Congress in context


    • Haskell, John


Congress in context

John Haskell

Westview Press, c2010

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references and index



The U.S. Congress is by far the least popular branch of the federal government. It is also probably the least understood. It is not uncommon for high-ranking government officials to be confused about the workings of the institution and how it exercises its power. This book aims to demystify the institution-to give readers a succinct yet sophisticated overview of Congress and the policymaking process. Instead of treating Congress as an entity isolated from the rest of government, Congress in Context introduces readers to Congress's critical role as part of an interdependent system. Using the metaphor of Congress as a board of directors, author John Haskell explains the three key roles of Congress within the federal government-authorizing what government does, funding its activities, and, when it sees fit, supervising or "conducting oversight" on those activities. Grounded in current political science literature and packed with real-life examples, Congress in Context offers readers an informed and practical understanding of policymaking in the legislative branch.


Contents * 1. Congress as Board of Directors * 2. The Nature of Congress * 3. Congressional Elections * 4. Congress as Board of Directors: Authorizing the Work of Government * 5. Congress as Board of Directors: Funding the Government * 6. Congress as Board of Directors: Oversight of the Executive Branch * 7. The Board of Directors Meets Its Match: The Case of War Powers * 8. The Board of Directors in the Twenty-First Century

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