Congress for Dummies

ISBN-10: 0764554212

ISBN-13: 9780764554216

Edition: 2002

Authors: David Silverberg, Tom Daschel, Dennis Hastert

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Every day thousands of people from around the United States descend upon the Capitol. Many of these people are average citizens coming to Congress with business to conduct. This book offers a guide to negotiating the workings of Congress.
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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/27/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 388
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.562
Language: English

David Silverberg is Managing Editor and a columnist at The Hill, a weekly newspaper that covers Congress.

Laura Anne Ingraham was born on June 19, 1964. She earned a bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College in 1985 and a law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1991. As a Dartmouth undergraduate, she was a staff member of the independent conservative newspaper, The Dartmouth Review. In the late 1980s, she worked as a speechwriter in the Ronald Reagan administration for the Domestic Policy advisor. She is an American radio host, author, and conservative political commentator. Her nationally-syndicated talk show, The Laura Ingraham Show, airs throughout the United States on Talk Radio Network. Some of her written works include The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places; Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the U.N. are Subverting America; Power to the People; The Obama Diaries; and Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots.

What this Book Can Help You Do
How to Use this Book
Conventions Used in this Book
A note on names
Information on icons
How this Book Is Organized
What this Book Is Not
A Word to the Wonks Should Be Sufficient--I Hope
Considering the Two Chambers
Welcome to Congress
The Three Branches of Government
The congressional branch
The executive branch
The Supreme Court
Congressional Relationships
House-Senate relations
Executive-congressional relations through the years
Congressional-constituent relations
Your Role as a Citizen
Registering your opinion
Running Your House: The House of Representatives
Describing the House
Coming up with qualifications
Defining the congressional district
Finding a Lawmaker of Your Very Own
Doing the Job of Representative
Getting the most from a short-term contract
Diving into the congressional workweek
Doing Housework: The Responsibilities of the House
Taxing responsibilities
Considering legislation
Taking care of you, the constituent
Scoping Out the Senate
What It Takes to Be a Senator and How to Find Yours
Qualifying with experience
Setting forth a senator's duties
Finding and contacting your senator
Senatorial Responsibilities
Passing legislation
Proceeding to impeachment
Giving advice and consent
Looking at the Legislative Process
Introducing a Bill
Starting the Process
Dealing with the Players
Members of Congress
Committee folk
Building a Bill
Starting with an idea
Looking at the types of legislation
Introducing a bill
Giving a bill an identity
Getting There is Half the Fun: The Legislative Process
Gathering cosponsors
Pushing through the committee jungle
Holding hearings
Making the markup
Meeting the Players, Setting the Schedule
Following the Leaders
Knowing who the leaders are
Putting age before beauty: The role of seniority
Elbowing into the Huddle: The Role of Caucuses and Delegations
Timing is Everything: Congressional Schedules
The House calendar
The Senate calendar
Reaching the Floor and Beyond
Waiting to Debate
Snagging Attention with an Introduction
Playing by the Rules: The Role of the Rules Committees
Debating on the Floor
Speaking in a sedate and timely fashion
Timing is everything
Adding amendments
Struggling toward Yes: The Conference Process
Convening a conference
Compromising in conference
Closing the conference
Getting the President's Signature
Wielding the veto
Overriding a veto
Battling after Passage
Protecting newly passed legislation
Coping with change
Following the Money
Raising Revenues
Seeing the Sources
Acting on Taxes
Bearing the Burden: Taxation and You
Budgeting, Authorizing, and Appropriating Government Money
Holding the Purse Strings
Scheduling the money calendar
Checking out the players
Mandating the type of spending
Interpreting the language of the budget
Smoking out the Cardinals and their court
Appreciating the appropriations process
Being earmarked
Inserting Items in Appropriations Bills
Putting Your Political Contributions to Work
Contributing to the Candidate of Your Choice
Making an individual contribution
Limiting your contributions
Giving money early
Becoming a PAC-man or PAC-woman
Forming and forms of PACs
Leveraging your money into influence
Distinguishing Hard Money from Soft Money
Mastering the Nuts and Bolts of Fundraising
Feting candidates with fundraisers
Getting professional help
Providing Other Campaign Services
Lobbying from All Angles
Looking at Lobbying
Explaining the Basics
Categorizing Lobbyists
