PLAW 360 Congress

Spring, Fall

The United States Congress is a rarity among representative assemblies in the rest of the world; it actually legislates, and individual members of the House and the Senate directly affect legislation and policy. Why then is it also the least respected branch of our national government? Is it failing to legislate effectively? To represent fairly? This entire course explores these questions. Specific topics include: representation; the framers’ original design for House and Senate; the evolution of House and Senate; elections and incumbency; campaign finance and interest groups; the internal organization of the two houses; the struggle for power between President and Congress.

Prerequisites: Methods of Political Inquiry and one other 200 level course, or the permission of the instructor.