Congressional Intent

By Thomas B. Curtis; Donald L. Westerfield et al. | Go to book overview

1
Prologue

Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice begins with Thomas Jefferson quoting from Mr. Onslow:

Sec. I--IMPORTANCE OF ADHERING TO RULES. Mr. Onslow, the ablest among the Speakers of the House of Commons, used to say, "It was a maxim he had often heard when he was a young man, from old and experienced Members, that nothing tended more to throw power into the hands of administration, and those who acted with the majority of the House of Commons, than a neglect of, or departure from the rules of proceeding; that those forms, as instituted by our ancestors, operated as a check and control on the actions of the majority, and that they were, in many instances, a shelter and protection to the minority against the attempts of power." So far the maxim is certainly true, and is founded in good sense, that as it is always in the power of the majority, by their numbers, to stop any improper measures proposed on the part of their opponents, the only weapons by which the minority can defend themselves against similar attempts from those in power are the forms and rules of proceeding which have been adopted as they were found necessary, from time to time, and are become the law of the House, by a strict adherence to which the weaker party can only be protected from whose irregularities and abuses which these forms were intended to check and which the wantonness of power is but too often apt to suggest to large and successful majority. 2 Hats., 171, 172.1

-3-

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Congressional Intent
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Part I- Study and Deliberation 1
  • 1- Prologue 3
  • Notes 6
  • 2- Study and Deliberation In Congress 9
  • Notes 28
  • 3- Congress and the Presidents 31
  • Notes 42
  • 4- The Will of the House 45
  • Notes 60
  • 5- Committees: House Of Representatives 63
  • Notes 77
  • Part II- Undermining the Study and Deliberative Process 79
  • 6- Executive Strategies 81
  • Notes 92
  • 7- The Germaneness Issue 95
  • Notes 108
  • 8- Committee and Rules Strategies 111
  • Notes 120
  • Part III- The Public Interest 123
  • 9- Special Interest And Lobbyist Agenda 125
  • Notes 131
  • 10- Blueprint for Reform 133
  • EPILOGUE 140
  • Notes 141
  • Bibliography 143
  • Index 159
  • About the Authors 169
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