The United States Congress

Primary Number: POLS 30005

ConStudies Number: CNST 30404

ConStudies CRN: 21598

Primary CRN: 21570

Instructor: Porter, Rachel

Day/Time: MW 9:30am-10:45am

Attributes: MPPE -Minor in Phil, Pol &Econ SOSC - old Core Social Science WKSS - new Core Social Science

Location: Jenkins and Nanovic Hall B071

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the workings of the contemporary U.S. Congress. We will examine who runs for and who wins seats in Congress, the lawmaking processes in the House and Senate, and the roles of parties and leaders in the two chambers. The purpose of this course is to examine two fundamental questions: (1) what do members of Congress do and why and (2) how do the individual and collective actions of members of Congress explain national policy? We will examine the process of legislating as well as the role of political parties, leaders, and interest groups. Throughout the semester, we will debate the common criticism that “Congress is broken” and consider its effectiveness as an institution. Is policymaking too partisan? Is the public’s disapproval of Congress justified?