S. Smith is the director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of several books on congressional politics, including The American Congress (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) and Call to Order: Floor Politics in the House and Senate (Brookings, 1989).

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