The Broken Branch
How Congress is Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track
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Broken Branch by Thomas E. Mann
Book DescriptionThe Broken Branch offers both a brilliant diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline and a much-needed blueprint for change, from two experts who understand politics and revere our institutions, but believe that Congress has become deeply dysfunctional. Mann and Ornstein, two of the nation's most renowned and judicious scholars of government and politics, bring to light the historical roots of Congress's current maladies, examining 40 years of uninterrupted Democratic control of the House and the stunning midterm election victory of 1994 that propelled Republicans into the majority in both House and Senate. The byproduct of that long and grueling but ultimately successful Republican campaign, the authors reveal, was a weakened institution bitterly divided between the parties. They highlight the dramatic shift in Congress from a highly decentralized, committee-based institution into a much more regimented one in which party increasingly trumps committee. The resultant changes in the policy process-the demise of regular order, the decline of deliberation, and the weakening of our system of checks and balances-have all compromised the role of Congress in the American Constitutional system. From tax cuts to the war against Saddam Hussein to a Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Legislative process has been bent to serve immediate presidential interests and have often resulted in poorly crafted and stealthily passed laws. Strong majority leadership in Congress, the authors conclude, led not to a vigorous exertion of congressional authority but to a general passivity in the face of executive power.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195368710
(205mm x 136mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 4-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Thomas E. Mann
It's Even Worse Than it Looks, Paperback (September 2013)
Title appears on cover as It's even worse than it looks, with "looks" struck through and replaced by "was."
Vital Statistics on Congress 2008, Paperback (August 2008)
Combines historical context with insightful analysis and data to produce a picture of the US Senate and House of Representatives. This title tracks the changing makeup of Congress through history and across several dimensions, such as region, party, occupation, religion, committee assignments, staff size, and political stances.
Party Lines, Paperback (November 2005)
The legitimacy of the American electoral system depends on sustaining reasonable levels of fairness, accountability, responsiveness, and common sense.
New Campaign Finance Sourcebook, Paperback (September 2005)» View all books by Thomas E. Mann
The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook has been integrated with the award-winning and frequently visited Brookings website to provide a timely, interactive tool for policymakers, journalists, and scholars.
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Author Biography - Thomas E. Mann
Thomas E. Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. The author of numerous books on American government, and a contributor to major magazines and newspapers like Washington Post and New York Times , he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mann has served as co-director (with Ornstein) of the Transition to Governing Project and senior counselor (with Ornstein) to the Continuity of Government Commission. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Norman J. Ornstein is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. An election analyst for CBS News, he writes a weekly column called "Congress Inside Out" for Roll Call . His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal , and Foreign Affairs , and he appears regularly on television programs like The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline , and Charlie Rose . He serves on the board of the Public Broadcasting Service and several other nonprofit groups. Like Mann, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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