Congress A to Z
Congress A to Z provides ready-reference insight into the national legislature, its organization, processes, personalities, major legislation, and history. No other volume so clearly and concisely explains every key aspect of the national legislature. The Sixth Edition of this classic, easy-to-use reference is updated with new entries covering the dramatic congressional events of recent years, including social media usage by members of Congress, the politics of recent debt ceiling and deficit spending showdowns with the executive branch, new floor leaders in both chambers, and campaign finance patterns.
Each of the more than 250 entries, arranged in encyclopedic A-to-Z format, provides insight into the key questions readers have about the U.S. Congress and helps them make sense of the narrow power division between Republicans and Democrats, the ...
- Entries A-Z
- Subject Index
Copyright © 2014 CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE. CQ Press is a registered trademark of Congressional Quarterly Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Congress A-Z / updated by Chuck McCutcheon.—Sixth edition.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4522-8752-2 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. United States. Congress—Dictionaries. I. McCutcheon, Chuck, 1963–
14 15 16 17 18 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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Tables and Figures[Page xi]
- Senate Rejections of Cabinet Nominations 16
- Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed by the Senate 17
- Blacks in Congress, 1947–2013 42
- Black Members of Congress, 1870–2013 46
- Map of Capitol Hill Buildings 85
- Congressional Committees, 112th Congress 114
- Other Amendments to the Constitution 145
- Cases of Expulsion in the Senate 165
- Cases of Expulsion in the House 166
- Censure Proceedings in the Senate 167
- Censure Proceedings in the House 168
- Electoral Votes by State, 2004–2010 182
- Hispanic Members of Congress, 1877–2013 268
- Senate Impeachment Trials, 1789–2013 293
- Incumbents Reelected, Defeated, or Retired, 1946–2012 297
- House Floor Leaders, 1899–2013 341
- Senate Floor Leaders, 1911–2013 343
- How a Bill Becomes a Law 361
- Longest Service in Congress 396
- Congressional Pay 424
- Top PAC Contributors to Congressional Candidates, 2011–2012 Election Cycle 431
- Federal Spending: Where the Money Goes 461
- Map of North Carolina Redistricting 473
- Map of Illinois Redistricting 476
- Longest-Serving House Speakers 532
- Speakers of the House of Representatives, 1789–2013 533
- Treaties Killed by the Senate 576
- Vetoes Issued and Overridden, 1789–2013 586
- Senate Votes Cast by Vice Presidents 593
- Women in Congress, 1947–2013 624
About the Book[Page xiii]
Congress A to Z is part of CQ Press's five-volume American Government A to Z series, which provides essential information about the history, powers, and operations of the three branches of government, the election of members of Congress and the president, and the nation's most important document, the Constitution. In these volumes, CQ Press's writers and editors present engaging insight and analysis about U.S. government in a comprehensive, ready-reference encyclopedia format. The series is useful to anyone who has an interest in national government and politics.
Congress A to Z offers accessible information about the inner workings of the legislative branch, including biographies of influential members; discussions of congressional relations with the president, the bureaucracy, interest groups, the media, political parties, and the public; and explanations of the concepts and powers related to Congress, including the committee system, the federal budget process, and congressional investigations. The entries are arranged alphabetically and are extensively cross-referenced to related information. This volume includes a detailed index, useful reference materials, and a bibliography.
The sixth edition of Congress A to Z has been thoroughly updated to cover contemporary events, including the 2010 midterm elections that shifted party control in the House back to Republicans after a four-year absence. The volume contains new entries on the Tea Party, the use of social media in Congress and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the health care overhaul known as “Obamacare”). It also includes new short biographies of several figures who have taken on prominent new roles since the last edition, including President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Presented in a new and engaging design, this edition contains a wealth of stimulating sidebar material, such as memorable quotations and numerous features inviting the reader to explore issues in further depth.[Page xiv]
In the five years since Congress A to Z was last published in 2008, control of one chamber of Congress—the central institution of the Founders' plan for the new nation's federal government—changed hands once again, illustrating both the ferment and the intractability of divided power in Washington, D.C. In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans swept their Democratic counterparts out of the House to take control of the chamber for the first time in four years. Though the GOP managed to hold onto to the House two years later, Democrats maintained their majority in the Senate in both 2010 and 2012, confounding earlier political expectations. And former Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama overcame the 2010 landslide in the House to notch a solid reelection victory in 2012.
The rapidly shifting situation affirmed the deep divisions that are the hallmark of 21st century politics. The split between “Red America” and “Blue America” has grown as the nation has developed its own separate information networks, through the news media and Internet, which have encouraged the demonization of the other side and discouraged bipartisanship. In the thirty-two states that supported Democrat Bill Clinton for president in 1992, forty-four Democrats and twenty Republicans held those states' seats in the Senate, a sign that Republicans could win even in Democratic presidential states. But the twenty-six states that voted for Obama in 2012 sent forty-three Democrats and just nine Republicans to the Senate. Only five Senate candidates that year won elections in states in which the other party's presidential nominee prevailed.
In the House, Democrats in 2012 captured the majority of the overall popular vote and scored victories over Republicans in the Northeast, West and upper Midwest. But Republicans benefitted from the redrawing of congressional districts following the 2010 census that enabled GOP legislatures to put numerous Democratic incumbents at risk, especially those in the South.
Obama's presidency was marked from the start by near-unanimous Republican opposition to his major initiatives. He got a $787 billion economic stimulus into law in 2009, and passed a bill in the House to reduce industrial emissions blamed for global warming, with just a handful of GOP votes. But his chief accomplishment, a sweeping revamp of the federal health care system, came without any Republican support. The highly controversial “Obamacare” measure, together with concerns that Obama's spending policies were causing the budget [Page xvi]deficit to spiral out of control, helped many GOP candidates oust veteran Democratic incumbents in 2010.
Many of those Republicans were affiliated with the “Tea Party” movement of limited government that took a dim view of compromise. As a result, Obama faced dramatic legislative showdowns in 2011 and 2012 over raising the federal debt ceiling and striking a long-term deal over taxes and spending. The inability to achieve the latter led to a “sequester” of steep automatic spending cuts. By mid-2013, one of the only major issues in which lawmakers in both parties appeared willing to find common ground was on comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans were willing to set aside their past disdain for providing illegal immigrants with a potential path to citizenship in the hope of boosting their electoral prospects among Hispanics, who have tended to overwhelmingly support Democrats.
