Originally published in 2005. The Rules Committee in the US House of Representatives is one of the most powerful institutions in Congress. It takes centre stage in determining procedures that will shape the bills enacted by the House. Its central role gives it broad influence over national policy on issues from Social Security and taxes to civil rights and the federal deficit. This study develops a principal-agent theory to analyze how changes in procedures and the role of the House Rules Committee have affected policy making in Congress over the past three decades. The book's main themes relate to a broader literature that explains the strengthening of party leadership organizations within Congress and their significance for understanding congressional politics. The volume is ideally suited for courses on the US Congress and American Politics more generally.
Contents: Introduction; Party leadership and agent performance in Congress; Designing an effective agent: understanding institutional changes to the House Rules Committee; Political parties and procedural coordination for collective action; The role of restrictive rules in the Postreform House; The policy implications of special rules: evidence from the House and Senate; Floor waivers and procedural partisanship in the House; Conclusion and thoughts on the future leverage of procedural choice; Bibliography; Index.
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