In the mid-1990s, the outlook for bipartisanship looked equally bleak. The budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans forced the government to shut down, not once, but twice. Yet two years later, a Democratic White House and a Republican-controlled Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation. This historic legislation not only brought an end to a period of massive federal budget deficits, but it also provided health insurance for five million children, created the HOPE scholarship for postsecondary education, enacted a child tax credit, increased funding for environmental programs, strengthened incentives to move people from welfare to work, and provided new incentives for saving and investing.
Hilley tells the inside story of this dramatic turnaround, drawing on his experience as the Clinton administration's chief liaison to Congress. He offers vivid portraits of the key playersincluding then Speaker Of the House Newt Gingrich, Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, and President Bill Clintonas well as unique insight into the legislative process. Equally at home with the arcane rules of Congress and the realities of political combat, he explores the highly charged relationship between party leaders and their rank-and-file, the interplay between electedofficials and their professional staff, the delicate art of partisan negotiations, and the role of uncertainty and surprise. The result is a compelling look at how public policy is made, rich in lessons for both policymakers and students of legislative politics.
A decade ago, bipartisanship triumphed against daunting odds. The Challenge of Legislation shows how it happened and what it will take for bipartisanship to take hold again.
|Publisher:||Brookings Institution Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsAcknowledgments ix
We're Fixing a Hole 1
Circle 'Round the Consumer Price Index 41
The Handoff 57
Staking Out Territory 71
Offer and Counteroffer 85
An Agreement 98
What Was That We Agreed To? 116
The Center Must Hold 129
The Challenge of Reconciliation 137
House on Fire 157
Tax Tribulations 168
Into the Hands of the Leaders 188
Taxes and Death 202
The Triumph of Responsibility 215
Postscript: The Limits and Potential of Bipartisanship 226
Primer on the Budget Process 235
Key Budget Terms 240
Chronology of Important Dates 249
List of Participants 251
What People are Saying About This
Wildflowers, is a riveting tale that deftly portrays everyday life in a small American mill town and the abuse of child laborers at the end of the nineteenth century.
Eleven-year-old Hillary Cook and her widowed mother, Laura, must both work to survive. Hillary works twelve hours a day, six days a week at the Alton Textile Mill. On Sunday afternoons, she and her two friends pick flowers, dream and play pretend in the nearby countryside. The girls pledge to be friends for eternity and call themselves "wildflowers."
In this difficult world, innocent children are forced to operate dangerous machinery at the mill and even darker abuses are committed against them. Mill owner Frank Dragus has young girls sent to his office for whatever he pleases-and he is interested in Hillary. When tragedy befalls Hillary and her mother, Hillary is forced into a situation that may have disastrous consequences . . .
From busy factory floors and bustling portside pubs to tragedy, murder, and intrigue, Wildflowers integrates the nostalgia of historical fiction with the wit of modern-day drama.
"The Challenge of Legislation opens the window on national policy as it is created. This remarkable story takes the reader on the roller coaster ride of legislation-the competing agendas, political calculations, uncertainties and surprises, acts of goodwill and trust, and finally the exhilaration of accomplishment."--(Tom Daschle, former Senate Democratic Leader)
"The Challenge of Legislation is brilliant and enthralling, the best account in decades of the dance of legislation on Capitol Hill. John Hilley, a seasoned and highly-regarded Senate aide who became Bill Clinton's top legislative strategist, uses a too-rare bipartisan moment to reveal in deft first-hand fashion both politics and policy as actually practiced by the White House and Congressional leaders. Hilley was there, he lived every moment of this page-turning tale, and he can write. He's produced a perfect book for citizens and students alike-an engrossing, informative, and uplifting story of Washington as it can be, of Washington at its best."--(Eric Redman, author of The Dance of Legislation)
"The Challenge of Legislation is the hopeful story of Republicans and Democrats working as partners to address our nation's problems. John Hilley chronicles a time when we set aside our differences to win results for the American people. He speaks not just as a witness, but as a participant in achieving this historic balanced budget agreement. His story should serve as a challenge for leaders in Congress and the White House."--(Trent Lott, former Senate Republican Whip)