Although 2013 brought the drama of a Democratic White House pitted against a Republican House, the accompanying divisiveness and partisanship had become all too familiar over the previous two decades. In the fall 1994 elections, Republicans captured control of Congress for the first time since the 1952 elections gave them a two-year majority. Partisanship is never far away from daily activity in Congress, but the period starting with GOP control in 1995 was defined by a deep divide between the two parties over not only legislative priorities but also basic philosophies of government and fundamental political agendas. The differences existed before, but Republicans had been unable to assert their beliefs against the long-standing Democratic majority, other than through the actions of the GOP presidents who controlled the White House for much of the period from 1952 to 1992.
Differences were exacerbated in the late 1990s by Republican hostility, principally in the House, toward Democratic president Bill Clinton. An unsuccessful House effort to remove Clinton from office through impeachment presaged the bitterness of the 2000 election, when Bush won the White House after recounts of disputed vote tallies in Florida were halted by the Supreme Court's 5–4 decision. Partisanship deepened over the next six years as Republicans, in control of both chambers much of that time, moved aggressively, and largely successfully, to enact their legislative agenda, often via heavy-handed use of rules and political muscle. Republicans showed little interest in aggressive oversight of the executive branch, preferring to give mostly solid support to White House actions. Democrats protested vigorously but, being in the minority, had no leverage. Only after gaining the majority in the 2006 elections were the Democrats—particularly in the House—able to exercise aggressive oversight in 2007 through a number of congressional committees. The return of Republican control to the House in 2010 saw the GOP also use its oversight powers aggressively against the Obama White House.
This new edition of Congress A to Z marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first edition published by Congressional Quarterly (CQ) in 1988. In updating the text for the sixth edition, editors noted—as they had during previous revisions—how much did not change in the operation, procedures, structure, and even fundamental attitudes of members, despite the partisanship and the raucous differences over the issues of the day. Political parties vied for supremacy, legislation [Page xvii]was passed, vast sums of money were appropriated, scandals occurred, and the public's view of Congress—if the polls were to be believed—remained low.
Congress A to Z is designed to help students, activists, interested citizens, and anyone concerned about the vitality of self-government in the United States understand better the ways in which the most representative institution of the federal government operates. Although only the president is elected by all the voters, Congress is selected by a vast array of voter subsets that arguably are as close a reflection of the views and concerns of citizens as can be obtained in a representative government. How this institution understands, reflects, and responds to these citizen concerns is of vital importance.
The original edition of Congress A to Z was planned and in large part written by Mary Cohn, for many years a senior editor at Congressional Quarterly. Significant portions of her work are continued in this edition. Subsequent editions were updated by many CQ reporters and editors, most recently by Chuck McCutcheon, a former CQ editor who is coauthor of National Journal's Almanac of American Politics. This edition was updated under the supervision of CQ Press acquiring editor Doug Goldenberg-Hart. The entries in Congress A to Z and its companion volumes on the presidency, the Supreme Court, elections, and the Constitution are arranged alphabetically and are extensively cross-referenced to guide readers to related information elsewhere in each book. Each volume is also available as an online edition.
The core of the Congress volume is a series of essays that provide overviews of major topics such as the House and the Senate, legislation, leadership, power of the purse, and war powers. Supporting the essays are shorter entries covering items mentioned in them and specific items related to Congress and legislation. Brief biographies of important congressional figures are included. An extensive appendix includes a variety of tables and other reference material for quick reference about facts and figures. A bibliography is arranged by subject.
Readers who need more extensive, in-depth explanations of Congress as an institution may wish to consult CQ Press's Guide to Congress, Seventh Edition, after reading the appropriate entries in Congress A to Z.
We hope that this volume, and the others that make up the American Government A to Z series, will achieve the simple goal underpinning all the books: to provide readers with easily understood, accurate information about Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, the elections that so dramatically influence these institutions, and the Constitution of the United States.CQ Press Editors August 2013[Page xviii]
Historic Milestones[Page xix]
The history of Congress is studded with events that have helped to shape the legislative branch and define its relations with the nation as a whole. Some of these milestones in congressional history are listed here.1787
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention agree to establish a national legislature consisting of two chambers: a House of Representatives to be chosen by direct popular vote and a Senate to be chosen by the state legislatures. Under the terms of the “Great Compromise” between the large and small states, representation in the House would be proportional to a state's population; in the Senate each state would have two votes.1789
The First Congress is scheduled to convene on March 4 in New York City's Federal Hall. The House does not muster a quorum to do business until April 1 and the Senate until April 6. Congress continues to meet in New York until August 1790. President George Washington appears twice in the Senate to consult about an Indian treaty. His presence during Senate proceedings creates such tension that later presidents never participate directly in congressional floor proceedings.Federal Hall in New York City was the meeting place of the First Congress from April 1789 to August 1790.[Page xx]1790
Congress moves to Philadelphia, where it meets in Congress Hall from December 1790 to May 1800.1800
Congress formally convenes in Washington, D.C., on November 17. Both houses meet in the north wing of the Capitol, the only part of the building that has been completed.1801
In its first use of contingent election procedures established by the Constitution, the House of Representatives chooses Thomas Jefferson as president. The election is thrown into the House when Democratic-Republican electors inadvertently cast equal numbers of votes for Jefferson and Aaron Burr, their candidates for president and vice president, respectively. The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, requiring separate votes for president and vice president, will be ratified in time for the next presidential election in 1804. (See electing the president; constitutional amendments.)1803
The Supreme Court, in the case of Marbury v. Madison, establishes its right of judicial review over legislation passed by Congress.In 1814 British troops raided Washington, D.C., and burned several buildings, including the Capitol.1812
Using its war powers for the first time, Congress declares war against Great Britain, which has seized U.S. ships and impressed American sailors.1814
British troops raid Washington on August 24, setting fire to the capitol building, the White House, and other buildings. Congress meets in makeshift quarters until it can return to the Capitol in December 1819.1820
House Speaker Henry Clay negotiates settlement of a bitter sectional dispute over the extension of slavery. Known as the [Page xxi]Missouri Compromise, Clay's plan preserves the balance between slave and free states and bars slavery in any future state north of 36„30’ north latitude.1825
