The presidential-congressional relationship is the most important and vivid of all the inter-branch relationships. It defines presidential activities, priorities, and successes. No president, from Eisenhower to Nixon to Reagan, has been able to ignore or denigrate that relationship. Presidential Relations with Congress provides a succinct analysis of contemporary presidential-congressional relations in the post-World War II era. Richard S. Conley underscores what scholars have learned about presidents' interactions with Congress over time, the factors that account for success, and the methodologies that can measure success. He weaves the "bargaining", "institutional constraint", and "personality" perspectives of presidential relations with Congress alongside case studies of individual presidents' approaches, including agenda success, veto politics, and Supreme Court nominations. Presidential Relations with Congress emphasizes the changing nature of internal dynamics in Congress, as well as the importance of party control of both the White House and Capitol Hill. This engaging addition to the Presidential Briefings series provides students, scholars, and observers of presidential politics with an accessible and readable tool for analyzing and evaluating presidents' varied styles, successes, and failures in their relationships with Congress. Each chapter features specific examples of past presidents' approaches to influencing Congress.
“[H]ighly accessible analysis of presidential relations with Congress that should help illustrate for students the complex nature of the presidential-congressional relationship. The book takes seriously both presidential leadership and the significance of congressional contexts, providing an outstanding overview of theory and research on the topic…. The book would be a strong addition for courses focused on the presidency, Congress, or US policymaking.”
—Jeffrey S. Peake, Clemson University
“[E]ngagingly written survey of both the challenges presidents face in dealing with Congress and the challenges for scholars in studying that process…. the book provides a concise and enlightening survey of a topic that is of particular importance in this age of gridlock…. [A]n excellent fit in courses on Congress or the presidency and appropriate for general readers interested in the problems of contemporary U.S. politics.”
—Charles Walcott, Virginia Tech
1. Introduction 2. The Long View From the White House: Historical Trends in Presidential Relations with Congress 3. Presidential Agendas and Congressional Challenges: Case Studies and Lessons on Success and Failure 4. Presidential Vetoes and Congressional Challenges: Cases of Presidential Success and Failure 5. Epilogue Bibliography
The books in the Presidential Briefings series provide concise and readable introductions to topics of general interest to students of the presidency. By approaching their subjects from the vantage point of what a president most needs to know, and what we as citizens most need to know about the presidency, these books provide a highly practical and accessible overview of an important subject related to the presidency. This series provides a wonderful opportunity for scholars, whether new or established, to publish concise and authoritative books on a wide range of presidency topics.