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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2006

GOV 370L • 7-The United States Congress

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38060 MWF
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
BUR 212

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Upper-division standing required. Congress is the branch that makes the nation's laws. How does Congress conduct its business? Who are the key leaders in Congress? What do committees in Congress do? Why is Congress divided into two branches? This course seeks to answer all of these questions and many more. The importance of Congress is demonstrated by the fact that Article I (not II or III) of the U.S. Constitution outlines the powers and restrictions placed on Congress. Congress is composed of the House and the Senate-two chambers which must agree in order to send legislation to the President. Because it is difficult for 535 people to come to agreement easily, the institution is designed such that members must compromise in order to pass legislation. This course will examine all of these structural issues, as well as congressional representation, elections and redistricting, the role of political parties, congressional decision-making, and the relationship between Congress and the President, the Judiciary, and the Press.


Davidson, Roger H. and Walter Oleszek 10th Ed. 2005. Congress and its Members Dodd, Lawrence, and Bruce Oppenheimer 8th Ed. 2005. Congress Reconsidered Oleszek, Walter J. 2004. Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process Recommended: Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. 1961. The Federalist Papers ed. Clinton Rossiter. Penguin Mentor: New York. **Other readings will be journal articles, or selected chapters from other books. These will be marked with an * below in the appropriate week.


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