The House settles the 1824 presidential election when none of the four major contenders for the office receives a majority of the electoral vote. Although Andrew Jackson leads in both the popular and the electoral vote, the House elects John Quincy Adams on the first ballot.1830
The doctrine of nullification sparks one of the most famous debates in Senate history. As articulated by Vice President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, the doctrine asserts the right of states to nullify federal laws they consider unconstitutional. In a stirring Senate speech, a fellow South Carolinian, Sen. Robert Y. Hayne, defends the doctrine and urges the West to ally with the South against the North. Massachusetts Whig Daniel Webster responds with a passionate plea for preservation of the Union.1834
The Senate adopts a resolution censuring President Andrew Jackson for his removal of deposits from the Bank of the United States and his refusal to hand over communications to his cabinet on that issue. (The censure resolution is expunged from the Senate Journal in 1837 after Jacksonian Democrats gain control of the Senate.)1846
The House passes the Wilmot Proviso, which would bar slavery in territories to be acquired from Mexico in settlement of the Mexican War. Southerners, led by Calhoun, defeat the measure in the Senate. The proviso—named for its sponsor, Rep. David Wilmot of Pennsylvania—deepens the sectional split in Congress over extension of slavery.Henry Clay's last great effort to hold the Union together was known as the Compromise of 1850. Visitors packed the galleries during this debate, which marked the last joint appearance in the Senate of Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun.1850
The Compromise of 1850, Clay's final attempt to keep the South from seceding [Page xxii]from the Union, brings together Webster, Clay, and Calhoun for their last joint appearance in the Senate. Ill and near death, Calhoun drags himself into the chamber to hear his speech read by a colleague. Clay, in a speech that extends over two days, urges acceptance of his proposals, which exact concessions from both the North and South. The compromise package clears the way for California to be admitted to the Union as a free state, permits residents of the New Mexico and Utah territories to decide in the future on slavery there, abolishes the slave trade in the District of Columbia, and establishes a strong fugitive slave law.1854
Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and permitting settlers in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to decide whether or not they want slavery. Opponents of the new law establish the Republican Party. Conflict over slavery in Kansas leads to violence in the territories—and in Congress.Abraham Lincoln rose to national prominence during his 1858 debates with Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. This postage stamp commemorates the centennial of those debates.1856
During debate on the Kansas statehood bill, two South Carolina representatives attack Sen. Charles Sumner at his desk in the Senate chamber. They beat him so severely that the Massachusetts senator is unable to resume his seat until 1859.1858
Abraham Lincoln, Republican candidate for the Senate from Illinois, challenges Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, his Democratic opponent, to a series of debates on the slavery issue. Lincoln loses the election, but his moderate views recommend him for the presidential nomination two years later.1859
The Thirty-sixth Congress convenes on December 5, its members inflamed by the execution of abolitionist John Brown only days before. The House takes two months and forty-four ballots to elect a Speaker; its choice is William Pennington of New Jersey, a new member of the House and a political unknown. The session is marked by verbal duels and threats of secession. Pistols are carried openly in the House and Senate chambers.[Page xxiii]1860
South Carolina secedes from the Union in the wake of Lincoln's election to the presidency. Ten other southern states follow. The Civil War and its aftermath exclude the South from representation in Congress until 1869.1861
Congress establishes a Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. The committee, a vehicle for Radical Republicans opposed to President Lincoln, uses its far-ranging inquiries to criticize Lincoln's conduct of the war.1863–1865
The Radicals, opposed to Lincoln's mild policies for postwar Reconstruction of the South, pass a bill placing all Reconstruction authority under the direct control of Congress. Lincoln pocket vetoes the bill after Congress adjourns in 1864. Radicals issue the Wade-Davis Manifesto, asserting that “the authority of Congress is paramount and must be respected.” They put their harsh Reconstruction policies into effect when Andrew Johnson becomes president after Lincoln's assassination in 1865. (See Reconstruction Era.)1868
The House votes to impeach Johnson for dismissing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton in violation of the Tenure of Office Act. In the ensuing Senate trial, Johnson wins acquittal by a one-vote margin. (See Johnson impeachment trial.)1870
The first black members take their seats in Congress, representing newly readmitted southern states. The Mississippi legislature chooses Hiram R. Revels to fill the Senate seat once occupied by Confederate president Jefferson Davis. Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina and Jefferson F. Long of Georgia enter the House. All are Republicans. (See Blacks in Congress.)1873
Several prominent members of Congress are implicated in the Crédit Mobilier scandal. A congressional investigating committee clears House Speaker James G. Blaine, but two other representatives are censured for accepting bribes from Crédit Mobilier of America, a company involved in construction of the transcontinental railroad. (See Investigations.)1877
Disputed electoral votes from several states force Congress for the first time to rule on the outcome of a presidential election. Congress determines that Republican Rutherford B. Hayes has been elected president by a one-electoral-vote margin over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. Tilden [Page xxiv]leads in the popular vote count by more than a quarter of a million votes, but Hayes wins the electoral vote, 185–184. He is sworn into office on March 4.Called upon to settle the disputed 1876 presidential election, Congress declared Republican Rutherford B. Hayes the winner by a one-vote electoral college margin. This print shows a campaign banner for the winning ticket of Hayes and running mate William A. Wheeler.1881
The Supreme Court, in the case of Kilbourn v. Thompson, for the first time asserts its authority to review the propriety of congressional investigations.1890
Republican Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed puts an end to Democrats' obstructionist tactics, which have paralyzed the House. The “Reed Rules” are adopted by the House after bitter debate. (See Speaker of the House.)1910
The House revolts against the autocratic rule of another Speaker, Joseph G. Cannon, and strips him of much of his authority. The power of the Speaker goes into a decline that lasts nearly fifteen years.1913
Ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution ends the practice of letting state legislatures elect senators. Senators, like representatives, now will be chosen by direct popular election. The change is part of the Progressive movement toward more democratic control of government. (See Direct election of senators.) Also in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson revives the practice of addressing Congress in joint session. The last president to do so was John Adams in 1800.1917
A Senate filibuster kills the Wilson administration's bill to arm merchant ships in the closing days of the Sixty-fourth Congress. “The Senate of the United States is the only legislative body [Page xxv]in the world which cannot act when its majority is ready for action,” Wilson rails. “A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.” The Senate quickly responds by adopting restrictions on debate through a process known as cloture.
