American Government and Politics in the Information Age: "Chapter 12: Congress"

Read this chapter. The US Congress is one of the world's greatest democratic institutions. Members fight hard on behalf of their states and districts and are free to introduce legislation which supports their policy agendas and the needs of their constituents. Congress is also an intricate institution, within which it can be very difficult and time-consuming to pass legislation.There has been tension between representation and action since the very first Congress in 1789. Because Congress is divided into two houses with their own rules, procedures, and electoral bases, members often disagree about major legislation, even when the public wants action. However, as you will discover in this subunit, frustration does have a purpose, and was even built into our constitutional system.