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Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving

Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving

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Professor E. Scott Adler, Professor John D. Wilkerson
Cambridge University Press, 1/21/2013
EAN 9781107023185, ISBN10: 1107023181

Hardcover, 259 pages, 23.5 x 15.8 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

How do issues end up on the agenda? Why do lawmakers routinely invest in program oversight and broad policy development? What considerations drive legislative policy change? For many, Congress is an institution consumed by partisan bickering and gridlock. Yet the institution's long history of addressing significant societal problems - even in recent years - seems to contradict this view. Congress and the Politics of Problem Solving argues that the willingness of many voters to hold elected officials accountable for societal conditions is central to appreciating why Congress responds to problems despite the many reasons mustered for why it cannot. The authors show that, across decades of policy making, problem-solving motivations explain why bipartisanship is a common pattern of congressional behavior and offer the best explanation for legislative issue attention and policy change.

Part I
1. Congress and the politics of problem solving
2. Problem-focused voters and congressional accountability
3. Congressional approval and incumbent accountability
Part II
4. Problem-solving constraints and legislative institutions
5. Agenda scarcity, problem solving, and temporary legislation
Part III
6. Rethinking committee reform
7. Agenda setting in a problem-solving legislature
Part IV
8. Problem solving and policy focal points
9. Problem solving and policy change
10. Problem solving and American politics.