“The Senate of the United States is the only legislative body in the world which cannot act when its majority is ready for action.”—President Woodrow Wilsonin response to a 1917 Senate filibuster1919
The Senate refuses to ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I. Senate opposition is aimed mainly at the Covenant of the League of Nations, which forms an integral part of the treaty. During consideration of the treaty, the Senate uses its cloture rule for the first time to cut off debate.1922–1923
A Senate investigation of the Teapot Dome oil-leasing scandal exposes bribery and corruption in the administration of President Warren G. Harding. His interior secretary, Albert B. Fall, ultimately is convicted of bribery and sent to prison.1933
Franklin D. Roosevelt assumes the presidency in the depths of the Great Depression and promptly calls Congress into special session. In this session, known as the “Hundred Days,” lawmakers are asked to pass, almost sight unseen, several emergency economic measures. Roosevelt's New Deal establishes Democrats as the majority party in Congress for most of the next sixty years.1934
For the first time Congress meets on January 3, as required by the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, ratified in 1933, also fixes January 20 as the date on which presidential terms will begin every four years; that change will take effect in 1937 at the beginning of Roosevelt's second term.President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted hundreds of “New Deal” programs in the 1930s to help pull the nation out of the Great Depression.1937
Roosevelt calls on Congress to increase the membership of the Supreme Court, setting off a great public uproar. The Court has ruled unconstitutional many New Deal programs, and critics claim the president wants to “pack” the Court with justices who will [Page xxvi]support his views. The plan eventually dies in the Senate. In the 1938 elections, Roosevelt tries unsuccessfully to “purge” Democratic members of Congress who opposed the plan. (See Courts and Congress.)1938
The House establishes the Dies Committee, one in a succession of special committees on “un-American activities.” The committee is given a broad mandate to investigate subversion. The committee chair, Texas Democrat Martin Dies, is avowedly anticommunist and anti-New Deal.1941
The Senate sets up a Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. The committee, chaired by Missouri Democrat Harry S. Truman, earns President Roosevelt's gratitude for serving as a “friendly watchdog” over defense spending without embarrassing the president. Truman will become Roosevelt's vice-presidential running mate in 1944 and succeed to the presidency upon Roosevelt's death the following year.1946
Congress approves a sweeping legislative reform measure. The most important provisions of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 aim to streamline committee structure, redistribute the congressional workload, and improve staff assistance. Provisions to strengthen congressional review of the federal budget soon prove unworkable and are dropped. A section on regulation of lobbying has little effect. (See Reform, congressional.)1948
The House Un-American Activities Committee launches an investigation of State Department official Alger Hiss. Its hearings, and Hiss's later conviction for perjury, establish communism as a leading political issue and the committee as an important political force. The case against Hiss is developed by a young member of the committee, California Republican Richard Nixon.1953
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican, conducts widely publicized national investigations of communism during his two-year reign as chair of the Permanent Investigations Subcommittee of the Senate Government Operations Committee. His investigation of the armed services culminates in the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings and McCarthy's censure by the Senate that year.1957
South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond sets a record for the longest speech in the history of the Senate. During a filibuster on a civil rights bill Thurmond, a Democrat who later switches to the Republican Party, speaks for twenty-four hours and eighteen minutes.[Page xxvii]1963
President John F. Kennedy is assassinated, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeds him. Johnson is elected president in his own right in 1964. Using political skills he honed as Senate majority leader (1955–1961), Johnson wins congressional approval of a broad array of social programs, which he labels the Great Society. Mounting opposition to his Vietnam War policy leads to his retirement in 1968.1964
Congress adopts the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, giving the president broad authority for use of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia. The resolution becomes the primary legal justification for the Johnson administration's prosecution of the Vietnam War. (Congress repeals the resolution in 1970.)
The Supreme Court, in the case of Wesberry v. Sanders, rules that congressional districts must be substantially equal in population. Court action is necessary because Congress has failed to act legislatively on behalf of heavily populated but underrepresented areas. (See Reapportionment and redistricting.)1967
The House votes to exclude veteran representative Adam Clayton Powell Jr. from sitting in the Ninetieth Congress. Powell, a black Democrat from New York's Harlem district, has been charged with misuse of public funds; he ascribes his downfall to racism. Later, in 1969, the Supreme Court rules that the House improperly excluded Powell, a duly elected representative who met the constitutional requirements for citizenship. Powell is reelected to the House in 1968 but rarely occupies his seat. (See Disciplining members.)1968
New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm is the first black woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. Born in Brooklyn in 1924, she began her career as a nursery school teacher and director and then headed a child-care center. She was elected to the state Assembly in 1964.In 1968 Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.1970
Congress passes the first substantial reform of congressional procedures since 1946. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 opens Congress to closer public scrutiny and curbs the power of committee chairs. Among other things, the act changes House voting procedures to allow for recorded floor votes on amendments, requires that all recorded committee votes be publicly disclosed, authorizes radio and television coverage of committee hearings, encourages more open committee sessions, and requires committees to have written rules. (See Voting in congress.)[Page xxviii]1971
Congress passes the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which limits spending for media advertising by candidates for federal office and requires full disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures. It is the first of three major campaign laws to be enacted during the 1970s; major amendments are enacted in 1974 and 1976. (See Campaign financing.)1973
The Senate establishes a select committee to investigate White House involvement in a break-in the previous year at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C. The committee hearings draw a picture of political sabotage that goes far beyond the original break-in. (See Watergate scandal.)
In its first use of powers granted by the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution, Congress confirms President Nixon's nomination of House minority leader Gerald R. Ford to be vice president. Ford succeeds Spiro T. Agnew, who has resigned facing criminal charges.
Congress passes the War Powers Resolution over Nixon's veto. The resolution restricts the president's powers to commit U.S. forces abroad without congressional approval.1974
The House Judiciary Committee recommends Nixon's impeachment and removal from office for his role in the Watergate scandal. Nixon resigns to avoid almost certain removal. Ford succeeds to the presidency; Congress confirms Nelson A. Rockefeller, his choice as vice president. (See Judiciary committee, House; Nixon impeachment effort.)
Seeking better control over government purse strings, Congress passes the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act. The new law requires legislators to set overall budget levels and then make their individual taxing and spending decisions fit within those levels. (See Budget process.)1975
The House Democratic Caucus elects committee chairs for the first time and unseats three incumbent chairs. It thus serves notice that seniority, or length of service, will no longer be the sole factor in selecting chairs. The chairs' defeat is one of the most dramatic manifestations of the reform wave that sweeps Congress in the 1970s. (See Seniority system.)[Page xxix]1977
The House and Senate adopt their first formal codes of ethics, setting guidelines for members' behavior. Personal finances must be disclosed, income earned outside Congress is restricted, and use of public funds is monitored.1979
The House begins live radio and television coverage of its floor proceedings. The Senate will not begin gavel-to-gavel broadcasts until 1986.Opening of the 112th Congress, as shown on C-SPAN. When C-SPAN first aired in March 1979, with the mission of providing live coverage of congressional proceedings, the network had four employees, a $450,000 budget, and one telephone line.1983
The Supreme Court invalidates the legislative veto, a device Congress has used for half a century to review and overturn executive-branch decisions carrying out laws. In the case of
Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, the Court rules that the legislative veto violates the constitutional separation of powers.1987
Senate and House committees hold joint hearings on the Iran-Contra Affair, investigating undercover U.S. arms sales to Iran and the diversion of profits from those sales to “Contra” guerrillas in Nicaragua. The committees conclude that President Ronald Reagan allowed a “cabal of zealots” to take over key aspects of U.S. foreign policy.1989
House Speaker Jim Wright resigns as Speaker amid questions about the ethics of the Texas Democrat's financial dealings. It is the first time in history that a House Speaker has been forced by scandal to leave the office in the middle of his term.1991
A sharply divided Congress votes to authorize the president to go to war against Iraq if that country does not end its occupation of Kuwait. Although this is not a formal declaration of war, it marks the first time since World War II that Congress has confronted the issue of sending large numbers of American troops into combat.1992
Ratification of a constitutional amendment prohibiting midterm pay raises for members of Congress is completed more than two centuries after the amendment was first proposed. The amendment, proposed by James Madison, was approved by the First Congress in 1789.
