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The Senate is a place where political minorities and individual members hold great power, resting on authority drawn from Senate rules and over two hundred years of related precedents and traditions. The minority has and will always have a clear and important voice on issues brought to the Senate floor, and it is this distinction from the majority rule of the House that has enabled the Senate to work as well as it has since our democracy's inception. Now in its third edition, Senate Procedure and Practice explains why and how the Senate has worked for more than 200 years. It includes the updated modifications of procedures governing Senate debate, amendment rights, and the formation of conferences. The book is filled with fascinating stories and insights that highlight why certain rules are in place, how they are practiced, and the ways in which those practices have changed throughout history as our federal government and the needs of our electorate have evolved. Anyone with an interest in the pillars of Senate procedure and practice will find a useful companion in this book.
The United States Senate, unlike the United States House of Representatives, is a place where political minorities and individual members hold great power, resting on authority drawn from Senate rules and more than two hundred years of related precedents and traditions. This fundamental truth provides a necessary context for understanding the subject matter as detailed and explained in Senate Procedure and Practice: An Introductory Manual.
(1) Historical Trends in Floor Consid.: Begin. 1789-1834; Original Court, 1789; John Crittenden, 1828; Comm. Referral, 1835-1867; Robert Grier, 1846; Tyler Pres., 1844-45; Increased Formalization, 1868-1922; Wm. Woods, 1880; George Badger, 1853; Ebenezer Hoar, 1869; Calendar Call Formalized, 1922-67; Wm. Douglas, 1939; Unan. Consent Agree., 1968 to present; Wm. Rehnquist, 1971; (2) Character. of Floor Action: Forms and Varieties of Dispos.; Dispos. and the Extent of Oppos.; Length and Days of Floor Action; Extended Consid. and Oppos.; Procedural Complexity; Optional Procedural Actions; Calling Up Nomin.; Proceed. in the Course of Floor Action; Procedural Complexity and Oppos.; Relation Among Character. of Proceed.
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Winner of the Society for History in the Federal Government's George Pendleton Prize for 2013 The United States Senate has fallen on hard times. Once known as the greatest deliberative body in the world, it now has a reputation as a partisan, dysfunctional chamber. What happened to the house that forged American history's great compromises? In this groundbreaking work, a distinguished journalist and an eminent historian provide an insider's history of the United States Senate. Richard A. Baker, historian emeritus of the Senate, and the late Neil MacNeil, former chief congressional correspondent for Time magazine, integrate nearly a century of combined experience on Capitol Hill with deep research and state-of-the-art scholarship. They explore the Senate's historical evolution with one eye on persistent structural pressures and the other on recent transformations. Here, for example, are the Senate's struggles with the presidency--from George Washington's first, disastrous visit to the chamber on August 22, 1789, through now-forgotten conflicts with Presidents Garfield and Cleveland, to current war powers disputes. The authors also explore the Senate's potent investigative power, and show how it began with an inquiry into John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. It took flight with committees on the conduct of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II; and it gained a high profile with Joseph McCarthy's rampage against communism, Estes Kefauver's organized-crime hearings (the first to be broadcast), and its Watergate investigation. Within the book are surprises as well. For example, the office of majority leader first acquired real power in 1952--not with Lyndon Johnson, but with Republican Robert Taft. Johnson accelerated the trend, tampering with the sacred principle of seniority in order to control issues such as committee assignments. Rampant filibustering, the authors find, was the ironic result of the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation. No longer stigmatized as a white-supremacist tool, its use became routine, especially as the Senate became more partisan in the 1970s. Thoughtful and incisive, The American Senate: An Insider's History transforms our understanding of Congress's upper house.

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