This thematic research seminar will explore the workings of Congress—the first branch under the Constitution—and its role in making public policy. It combines coursework with the original scholarship requirements of a UCDC research seminar and is designed particularly for students in Congressional internships and those considering Congressional staff positions after graduation. This seminar will take advantage of our Washington location by featuring frequent guest speakers and seeking connections to current policy and political debate. In addition to studying the pathways of lawmaking, we will ask how Congress and its Members relate to the other branches of government, the press, and the public. Topics to be examined include the rules and organization of Capitol Hill, campaign finance, redistricting, lawmaking and the House and Senate rules, budget process and politics, executive oversight, judicial nominations, lobbyists and influence, and policy entrepreneurialism. Seminar requirements in addition to the internship include preparation and in-class participation, a substantial research brief and several applied writing assignments related to a policy that currently is or should be before Congress.