[Page xxx]Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois is the first black woman elected to the Senate.
“No law, varying the compensation for the services of senators and representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.”—Twenty-seventh Amendment, as first proposed by James Madison in 1789 and ratified by the states in 19921994
The 1994 elections usher in a Republican-controlled House and Senate for the first time since 1953. No Republican incumbents are defeated at the polls. Newt Gingrich of Georgia is in line to become the first Republican Speaker of the House from the South. For the first time since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s, Republicans win a majority of the congressional districts in the South.
Another record intact since the Civil War is broken: Thomas S. Foley of Washington becomes the first sitting Speaker to lose reelection since Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania was defeated in 1862.1995
The Republicans' willingness to close the government fails to force President Bill Clinton to accept their plan to balance the federal budget in seven years while providing major tax cuts. The result is two partial federal government shutdowns from December 1995 to January 1996.1996
For the first time ever, voters reelect a Democratic president and simultaneously entrust both chambers of Congress to the Republican Party.1997
The House votes to reprimand Speaker Gingrich and impose a $300,000 penalty for violating House rules. It is the first time in history that the House reprimands a sitting Speaker.1998
The federal government records a budget surplus for the first time since 1969.
In the congressional elections the Democrats gain five seats, marking the first time since 1934 that the party in control of the White House gains House seats in a midterm election.
Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr charges President Clinton with possible impeachable offenses in his effort to cover up an extramarital affair. After House Judiciary Committee hearings on the Starr referral, a lame-duck House votes two articles of impeachment against Clinton, charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton becomes only the second president in history to be impeached.[Page xxxi]1999
For the second time in U.S. history, the Senate acquits a president impeached by the House. The Senate vote to acquit President Clinton on two articles of impeachment falls mostly along partisan lines. (See Clinton impeachment trial.)2001
As the 107th Congress begins, Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time since 1953, at the beginning of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration. The Senate is evenly divided with fifty Democrats and fifty Republicans, but control goes to the GOP because the Republican vice-president, Richard B. Cheney, can cast a tie-breaking vote. Recognizing the potential for deadlock, Senate leaders of the two parties negotiate a power-sharing arrangement, unprecedented in Senate history, which gives the two parties equal representation on committees.
But control of the Senate switches from the Republicans to the Democrats six months into the session when a Republican senator from Vermont, James M. Jeffords, becomes an independent and caucuses with the Democrats. As a result of Jeffords's switch, Democrats take control of committees and the legislative agenda.
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington, the Capitol is temporarily evacuated. Urgent debates over national security dominate the rest of the session. In October, fears of bioterrorism arise as packages containing the deadly toxin anthrax are mailed to Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and others. The Hart building, where half of all senators have offices, is closed for ninety-six days.2002
Congress authorizes President George W. Bush to attack Iraq.
In the 2002 elections, Republicans break historic trends to win back Congress. For the third time in a century, the party in control of the White House wins seats in a midterm election, and for the first time, Republicans controlling the White House win back the Senate.2004
George W. Bush wins reelection as president and Republicans increase their strength in Congress, allowing the GOP in 2005 to push through important parts of their agenda, including an industry-oriented energy package, changes in tort law Republicans said were needed to stem frivolous antibusiness law suits, and a major rewriting of the bankruptcy laws.
“In a few moments, I'll have the high privilege of handing the gavel of the House of Representatives to a woman for the first time in American history. Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, this is a cause for celebration.”—Republican minority leader John A. Boehnerof Ohio, introducing Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California as Speaker of the House[Page xxxii]2006
Democrats charge back from the wilderness to take control of Congress, winning a net of thirty seats in the House and six in the Senate. Democrats pick up seats in all four national regions. In the Northeast, only one Republican survives. Republicans, still in control of Congress until 2007, leave much of the legislative agenda unfinished, passing only two of eleven appropriations bills for fiscal 2007. Republicans are rocked by a series of scandals ranging from influence peddling to bribery to inappropriate sexual advances toward some male House pages by a Florida GOP representative.2007
Democrats become the majority in both the Senate and House and organize Congress for the first time since 1994. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is elected House Speaker, the first time a woman has held that position. She thus becomes the highest-ranking woman in government and third in line for the presidency.2008
Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois becomes just the third senator, after Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy, to be elected directly from the Senate to the White House. He defeated Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in a race that earlier had pitted him against New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Longtime Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden becomes Obama's vice president. Democrats take advantage of Obama's strong popularity among voters to retain their majorities in both the House and Senate.Barack Obama at a presidential campaign rally in Seattle, 2008.2010
The unpopularity of President Obama's healthcare overhaul law helps enable Republicans to regain control of the House, as several veteran centrist Democrats are defeated. Democrats manage to retain their Senate majority and pass several major bills in a lame-duck session in December.[Page xxxiii]2011
The conservative-dominated House becomes embroiled in a months-long dispute with President Obama over raising the federal debt ceiling. The impasse ends with a deal to create a bipartisan House–Senate committee to examine ways to reduce spending, which is unable to reach agreement.2012
Obama is reelected to a second term despite the public's unhappiness with the slowness of the economic recovery. Post–2010 redistricting helps Republicans retain control of the House, while Democrats add to their Senate majority.[Page xxxiv]
Reference Material[Page 633]
[Page 635]The Government of the United States[Page 636]U.S. House of Representatives[Page 637]U.S. Senate[Page 638]U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents
- The Government of the United States
- U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents
- Sessions of the U.S. Congress, 1789–2013
- Political Party Affiliations in Congress and the Presidency, 1789–2013
- Party Leadership in Congress, 1977–2013
- Congressional Committee Chairs since 1947
- Extraordinary Sessions of Congress since 1797
- How a Bill Becomes a Law
- Writing to a Member of Congress
- Map of Capitol Hill
- Capital Attractions
- Congressional Information on the Internet
[Page 639][Page 640]Sessions of the U.S. Congress, 1789–2013
[Page 646][Page 647]Political Party Affiliations in Congress and the Presidency, 1789–2013
[Page 649][Page 650]Party Leadership in Congress, 1977–2013
[Page 653][Page 654]Congressional Committee Chairs Since 1947
Following is a list of House and Senate standing committee chairs from January 1947 through June 2013. The years listed reflect the tenure of the committee chairs. The 107th Congress (2001–2003) presented a special case. The 2000 elections produced a 50–50 split in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats. From the day the 107th Congress convened on January 3, 2001, until Inauguration Day on January 20, 2001, Democrat Al Gore, who as vice president was president of the Senate tipped the scale to a Democratic majority. When Republican Dick Cheney became vice president on January 20, 2001, the GOP became the majority party. Then, on June 6, 2001, Republican James M. Jeffords of Vermont declared himself an independent who caucused and voted with Democrats to give them a 51–49 majority to control the chamber.
