Project #91111 - Committee Comparison

here is the prompt for assignment #2 on Congressional Committees. remember that this assignment is weighted slightly higher than the other assignments. Also below are links to the House of Representatives and the United States Senate websites, where you can find the committee pages.

Dominican University                                                 

POSC 170: American Government

Assignment #2: CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES

 

I. Purpose

 

Understanding congressional committees is equivalent to understanding Congress as a whole. While great stories about action on the floor, such as getting beaten with a cane, bringing in hunting dogs, or discussing why American women should wear bras (really happened) is interesting, they are just stories. While Congress has held larger-than-life leaders in our country, such as Webster, Clay, Johnson, Reed, Cannon, and Rayburn, they are just citizens passing through. Committees are where the real story of the Congress is told. It is not always humorous and seldom does it provide fodder for a movie script, but it is where real conversations take place, discussions occur, and future laws of the country either find life or quietly pass into oblivion. To understand committees is to understand Congress.

 

II. Task

 

You will examine, in a compare and contrast essay, a committee in the House and the Senate. The committees may be found on the chamber websites, with links provided on the class Canvas site. The committee choice is entirely open as long as one committee is taken from the current House and one from the current Senate. Perhaps there is an area that is of particular interest to you, two committees that look as if they cover similar areas, or two committees that appear to cover completely different areas, whatever works for you is acceptable.  Examine the different committees. Examine the different committee jurisdictions for breadth and depth of topic areas. Make note of the committee activity with regard to meetings, hearings, and mark-up sessions. What type of bills or activity is being referred to these committees – suggest you use Thomas.gov for specifics (such as non-controversial, policy, …) Are their evident characteristics in the membership (regional, individuals, experience,…)? This is not a question- and-answer assignment, but a compare and contrast; so, always keep in mind how the committees you chose represent their chamber and how they look across chambers. Every committee controls their own site, so some are of greater value than others in completing this assignment.

 

III. Requirement

 

Select any two committees, one from each chamber. Write a 3-5 page essay-styled compare and contrast paper discussing the committees you chose.  The paper must be double-spaced, 10-12 font, and 1-inch margins. I want you to read and think about the committees, not copy the sites!  At a minimum, a 70% paper MUST address the following areas:

 

1. Discuss the basic information on the committee, including membership size, leadership positions, and

      members of note for any reason (state, region, reputation,…)

2. Discuss the committee jurisdictions (what issues do they discuss), including a general discussion of its

      breadth and depth. This is not a high school level list, but a discussion!

3. Discuss the presence of subcommittees and membership of interest there. Is this a logical breakdown?

4. Discuss any activity currently taking place with the committees and how this information may indicate the

      power and importance of this committee in the overall congressional structure.

5. Discuss your educated impression of these committees and how they compare and contrast with regard to

      all the above information and what you personally think of what they do.

 

The assignment is a compare/contrast essay, so your essay should work between both chambers. In other words, I do not want a single report on the Senate committee followed by a single report on the House committee. Committees are central to the legislative process, so discuss how the committees you selected are playing their part (or not). Again, compare/contrast across chambers (the hint here is to select two committees that appear to have overlapping jurisdiction and power – thus creating many comparison possibilities; or to select two committees completely different in power or prestige to create many contrast possibilities). A paper receiving a 75% or higher will do the above, but do so in a more articulate, thoughtful, and grammatically correct way.   

 

2. House of Representatives website http://www.house.gov (Links to an external site.)

3. United States Senate http://www.senate.gov (Links to an external site.)

4 pages 

$35

15 hours 

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 11/04/2015 01:00 pm
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