The floor in Congressional life / Andrew J. Taylor.

By: Taylor, Andrew J, 1966- [author.]Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooksLegislative politics & policy making: Publisher: Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2012Description: 1 online resourceContent type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780472028184; 0472028189Subject(s): Legislation -- United States | Parliamentary practice -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Floor in Congressional life.DDC classification: 328.73/05 LOC classification: KF4937 | .T39 2012Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Introduction: the House and Senate floors -- The floor and the legislative process: theoretical underpinnings -- Developing procedural character: a quantitative analytical history of House and Senate floor power and rights -- The restrictive House and natural Senate: the story of two floors -- The quality of floor proceedings I: concepts, measures, and data -- The quality of floor proceedings II: analysis -- Conclusion: a future for the floor.
Summary: The House and the Senate floors are the only legislative forums where all members of the U.S. Congress participate and each has a vote. Andrew J. Taylor explores why floor power and floor rights in the House are more restricted than in the Senate and how these restrictions affect the legislative process. After tracing the historical development of floor rules, Taylor assesses how well they facilitate a democratic legislative process--that is, how well they facilitate deliberation, transparency, and widespread participation. Taylor not only compares floor proceedings between the Senate and the House in recent decades; he also compares recent congressional proceedings with antebellum proceedings. This unique, systematic analysis reveals that the Senate is generally more democratic than the House--a somewhat surprising result, given that the House is usually considered the more representative and responsive of the two. Taylor concludes with recommendations for practical reforms designed to make floor debates more robust and foster representative democracy.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction: the House and Senate floors -- The floor and the legislative process: theoretical underpinnings -- Developing procedural character: a quantitative analytical history of House and Senate floor power and rights -- The restrictive House and natural Senate: the story of two floors -- The quality of floor proceedings I: concepts, measures, and data -- The quality of floor proceedings II: analysis -- Conclusion: a future for the floor.

Print version record.

The House and the Senate floors are the only legislative forums where all members of the U.S. Congress participate and each has a vote. Andrew J. Taylor explores why floor power and floor rights in the House are more restricted than in the Senate and how these restrictions affect the legislative process. After tracing the historical development of floor rules, Taylor assesses how well they facilitate a democratic legislative process--that is, how well they facilitate deliberation, transparency, and widespread participation. Taylor not only compares floor proceedings between the Senate and the House in recent decades; he also compares recent congressional proceedings with antebellum proceedings. This unique, systematic analysis reveals that the Senate is generally more democratic than the House--a somewhat surprising result, given that the House is usually considered the more representative and responsive of the two. Taylor concludes with recommendations for practical reforms designed to make floor debates more robust and foster representative democracy.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Taylor (North Carolina State Univ.) examines how changes in rules have influenced deliberation on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. His methodology is both historical and quantitative, and he examines an aspect of Congress that has been largely overlooked: life on the floor. Taylor concludes that deliberations in the House are more restrictive than in the Senate, which he attributes to the former's larger size, among other factors. The House, which has grown at a faster pace than the Senate (although growth in both came to a halt shortly before WW I), has required more restrictive rules in order to conduct its business. Taylor finds that restrictions tend to be imposed by majorities seeking to consolidate their rule (notably the "Reed Rules" of the 1880s), while a loosening up sometimes occurs as part of a revolt against the leadership. Taylor also examines the quality of floor proceedings and concludes that it has declined over the years. Today, debate is less about influencing one's colleagues (who are probably not on the floor anyway) than producing sound-bites for public consumption. Taylor concludes with some suggestions for reform that he believes might improve the quality of deliberation and participation in Congress. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. J. F. Kraus Wagner College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Andrew J. Taylor is Professor of Political Science at North Carolina State University.

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