Broken Branch How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track

ISBN-10: 0195368711
ISBN-13: 9780195368710
Edition: 2008
List price: $14.95 Buy it from $1.49
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Description: The Broken Branch offers both a brilliant diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline and a much-needed blueprint for change, from two experts who understand politics and revere our institutions, but believe that Congress has become deeply  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/29/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

The Broken Branch offers both a brilliant diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline and a much-needed blueprint for change, from two experts who understand politics and revere our institutions, but believe that Congress has become deeply dysfunctional. Mann and Ornstein, two of the nation's most renowned and judicious scholars of government and politics, bring to light the historical roots of Congress's current maladies, examining 40 years of uninterrupted Democratic control of the House and the stunning midterm election victory of 1994 that propelled Republicans into the majority in both House and Senate. The byproduct of that long and grueling but ultimately successful Republican campaign, the authors reveal, was a weakened institution bitterly divided between the parties. They highlight the dramatic shift in Congress from a highly decentralized, committee-based institution into a much more regimented one in which party increasingly trumps committee. The resultant changes in the policy process--the demise of regular order, the decline of deliberation, and the weakening of our system of checks and balances--have all compromised the role of Congress in the American Constitutional system. From tax cuts to the war against Saddam Hussein to a Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Legislative process has been bent to serve immediate presidential interests and have often resulted in poorly crafted and stealthily passed laws. Strong majority leadership in Congress, the authors conclude, led not to a vigorous exertion of congressional authority but to a general passivity in the face of executive power. "It is easy to recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Congress, how it works and how it should work." --Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post Book World "A 'must-read' not only for Members of Congress, but for all Americans who care about the success of this vital institution of our Republic in these troubled times." --Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader "A serious step toward strengthening the Congress and moving America back toward a more stable and safer system." --Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House

Preface
Introduction
The First Branch of Government: Theory and Practice
The Seeds of the Contemporary Problem, 1969-1994
A Decade of Republican Control
Institutional Decline
The Case of Continuity
Conclusion
Epilogue: Is the Broken Branch on the Mend?
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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