Rivals for Power: Presidential-congressional Relations

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James A. Thurber
Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 - Political Science - 285 pages
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The first President Bush faced a long-entrenched Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. In his first term, Clinton entered into a unified government for the first time in many years, but all that changed with the midterm elections of 1994. The second President Bush faces a closely divided government whose balance could shift at any time. Through it all, the presidential-congressional rivalry continues unabated. What is it about the institutional relationship between Congress and the presidency that ensures conflict even in the face of necessary cooperation? Here, well-known scholars and practitioners of congressional-presidential relations come together to explore both branches of government and what unites as well as divides them. Highlights include chapters on budgetary politics in a time of surplus, the impacts of campaign message and election mandates, and congressional-presidential relations during transitions. Case studies of budget battles, health care task forces, and armed conflicts in foreign lands lend concrete detail to political theory. First hand experience on the Hill and in the Oval Office—and everywhere in between—is reflected in each chapter. Although nothing can rival election 2000 for its challenges to both Congress and the presidency,Rivals For Power shows how even an extraordinary electoral result is subject to the rules and rigors of Washington's built-in rivalry.

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Yo, this song will never be on the radio. Even if my clique were to pick and the people were to vote, it's the few, the proud, and the emotional. Yo, you bulletproof and black like a funeral.


An Introduction to PresidentialCongressional Rivalry
The President and Congress at the Turn of the Century Structural Sources of Conflict
Presidential Leadership of Congress A Functional and Institutional History
The Presidency and Congressional Leadership
The Impact of Campaigns on PresidentialCongressional Relations
Presidential Influence on Congress New Solutions to Old Problems
Successful Influence Managing Legislative Affairs in the Twentyfirst Century
Herding Cats Presidential Coalition Building in the Senate
Politics of the Federal Budget Process
The Making of US Foreign Policy The Roles of the President and Congress over Four Decades
Clintons Military Actions No Rivals in Sight
Conclusions about CongressionalPresidential Rivalries
About the Contributors

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About the author (2002)

James A. Thurber is professor of government and founder and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.

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