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Unorthodox Lawmaking

Unorthodox Lawmaking
New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress

Fifth Edition

September 2016 | 320 pages | CQ Press
“Barbara Sinclair does an excellent job of showing how contemporary lawmaking departs from the traditional legislative process. I can't imagine teaching a course on Congress without this text—it’s absolutely indispensable.”

—Philip Klinkner, Hamilton College

Most major measures wind their way through the contemporary Congress in what Barbara Sinclair has dubbed “unorthodox lawmaking.” In this much-anticipated Fifth Edition of Unorthodox Lawmaking, Sinclair explores the full range of special procedures and processes that make up Congress’s work, as well as the reasons these unconventional routes evolved. The author introduces students to the intricacies of Congress and provides the tools to assess the relative successes and limitations of the legislative process.

This dramatically revised Fifth Edition incorporates a wealth of new cases and examples to illustrate the changes occurring in congressional process. Two entirely new case study chapters highlight Sinclair’s fresh analysis and the book is now introduced by a new foreword from noted scholar and teacher, Bruce I. Oppenheimer, reflecting on this book and Barbara Sinclair’s significant mark on the study of Congress. 
Chapter 1: Clean Air: An Introduction to How the Legislative Process Has Changed
A Note on Data

Chapter 2: Multiple Paths: The Legislative Process in the House of Representatives
Bill Introduction

Bill Referral

Postcommittee Adjustments

Suspension of the Rules

Special Rules

On the Floor

Unorthodox Lawmaking in the House

Chapter 3: Routes and Obstacles: The Legislative Process in the Senate
Bill Introduction

Bill Referral

Postcommittee Adjustments

Scheduling Legislation for the Floor

The Senate Floor

Unorthodox Lawmaking in the Senate

Chapter 4: Getting One Bill: Reconciling House-Senate Differences
Traditional Nonconference Reconciliation Procedures

Conference Committees

The President in the Postpassage Legislative Process

The Final Step

Reconciling Differences: How Much Change?

Chapter 5: Omnibus Legislation, the Budget Process, and Summits
Omnibus Legislation

Authorizations, Appropriations, and Earmarks

The Budget Process

Congress, the President, and Summitry

What Is the Regular Process?

Chapter 6: Why and How the Legislative Process Changed
From Decentralization to Individualism in the Senate

Reform and Its Legacy in the House

Budget Reform

A Hostile Political Climate as a Force for Innovation: The 1980s and Early 1990s

How Internal Reform and a Hostile Climate Spawned Unorthodox Lawmaking

Unorthodox Lawmaking in a Hyperpartisan Era

Chapter 7: Making Nonincremental Policy Change through Hyperunorthodox Procedures: Health Care Reform in 2009-2010
The First Phase: Consultation and Drafting

Building Winning Coalitions to Pass Health Care: Postcommittee and Floor Action

A Long and Convoluted End Game

Making Nonincremental Policy Change in a Partisan Era

Chapter 8: High-Stakes Budget Politics: The 2013 Government Shutdown and the Ryan-Murray Deal
Act One: The FY2014 Budget Resolutions

Act Two: From Budget Resolution to the Ryan-Murray Deal

Unorthodox Budget Politics

Chapter 9: A Cross-Party Coalition Forces Policy Change: The USA Freedom Act
House Action in the 114th Congress

Senate Action in the 114th Congress

Unorthodox Lawmaking and Forms of Bipartisanship

Chapter 10: The Consequences of Unorthodox Lawmaking
Lawmaking in the Contemporary Congress

Unorthodox Lawmaking and Legislative Outcomes

Other Costs and Benefits

Assessing Unorthodox Lawmaking


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 8

For instructors

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