May 18, 2012 Procedural Tools and How They Are Used in Congress Is Subject of Book Discussion

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Understanding how congressional political parties use floor procedure to advance a legislative agenda is fundamental to understanding how Congress operates.

In “Party and Procedure in the United States Congress” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), author Jacob R. Straus and contributors Jennifer Hayes Clark, Matthew Glassman and Colleen J. Shogan offer students and researchers an in-depth understanding of the procedural tools available to congressional leaders and committee chairs and how those tools are implemented in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and during negotiations between the chambers. Divided into four sections (Leadership, House of Representatives, Senate, and Legislative Reconciliation between the Chambers), the contributors present relevant examples of procedure throughout the legislative process.

The authors will discuss and sign their work on Thursday, May 24, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress as part of its Books & Beyond author series. It is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

While other books provide the party or the procedural perspective, “Party and Procedure” combines these two features to create a robust analysis on the role that party can play in making procedural decisions. Additionally, the contributors provide an opportunity to take a holistic look at Congress and understand the changing dynamics of congressional power and its implementation over time. A concluding chapter, “Legislative Sausage-Making: Health Care Reform in the 111th Congress,” summarizes the book’s major themes through an examination of this legislative topic.

Jacob R. Straus is with the Congressional Research Service. Contributor Jennifer Hayes Clark is at the University of Houston and Matthew Glassman and Colleen J. Shogan are with the Congressional Research Service.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress ( has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.


PR 12-101
ISSN 0731-3527