As committee names have changed through the years, the committees are listed by their names as of June 2013; former committee names are listed as well. This list also includes chairs of committees that were disbanded during the period.
[Page 662][Page 663]Extraordinary Sessions of Congress Since 1797
Article II, section 3, of the Constitution provides that the president “may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them.”
This procedure occurs only if Congress is convened by presidential proclamation; it does not include the many special sessions of the Senate called primarily to confirm nominations prior to the Twentieth Amendment.[Page 664]How a Bill Becomes a Law
This graphic shows the most typical way in which proposed legislation is enacted into law. There are more complicated, as well as simpler, routes, and most bills never become law. The process is illustrated with two hypothetical bills, House bill No. 1 (HR 1) and Senate bill No. 2 (S 2). Bills must be passed by both houses in identical form before they can be sent to the president. The path of HR 1 is traced by a gray line, that of S 2 by a black line. In practice, most bills begin as similar proposals in both Houses.[Page 665]Writing to a Member of Congress
Citizens with complaints, suggestions, comments, and requests about government can voice their views directly to Congress. You may want to support or oppose specific legislative proposals, comment more generally about public affairs, or simply seek help in dealing with government agencies.
In the past, written communication with members was largely by postal mail, but today the widespread use of e-mail has given voters a new and faster way to contact representatives and senators. However you decide to contact a member, a few useful rules will make your voice more effective. The following hints about writing a member of Congress were suggested by congressional sources and the League of Women Voters.
Suggested Form for Letters
- Write to your own senators or representative. Letters sent to other members will either be ignored or simply forwarded to your home state members.
- Use your own words and stationery. Avoid sending form letters, which a member quickly sees as an organized campaign and is more likely to ignore.
- Write at the proper time, when a bill is being discussed in committee or on the floor.
- Whenever possible, identify bills by their number and include pertinent editorials from local papers.
- Be constructive. If a bill deals with a problem you admit exists but you believe the bill is the wrong approach, suggest a better approach. If you have expert knowledge or wide experience in particular areas, share it with the member.
- Write to members when they do something of which you approve. A note of appreciation will make them remember you more favorably the next time.
- Feel free to write when you have a question or problem dealing with procedures of government departments. Constituent service is one of the most important jobs of elected officials.
- Be brief, write legibly, and be sure to use the proper form of address.
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Sincerely yours,Sending E-Mail to a Member of Congress
Electronic mail (e-mail) is increasingly being used by constituents to convey their opinions to their senators and representatives. In sending an e-mail to members of Congress, the same letter-writing guidelines basically apply. Although an e-mail is considered less formal than a traditional letter, you should still address members of Congress formally. If you do not provide your street address within your e-mail, you most likely will only receive an e-mail response stating that your message was received. If you provide your street address, members of Congress may respond with a formal letter, as they generally do with every piece of regular mail they receive from constituents.
Although e-mail can be looked at as just another means of communication, it can provide better access for individuals and smaller groups cut off from the participatory process. E-mail has the greatest impact when it is brief and to the point and when it concerns matters currently being debated in Congress. E-mail also allows members of Congress to gauge instantaneously the response to their speeches and votes.[Page 666]Map of Capitol Hill[Page 667]Capital Attractions
Many of Washington's foremost sightseeing attractions are clustered around the Mall, the grassy strip that stretches from the Capitol west to the Lincoln Memorial.
Tourmobile shuttle buses provide narrated sightseeing service to twenty-five sites in the Mall area along Pennsylvania Avenue and in nearby Arlington National Cemetery. Passengers pay a single daily fee; they may board and reboard the buses as often as they like. For information, call (202) 554-5100 or (888) 868-7707. Tourmobile Web site: http://www.tourmobile.com. For information on METRO bus and subway service in the Washington area, call (202) 637-7000. Washington Area Transit Authority Web site: http://www.wmata.com.
Listed below are major sites in the Capital area, with contact information.Capitol
(202) 224-3121 (Capitol switchboard),
(202) 225-6827 (Capitol Guide Service, tour information: http://www.aoc.gov)North Side of the Mall
National Gallery of Art
Constitution Avenue at Fourth Street, NW
(202) 737-4215; http://www.nga.gov
Constitution Avenue at Eighth Street, NW
(866) 272-6272; http://www.archives.gov
Constitution Avenue at Fifteenth Street, NW
(202) 426-6841; http://www.npa.gov/wamo
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Constitution Avenue at Twenty-first Street, NW
(202) 426-6841; http://www.nps.gov/vive
Constitution Avenue at Twenty-third Street, NW
(202) 426-6841; http://www.nps.gov/lincSmithsonian Institution
Smithsonian museums line both sides of the Mall from Third to Fourteenth Streets between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue. General information: (202) 633-1000; Smithsonian Web site, with links to individual museums: http://www.si.edu.
National Museum of Natural History Constitution Avenue at Tenth Street, NW
National Museum of American History Constitution Avenue at Fourteenth Street, NWSouth Side of the Mall
U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory 100 Maryland Avenue, SW
National Air and Space Museum Independence Avenue at Sixth Street, SW
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Independence Avenue at Seventh Street, SW
Arts and Industries Building 900 Jefferson Drive, SW
Smithsonian Castle 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW
National Museum of African Art 950 Independence Avenue, SW
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at Twelfth Street, SW
Korean War Veterans Memorial Independence Avenue at Twenty-first Street (202) 426-6841; http://www.nps.gov/kowa[Page 668]Beyond the Mall
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
(202) 456-7041; (202) 208-1631 (White House Visitor Center); http://www.nps.gov/whho. (Public tours of the White House were suspended following the September 11, 2001, terrorists attacks. Private tours with groups of ten or more can be arranged by contacting a member of Congress at least six months before a visit.)