Defining and describing
Demystifying special interests
Getting Your Member's Attention
Evaluating Scorecards and Key Votes
Determining whether You Need a Professional
Choosing a Lobbyist
Finding a professional
Quantifying the qualifications
Working out a plan of action
Evaluating your lobbyist
Explaining Your Cause
Knowing What You Want to Achieve
Educating Yourself
Building Your Case
Defining your core issue
Practicing the fine art of compromise
Knowing Your Issue
Doing the research
Taking stock of your assets and liabilities
Putting together a packet
Gathering Support
Building coalitions
Courting a congressional champion
Testifying before Congress
Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty: Lobbying Members of Congress
Writing to Your Representative and Senators
Crafting written communications
E-mailing for every issue
Sending snail mail
Nixing faxing
Meeting Face to Face
Making an appointment
Making the most of face-time
Following up
Conveying Your Cause
Taking a Walk on the Dark Side: Going Negative
Giving Gifts, Travel, and Entertainment
Gift-giving guidelines
Keeping the Pressure On
Getting the Job Done: Congressional Staff
Making Contact
Surveying Congressional Staff
Personal staff
Staff positions
Staff principles
Office structure
Getting Down to Personalities
Acknowledging Committee Staff
Committee staff
Leadership staff
Recognizing Auxiliary Support Staff
Congressional Budget Office
General Accounting Office
Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service
Other support staff and services
Making the Most of the Media
Understanding the Relationship between Congress and the Media
Getting Your Story Straight
Seeing the shades of gray
Working the congressional beat
Making the News
Lobbying the Media
Working with editors and producers
Working with reporters
Writing and Distributing Press Releases
Writing a good press release
Distributing a press release
Following up on your press release
Organizing a Press Conference
Booking a venue
Organizing the event
Working with Television
Broadcasting on Radio
Browsing through Internet Media
Paying for Space
Using Celebrities
Delineating the types of celebrities
Preparing your celebrity
Keeping your celebrity on a tight leash
Conducting a Demonstration
The uses of demonstrations
Planning a demonstration
Working with Various Media
Delineating Daily Print Media
The big-three national dailies
USA Today and The Washington Times
Local dailies
Cozying Up to Columnists
Making the Most of Magazines and Periodicals
The newsweeklies
Ideological periodicals
Regional and city periodicals
Courting Capitol Hill Media
Congressional Quarterly
National Journal
Burning Up the Wire Services
National services
Specialized, industry, and trade media
Trumpeting Broadcast and Cable Television
The broadcast networks
The cable networks
Talk shows
Tuning in to Radio
Investigating Internet Media
Going Abroad with Foreign Media
Putting the Practical Side to Use
Making Use of Congressional Services
Helping Out with the Feds
Intervening with federal agencies
Expediting your passport
Intervening in Local Issues
Putting in a Good Word
Getting an academy nomination
Serving Congress as a page
Interning in the Capitol
Visiting Congress
Visiting the Capitol Campus
Finding out what's where
Touring the Capitol
Adhering to security restrictions
Visiting the Capitol Visitor Center
Making Your Way to the House Side
Distinguishing the House office buildings
Making the most of other features
Seeing the Senate Side
Holding a Function at the Capitol
Dining on Capitol Hill
The Part of Tens
Ten Tips for Conducting a Lobbying Campaign
Knowing Your Core Issues
Knowing What You're Trying to Achieve
Assessing Your Assets and Liabilities
Knowing Whereof You Speak
Building Coalitions and Alliance
Helping Your Friends and Frustrating Your Enemies
Being Open to Compromise
Not Expecting Quick Results
Finding a Champion
Being Patient, Persistent, and Persevering
The Ten Commandments for Dealing with Congressional Staff
Being Prompt
Knowing the Goal of the Meeting
Preparing the Ground
Doing Your Homework
Being Courteous and Calm
Commanding the Facts
Respecting the Staff
Being Ready to Offer Assistance
Giving them Something to Remember You By
Always Following Up
Ten Tips for Dealing with Journalists
Assume the Best
Strive for Accuracy
Don't Pick a Fight with Anyone who Buys Ink by the Barrel
Realize that the Only Bad Question is the One that Isn't Asked
You Don't Have to Comment but Never Stonewall
Understand the "Public" in Public Figure
Avoid Source Remorse
Keep Things in Perspective--They'll Wrap Fish in It Tomorrow
Don't Fall for "Trust Me, I'm a Journalist"
Return Journalists' Phone Calls First
Not Even Ten Suggestions for Improving Congress
Get a Toll-Free Number
Gather Voting Records Online
Post Appropriations Online in a Timely Fashion--Like Immediately
Hire a Historian for the House
Upgrade the House Web Site
The Appendixes
Glossary of Congressional and Political Terms
Committees of the 107th Congress
Senate Standing Committees
Senate Select and Special Committees
Joint Committees
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