Download How Congress Evolves: Social Bases of Institutional Change by Nelson W. Polsby PDF

By Nelson W. Polsby

During this tremendously interesting story of 1 of our so much august associations, Nelson Polsby argues that between different issues, from the 50's to the 90's, Congress developed. in brief, Polsby argues that air con altered the demography of the southern states, which in flip replaced the political events of the South, which reworked the composition and sooner or later the functionality of the united states condo of Representatives. This evolutionary procedure resulted in the House's liberalization and later to its transformation into an enviornment of sharp partisanship, obvious between either Democrats and Republicans. How Congress Evolves breathes new existence into the dusty corners of institutional historical past, and provides a special reason for very important alterations within the congressional environment.

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If his colleagues deviated from script, he rebuked them like errant children. He controlled their budgets, staff and travel, and until his secretaries convinced him otherwise, he scheduled appointments in two minute allotments. He created a subcommittee on the environment that [committee member] Tom Foley later recalled was a “place of detention for bills he did not wish to move. ”32 Aspinall was not, however, a partisan chairman. Richard Fenno quotes a western Democrat: If you check his record in the House, I think you’ll find he’s a good Democrat.

Let me give you some advice. Get off the committee. You’re a zombie on this committee. 38 On a few occasions, liberals were able to score important, temporary gains—notably in 1949 when they forced through an amendment to the rules making it possible to dislodge bills stuck in the coalition-dominated Rules Committee after 21 days. 39 But this reform was only temporary; in the election of 1950 the Democratic majority was reduced by 29 seats. None of the loss was sustained among southern seats. Thus, the conservative coalition was able without difficulty in 1951 to abolish the 21-day rule at the opening of Congress.

Smith always had the easy option of a six-to-six vote on sending a bill to the full house. . Even without employing that weapon, the mere 16    threat of it could be enough to compel his foes to accept his views, in effect to surrender the substance of the fight just to get the bill out of committee. 25 Richard Bolling, Sam Rayburn’s protege on the House Rules Committee, gives a similar account of Judge Smith’s tactical acumen: When Smith’s position in committee is occasionally imperiled, he resorts to various devices to preserve it.

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