Tidal Basin, SW
(202) 426-6841; http://www.nps.gov/thje
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
1850 West Basin Drive, SW (Tidal Basin)
(202) 426-6841; (202) 376-6704; http://www.nps.gov/frde
Library of Congress
10 First Street, SE
(202) 707-5000 (general information);
(202) 707-8000 (visitors' information); http://www.loc.gov
511 Tenth Street, NW
Museum/tours: (202) 426-6924; http://www.nps.gov/foth
Arlington National Cemetery
(703) 607-8000; http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org
National Zoological Park (Smithsonian)
3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
(202) 673-4800; http://www.natzoo.si.edu
American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian)
Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street, NW
(202) 633-7970; http://www.americanart.si.edu
Anacostia Museum and Center for African American
History and Culture (Smithsonian)
1901 Fort Place, SE
(202) 633-4820; http://www.anacostia.si.edu
National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian)
Eighth and F Streets, NW
(202) 633-8300; http://www.npg.si.edu
National Postal Museum (Smithsonian)
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
(202) 633-5555; http://www.si.edu/postal
Folger Shakespeare Library
201 East Capitol Street, SE[Page 669]Congressional Information on the Internet
A huge array of congressional information is available for free at Internet sites operated by the federal government, colleges and universities, and commercial firms. The sites offer the full text of bills introduced in the House and Senate, voting records, campaign finance information, transcripts of selected congressional hearings, investigative reports, and much more.Thomas
The most important site for congressional information is THOMAS (http://thomas.loc.gov), which is named for Thomas Jefferson and operated by the Library of Congress. THOMAS's highlight is its databases containing the full text of all bills introduced in Congress since 1989 (101st Congress), the full text of the Congressional Record since 1989, and the status and summary information for all bills introduced since 1973 (93rd Congress).
THOMAS also offers special links to bills that have received or are expected to receive floor action during the current week and newsworthy bills that are pending or that have recently been approved. Finally, THOMAS has selected committee reports, answers to frequently asked questions about accessing congressional information, publications titled How Our Laws Are Made and Enactment of a Law, and links to many other congressional Web sites.House of Representatives
The U.S. House of Representatives site (http://www.house.gov) offers the schedule of bills, resolutions, and other legislative issues the House is to consider in the current week. It also has updates about current proceedings on the House floor and a list of the next day's meeting of House committees. Other highlights include a database that helps users identify their representative, a directory of House members and committees, the House ethics manual, links to Web pages maintained by House members and committees, a calendar of congressional primary dates and candidate-filing deadlines for ballot access, the full text of all amendments to the U.S. Constitution that have been ratified and those that have been proposed but not ratified, and information about Washington, D.C., for visitors.
Another key House site is the Office of the Clerk On-line Information Center (http://clerk.house.gov), which has records of all roll-call votes taken since 1990 (101st Congress). The votes are recorded by bill. The site also has lists of committee assignments, a telephone directory for members and committees, mailing label templates for members and committees, rules of the current Congress, election statistics from 1920 to the present, biographies of Speakers of the House, biographies of women who have served since 1917, information on public disclosure, and a virtual tour of the House chamber.
The site operated by the House Committee on Rules (http://www.rules.house.gov) has posted dozens of Congressional Research Service reports about the legislative process. Some of the available titles include Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer; Hearings in the House of Representatives: A Guide for Preparation and Conduct; How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction; House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison; and Presidential Vetoes 1789–1996: A Summary Overview.
The office of the Law Revision Counsel operates a site (http://uscode.house.gov) that has a searchable version of the U.S. Code, which contains the text of public laws enacted by Congress, and a tutorial for searching the Code.Senate
The Senate's main Web site (http://www.senate.gov) has records of all roll-call votes taken since 1989 (101st Congress, arranged by bill), brief descriptions of all bills and joint resolutions introduced in the Senate during the past week, and a calendar of upcoming committee hearings. The site also provides the standing rules of the Senate, a directory of senators and their committee assignments, lists of nominations that the president has submitted to the Senate for approval, links to Web pages operated by senators and committees, information on the history and art of the Senate, and a virtual tour of the Senate.General Reference
Information about the membership, jurisdiction, and rules of each congressional committee is available at the U.S. Government Printing Office site (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/index.html). It also has transcripts of selected congressional hearings, the full text of selected House and Senate reports, and the House and Senate rules manuals.
[Page 670]The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO, which changed its name in 2004 from General Accounting Office), the investigative arm of Congress, operates a site (http://www.gao.gov) that provides the full text of its reports from October 1995 to the present. The reports cover a wide range of topics: aviation safety, combating terrorism, counternarcotics efforts in Mexico, defense contracting, electronic warfare, food assistance programs, hurricane preparedness, health insurance, illegal aliens, information technology, long-term care, mass transit, Medicare, military readiness, money laundering, national parks, nuclear waste, organ donation, student loan defaults, and prescription drugs, among others.
GAO e-mail updates are excellent current awareness tools. Electronic mailing lists distribute daily and monthly lists of reports and testimony released by the GAO. Subscriptions are available by filling out a form and identifying topic interests at http://www.gao.gov/subscribe/.php.
Current budget and economic projections are provided at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Web site (http://www.cbo.gov). The site also has reports about the economic and budget outlook for the next decade, the president's budget proposals, federal civilian employment, Social Security privatization, cost analyses of war operations, tax reform, water use conflicts in the west, marriage and the federal income tax, and the role of foreign aid in development, among other topics. Additional highlights include monthly budget updates, historical budget data, cost estimates for bills reported by congressional committees, and transcripts of congressional testimony by CBO officials.
The congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) was eliminated in 1995, but every report it ever issued is available at The OTA Legacy (http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/), a site operated by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. The site has more than 100,000 pages of detailed reports about aging, agricultural technology, arms control, biological research, cancer, computer security, defense technology, economic development, education, environmental protection, health and health technology, information technology, space, transportation, and many other subjects. The reports are organized in alphabetical, chronological, and topical lists.Campaign Finance
Several Internet sites provide detailed campaign finance data for congressional elections. The official site is operated by the Federal Election Commission (FEC, http://www.fec.gov), which regulates political spending. The site's highlight is its database of campaign reports filed from May 1996 to the present by House and presidential candidates, political action committees, and political party committees. Senate reports are not included because they are filed with the secretary of the Senate. The reports in the FEC's database are scanned images of paper reports filed with the commission.
The FEC site also has summary financial data for House and Senate candidates in the current election cycle, abstracts of court decisions pertaining to federal election law from 1976 to 2013, and a directory of national and state agencies that are responsible for releasing information about campaign financing, candidates on the ballot, election results, lobbying, and other issues. Another useful feature is a collection of brochures about federal election law, public funding of presidential elections, the ban on contributions by foreign nationals, independent expenditures supporting or opposing a candidate for federal office, contribution limits, filing a complaint, researching public records at the FEC, and other topics. Finally, the site provides the FEC's legislative recommendations, its annual report, a report about its first thirty years in existence, the FEC's monthly newsletter, several reports about voter registration, election results for the most recent presidential and congressional elections, and campaign guides for corporations and labor organizations, congressional candidates and committees, political party committees, and nonconnected committees.
Another online source for campaign finance data is Political Moneyline (http://www.politicalmoneyline.com) from Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call. Its searchable databases provide extensive itemized information about receipts and expenditures by federal candidates and political action committees from 1980 to the present. The detailed data are obtained from the FEC. For example, candidates' contributions can be searched by Zip code. The site also has data on soft-money contributions, lists of the top political action committees in various categories, lists of the top contributors from each state, and much more.
More campaign finance data are available from the Center for Responsive Politics (http://www.opensecrets.org), a public-interest organization. The center provides a list of all soft-money donations to political parties of $100,000 or more in the current election cycle and data about leadership political action committees associated with individual politicians. Other databases at the site provide information about travel expenses that House members received from private sources for attending meetings and other events, activities of registered federal lobbyists, and activities of foreign agents who are registered in the United States.
Selected Bibliography[Page 671]Appointment PowerBattle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America. New York: Norton, 1989.The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process. New York: Basic Books, 1994.Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005., and .The Advice and Consent of the Senate: A Study of the Confirmation of Appointments by the United States Senate. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1968.Mackenzie, G. Calvin, ed. In-and-Outers: Presidential Appointees and Transient Government in Washington. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.Advice & Consent: Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and the Intriguing History of the Supreme Court's Nomination Battles. Washington, D.C.: National Press Books, 1992.Twentieth Century Fund. Obstacle Course: The Report of the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on the Presidential Appointment Process. New York: Twentieth Century Fund Press, 1996.Campaign FinancingCigler, Allan J., and Burdett A.Loomis, eds. Interest Group Politics.7th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2005., , , and .Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It. New York: Twelve Publishing, 2011.Magleby, David B., AnthonyCorrado, and Kelly D.Patterson, eds. Financing the 2004 Election. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2006.Malbin, Michael J., ed. The Election After Reform: Money, Politics, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.Capitol BuildingHistory of the United States Capitol: A Chronicle of Design, Construction, and Politics. http://gov/congress/senate/capitol/index.html. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2001.History of the U.S. Capitol. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970.[Page 672]Capitol Historical Society. We the People: The Story of the United States Capitol.15th ed.Washington, D.C.: United States Capitol Historical Society, 2002.Commerce PowerThe Supreme Court.9th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.The Supreme Court and the Commerce Clause, 1937–1970. New York: Dunellen, 1970.Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints., and .4th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. New York: AMS Press, 1970.“‘To Regulate Commerce’: Federal Power under the Constitution,” in This Constitution: Our Enduring Legacy. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1986.Committee SystemCommon Ground: Committee Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006.Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791123, and .Congress and Its Members., and .10th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.Committees in Congress., and .3d ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1997. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483329895Congressmen in Committees. Boston: Little, Brown, 1973.Committee Assignment Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006., and .The Little Legislatures: Committees of Congress. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1970.Competing Principals: Committees, Parties, and the Organization of Congress. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process.7th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Congressional Committee Politics: Continuity and Change. New York: Greenwood, 1984., and .Conference CommitteesBicameral Politics: Conference Committees in Congress. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989., and .Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process.7th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.The Third House: Conference Committees in the United States Congress. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1971.Congress: Structure and PowersCongressional Quarterly. Guide to Congress.6th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Congress and Its Members., and .10th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.Strengthening Congress. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.Separate but Equal Branches: Congress and the Presidency. New York: Chatham House, 1999.Act of Congress: How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't. New York: Knopf, 2013.On the Hill: A History of the American Congress. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980.It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism. New York: Basic Books, 2012., andCongressional Government: A Study in American Politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885. Reprint. Cleveland, OH: Meridian Books, 1956..Constitutional AmendmentsGovernment by the People., , , and . [Page 673]19th ed.Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2001.Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post–Civil War America. New York: Holt, 2006.Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints., and .4th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Constitutional Amendments. New York: Franklin Watts, 1974.James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.Why We Lost the ERA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.Nelson, Michael, ed. Guide to the Presidency. 2 vols.4th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Newman, Roger K., ed. The Constitution and Its Amendments. 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1999.A Companion to the United States Constitution and Its Amendments.4th ed.Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2006.Courts and CongressThe Supreme Court.9th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.Congress v. the Supreme Court. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969. http://dx.doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674733725Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005., and .Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints., and .6th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.When Courts and Congress Collide: The Struggle for Control of America's Judicial System. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics.5th ed.New York: Norton, 2000.Savage, David, ed. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. 2 vols.4th ed.Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781452280073Electing the PresidentTaming the Electoral College. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Law and Politics, 2006.The Case Against Direct Election of the President: A Defense of the Electoral College. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1975.The Choice of the People: Debating the Electoral College. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1996.When No Majority Rules: The Electoral College and Presidential Succession. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1993.Heard, Alexander, and MichaelNelson, eds. Presidential Selection. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1987.The Electoral College Primer 2000. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999., and .Nelson, Michael, ed. Guide to the Presidency. 2 vols.4th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.Schumaker, Paul, and Burdett A.Loomis, eds. Choosing a President: The Electoral College and Beyond. New York: Chatham House, 2002.EthicsHouse Committee on Standards of Official Conduct: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 1997.Scandal: The Culture of Mistrust in American Politics. New York: Anchor Books, 1992.Expulsion and Censure Actions Taken by the Full Senate Against Members. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, 1993.The Glass House: Politics and Morality in the Nation's Capital. New York: Continuum, 1984.Ethics in Congress: From Individual to Institutional Corruption. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1995.Political Ethics and Public Office. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1990.Executive Branch and CongressCongress and Its Members., and .10th ed.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006.The Politics of Shared Power: Congress and the Executive.[Page 674]4th ed.College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998.Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President.4th ed.Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997.Congress and the Presidency: Institutional Politics in a Separate System. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press/St. Martin's Press, 1996., and .Harriger, Katy J., ed. Separation of Powers: Documents and Commentary. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003.Separate but Equal Branches: Congress and the Presidency.2nd ed.New York: Chatham House, 1999.Kelley, Donald R., ed. Divided Power: The Presidency, Congress, and the Formation of American Foreign Policy. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2005.Thurber, James A., ed. Rivals for Power: Presidential–Congressional Relations.3rd ed.Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.FilibusterStalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003.Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1997., and .Party, Process, and Political Change in Congress: New Perspectives on the History of Congress. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2002.Filibustering in the Senate. 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