Robert G. Kaiser's Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, PDF

By Robert G. Kaiser

An eye-opening account of the way Congress at the present time fairly works—and doesn’t—that follows the dramatic trip of the sweeping monetary reform invoice enacted in accordance with the good Crash of 2008.

The founding fathers anticipated Congress to be crucial department of presidency and gave it the main energy. whilst Congress is broken—as its justifiably dismal approval rankings suggest—so is our democracy. the following, Robert G. Kaiser, whose lengthy and unique occupation at The Washington Post has made him as prepared and a professional an observer of Congress as now we have, takes us at the back of the sound bites to show the protocols, avid gamers, and politics of the home and Senate—revealing either the triumphs of the approach and (more frequently) its basic flaws.

 Act of Congress tells the tale of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the 2 males who made it attainable: Congressman Barney Frank, exceptional and infrequently abrasive, who mastered the main points of economic reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who labored patiently for months to satisfy his imaginative and prescient of a Senate that may nonetheless paintings on a bipartisan foundation. either Frank and Dodd collaborated with Kaiser all through their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to proportion each step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page legislation that reworked America’s monetary zone.

Kaiser explains how lobbying impacts a bill—or fails to. We persist with employees participants extra influential than such a lot senators and congressmen. We see how Congress contributors shield their very own turf, usually with no regard for what may top serve the country—more wanting to courtroom tv cameras than legislate on advanced matters approximately which lots of them stay ignorant. Kaiser indicates how ferocious partisanship on a regular basis overwhelms all different issues, even though sometimes person integrity prevails.

Act of Congress, as pleasing because it is enlightening, is an integral consultant to a necessary piece of our political method desperately short of reform.

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Extra resources for Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't

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Only time will tell. In mobilizing people for mass movements, popular democrats have appealed to the ideas of political equality and rights found in the Declaration of Independence. In 1848, for example, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the language of the Declaration of Independence to write a women’s declaration of independence. Her Declaration of Sentiments is considered the founding document of the women’s rights movement, which won the right to vote in 1920 and flowered into a modern feminist movement in the 1960s.

The delegates who came to Philadelphia agreed that efforts in the states to block what was happening had been unsuccessful. They also agreed that the weak national government under the Articles of Confederation, with its dedication to state sovereignty, provided no recourse. These delegates were still republicans, but they no longer hoped to base the American republic on the virtue or public spirit of the people. As they saw it, if republicanism was to survive in America—without subverting either order or property— only a proper constitution could save it.

What makes the question hard to answer is that the experiment never had a clear trial. Opponents of the constitution, many from the old social and economic elite, fought from the beginning to obstruct and overturn it. Their powerful resistance gained ground as the revolutionary spirit of 1776 faded. In 1790, Pennsylvania adopted a new constitution, setting up a government similar to those in other states, and ended its revolutionary experiment in popular democracy. Sources: The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776; David Hawke, In the Midst of a Revolution (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961); Gordon S.

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Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't by Robert G. Kaiser


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