This seminar will explore the workings of Congress -- the first branch under the Constitution -- and its role in making public policy. It looks at the workings of Congress through the lens of practical experience. 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 Congess and its Members related to the other branches of government, the press, and the public. Topics to be examined include the roles 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 severa applied writing assignments related to a policy that currently is or should be before Congress.
Note: In addition to attending the lectures, students are required to attend a weekly Monday Speakers Forum from 6:30 to 7:30. Students taking Congress and interning on the Hill are also required to attend a Congressional Training session the first week of the term.