Inside Congress: A Guide for Navigating the Politics of the House and Senate Floors by Trevor CorningInside Congress: A Guide for Navigating the Politics of the House and Senate Floors by Trevor Corning

Inside Congress: A Guide for Navigating the Politics of the House and Senate Floors

byTrevor Corning, Reema Dodin, Kyle W. Nevins

Paperback | July 25, 2017

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Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress.

The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process.

To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker’s staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate?

The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.

Trevor Corning serves as a project manager at CHIEF, a marketing agency, where he works with corporate, government, and nonprofit clients. Before this, he spent more than four years at Brookings, where he educated professionals at all levels of both the public and private sectors on how to engage with the U.S. government.Reema Dodin se...
Title:Inside Congress: A Guide for Navigating the Politics of the House and Senate FloorsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:60 pages, 7.2 × 4.9 × 0.68 inPublished:July 25, 2017Publisher:Brookings Institution PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0815727321

ISBN - 13:9780815727323


Table of Contents



Introduction and Overview: Two Chambers, Two Ways

The House of Representatives: Where the Majority Party Rules

The Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees

The Congressional Calendar

The Legislative Process

Leadership Structure

The Rules Committee

Rules of the House

Types of Special Rules

Open Rule

Modified Open Rule

Structured and Closed Rules

Committee of the Whole

Floor Procedure

The Senate: Where Debate and Deals Rule

Basics of Legislation in the Senate

The Senate Calendar and Considerations of Time

The Use of Cloture

Life Cycles in the Senate

Types of Bills

Taking Votes

Working through the Process and the Role of the Majority

Majority Rule Versus Consent



Amendments and the Amendment Tree

Getting a Bill to the Floor

The Standard Committee Process

The Rule 14 Process

HR Vehicle 71

Consent, or "Hotlining"

Privileged or Other Special Vehicles: Conferences, House Messages, Statutory Items

Substituting a New Text, and Amendment to a Moving Vehicle, Bill Packages

Procedural Tools in the Senate

Common Moves and Terms

Fast-Moving or Unusual Vehicles

Changes in the Senate Rules

The Senate as a Whole



A. Sample House Weekly Schedule

B. Sample House Rules Committee Structured Rule

C. Sample Senate Hotline Email

D. Samples of Most Common Amendment Trees

Editorial Reviews

Corning, Dodin, and Nevins provide a "pocket guide" for anyone interested in learning about the legislative process. It is particularly useful for undergraduate students and "political junkies" who care to understand how rules and maneuvers are used to fashion legislation. Highly recommended.-CHOICE