Wednesday, April 14, 2010

House of Representatives Party Leadership Introduction

As the highest legislative body in the United States, the US Congress’s primary function is the crafting and passing of new legislation for an ever changing social and political landscape. Within this body, two houses were created, the House of Representatives with proportional representation based on census data and state controlled districting, and the Senate with states receiving equal representation. One of the more interesting aspects of our Congress, however, is the level of vagueness the Constitution left in relation to the way it should be run and how it should conduct its day to day business. While much of the Constitution was intentionally left open for interpretation (with its interpretation being the primary role of the Supreme Court), the Congress has gone on to create an incredibly intricate system of rules and norms that govern the way the laws of this country are proposed, debated and eventually (sometimes) passed. With the outlining of Congress in the Constitution being left open, today’s Congress is a much different beast than what the Constitutional framers would have ever imagined. While the rules on the floor and the parliamentarian system of addressing one another is still quite traditional, the vast system of committees and party politics has made a need for strong and ever present party leadership. Working hard to advance party policies and streamline party line legislation, the function of party leadership, more specifically leadership in the House of Representatives, has become a much more visible and necessary role in today’s modern Congress.

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