"A clear explanation of the workings of the United States government that should be required reading for politically engaged Americans." -- KIRKUS
Congressional Procedure explains the legislative and congressional budget processes along with all aspects of Congress.
This comprehensive guide to Congress is ideal for anyone who wants to know how Congress really works, including federal executives, attorneys, lobbyists, media and public affairs staff, government affairs, policy and budget analysts, congressional office staff and students.
- Clear explanation of the legislative process, budget process, and House and Senate business
- Legislative process flowchart
- Explanation of the electoral college and votes by states
- Relationship between budget resolutions and appropriation and authorization bills
- Amendment tree and amendment procedures
- How members are assigned to committees
- Glossary of legislative terms
Each chapter concludes with Review Questions.
Chapter 1 examines the relationship between the U.S. Constitution and the House and Senate. It discusses Constitutional provisions that directly affect Congress. The makeup, roles and leadership of the House and Senate are compared and contrasted. Congressional committees and their place and power in the House and Senate are explored.
Chapter 2 begins with a discussion of why members submit legislation, explains the forms of legislation, and lays out the steps involved in drafting legislation. Bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions and simple House and Senate resolutions and their purposes are separately described. Ends with a flowchart of the legislative process.
In Chapter 3, the work of Congressional committees is examined in greater detail: types of committees and their structures; subcommittees; power of the chairs of committees; hearings, markups and amendment procedure in committee; and the reporting of legislation to the House and Senate floor.
Chapters 4 and 5 follow the course of legislation through the respective chambers and some of the more arcane elements of House and Senate floor action.
Chapter 4 addresses some of the unique characteristics of the House including the central and crucial role played by the Rules Committee and the special rules it reports. Scheduling, consideration, amending, and passage of legislation through the House is described in detail.
Chapter 5 discusses the handling of legislation on the Senate floor, including unique Senate characteristics like the filibuster, the nuclear option, holds, and the filling of the amendment tree.
Chapter 6 explains the various procedures for resolving differences in legislation between the Senate and the House.
The budget process is addressed in Chapter 7, including appropriations and authorization procedures, the 1974 Budget and Impoundment Control Act and the key role it has played since its adoption, the use of the optional budget reconciliation process, and the somewhat complex but crucial Byrd Rule.
Chapter 8 concludes the detail and analysis of Congressional procedure with a number of processes that are not strictly legislative, including a number of Constitutional responsibilities given to Congress such as oversight and investigation and advice and consent, counting of Electoral College ballots, and impeachment.
The conclusion, Chapter 9, describes the way in which many of the procedures explained in this book are increasingly being used, and some would say abused, in both the House and the Senate.
Also see related CRS Reports and links on TCNCPAM.com
For detailed Table of Contents, see CongressionalProcedure.com
"An ideal guide, Richard Arenberg leads the way through the labyrinth of congressional procedure. Having staffed in both the House and Senate, crafted legislative tactics, and taught how Congress works, he can explain complex issues lucidly."
-- Donald A. Ritchie, Historian Emeritus, U.S. Senate
"This hands-on practitioner's guide cuts away veils of mystery to shed light on the rules governing Washington's most impenetrable institution, the United States Congress. From 'regular order' to special rules to filibusters, amendment trees, and how the system has broken down in recent years, Professor Arenberg uses his experience and expertise to explain clearly both the how and the why behind the House and Senate and their peculiarly unique ways of doing business. A great guide for navigating the rapids."
-- Ken Ackerman, Of Counsel, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC
"In Congressional Procedure, Richard Arenberg provides the ultimate guide and master blueprint to the legislative process, how Congress should function, and how it operates today. During my 34 years in both the U.S. House and Senate, I witnessed firsthand that process dictates policy, and is central to Congress's capacity to solve problems. This book is an essential resource and eminently accessible behind-the-scenes look at the machinery of lawmaking."
-- Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senate (R-ME) (1994-2013); U.S. House of Representatives (1978-1993)
"Professor Richard A. Arenberg's lively and accessible description about how Congress works is a must read for everyone wanting to know more about the contemporary Congress. It educates scholars and journalists who write about the legislative branch, students, the public, and political practitioners about the inside machinery of congressional procedure. Arenberg's wisdom about Congress is a combination of years of experience on the Hill and his careful scholarship. It is a thorough and careful account of the organization, processes, and procedures of the House and Senate."
-- James A. Thurber, University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder (1979) and Founder and Former Director (1979-2016) of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University
"Congressional Procedure delivers on its promise. It is a clear, concise, straightforward guide to how Congress operates. It has just enough detail to explain what is going on without descending into unnecessary minutia. It will serve readers well as either a handy desk reference for members, staff, and anyone else who needs to understand Congress or a textbook for any course on Congress."
-- Joseph Gibson, Author, Persuading Congress
"Richard Arenberg understands the workings of the Senate as well as anyone I know. Congressional Procedure reflects his wealth of experience, common sense, political savvy, and extensive knowledge of the legislative process."
-- Carl Levin, U.S. Senate (D-MI) (1979- 2015)