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Author: Ross M. English

The role of the Congress is essential to any study of American government and politics. It would be impossible to gain a complete understanding of the American system of government without an appreciation of the nature and workings of this essential body. This text looks at the workings of the United States Congress, and uses the Republican period of ascendancy, which lasted from 1994 until 2000, as an example of how the Congress works in practice. The book illustrates the basic principles of Congress using contemporary and recent examples, while also drawing attention to the changes that took place in the 1990s. The period of Republican control is absent from many of the standard texts and is of considerable academic interest for a number of reasons, not least the 1994 election, the budget deadlock in 1995 and the Clinton impeachment scandal of 1999. The book traces the origin and development of the United States Congress, before looking in depth at the role of representatives and senators, the committee system, parties in Congress, and the relationship between Congress and the President, the media and interest groups.

Open Access (free)
Ross M. English

7 President and Congress President John Tyler stated that he enjoyed good health, and felt much better since Congress had finally adjourned. (L. A. Godbright, 1869) At the heart of the Constitution is the separation of power between the President of the United States and Congress. The President has the roles of chief diplomat, Commander-inChief of the Armed Forces and, as head of the executive branch, the responsibility for executing the laws passed by Congress. While the President and Congress were given separate powers and responsibilities, the Founding

in The United States Congress
Open Access (free)
Ross M. English

5 Parties in Congress The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it. (P. J. O’Rourke) One of the most often overlooked aspects of Congress is the role played by political parties. It is true that parties in the United States are weaker and more fragmented than many of their Western European counterparts. It is also true that the majority of members of

in The United States Congress
Abstract only
Edward Ashbee

The US Congress is, according to the Constitution, the first branch of government. It has a bicameral structure and its powers include the passage of legislation, declarations of war, the ratification of treaties, the formulation of the annual budget, consent to major political appointments, and the oversight of executive departments and agencies. Members must, at the same time, respond to the concerns of countless individuals and organisations. Although the president can, at times, play a pivotal role

in US politics today (fourth edition)
Ross M. English

1 Origins and development of Congress All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. (The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 1) The origins of the Constitution In 1787, when the Founding Fathers of the United States of America crafted the Constitution – a Constitution which still endures today – they chose for the very first article, not the institution of the President or the Supreme Court, but the US Congress. The

in The United States Congress
Ross M. English

8 Congress, the media and interest groups Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media. (Noam Chomsky) In the previous chapters, the relationship between the voters, parties, the President and members of Congress have been examined. This section looks at two other actors who impact on Congress: the media and interest groups. Media The media performs a crucial role in the American political process. The majority of voters will have little or no personal contact with Congress or its members. These voters rely heavily on newspapers

in The United States Congress
Ross M. English

9 Assessing the US Congress I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress. (President Ronald W. Reagan) At first glance, while the nation of the United States of America has changed greatly since the Constitution was written in 1787, the political system has remained remarkably stable. The United States is still a federal system, with its government based on the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial powers. Congress, the legislative branch of the government, remains a

in The United States Congress
Loch K. Johnson

intelligence. 7 Each has concluded that one of the most significant flaws in this secret world has been the failure of policy-makers (including members of Congress) to clarify, during the planning-and-direction phase of the intelligence cycle, exactly what kinds of information they need. All too frequently, intelligence officers are left in the dark about the data requirements of top policy officials, who in

in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
Joanne Yao

The 1815 Congress of Vienna is often seen by historians and political scientists alike as a turning point in European politics, with lasting consequences for international security and order. In this chapter, I examine one of the Congress's lesser-known outcomes – the creation of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine – to interrogate the extent to which the Congress and the Rhine Commission represented a new direction for European politics. Two opposing forces framed the Congress of Vienna and its stance toward cooperation

in The ideal river
Open Access (free)
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat

photographic situation of refugeedom. Notes 1 Hine’s first project was photographing immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. From there he worked with a network of social reformers, particularly associated with The Survey , a sociological revue, and the National Child Labor Committee. Some of his most recognized work comes from this latter project which he ended a few months prior to being hired by the ARC to go overseas. 2 The Library of Congress holds the bulk of Hine’s European photographs in the American Red Cross collection, which was deposited

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs