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Separation of Powers and Legislative Organization: The President, the Senate, and Political Parties in the Making of House Rules

Separation of Powers and Legislative Organization: The President, the Senate, and Political Parties in the Making of House Rules

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Gisela Sin
Cambridge University Press, 12/8/2014
EAN 9781107048799, ISBN10: 1107048796

Hardcover, 212 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 2 cm
Language: English

This book examines how the constitutional requirements of the lawmaking process, combined with the factional divisions within parties, affect US representatives' decisions about how to distribute power among themselves. The incorporation of the presidential, senatorial, and House factions in the analysis of House rule making marks an important departure from previous theories, which analyze the House as an institution that makes laws in isolation. This book argues that, by constitutional design, the success of the House in passing legislation is highly contingent on the actions of the Senate and the president; and therefore, also by constitutional design, House members must anticipate such actions when they design their rules. An examination of major rule changes from 1879 to 2013 finds that changes in the preferences of constitutional actors outside the House, as well as the political alignment of these political actors vis-à-vis House factions, are crucial for predicting the timing and directionality of rule changes.

1. A constitutional perspective on House organization
2. Constitutional actors and intraparty groups
3. A constitutional theory of House organization
4. Timing of House organizational changes
5. The Senate and White House shadows
centralization and decentralization of the rule of the US House, 1879–2013
6. New rules for an old Speaker
revisiting the 1910 revolt against Speaker Cannon
7. Conclusion
Appendix A. Constitutional actors, partisanship, and House majority intraparty groups
Appendix B. Theoretical proof
Appendix C. List of changes in the rules and procedures of the House
Appendix D. The universe of rules-and-procedures coding of the William H. Taft and Calvin Coolidge presidencies
Appendix E. Directionality of rules and procedures
Appendix F. Senate's ideal point.