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Long Serving Members, Party Leadership and Committees in U.S Congress - Essay Example

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Long serving members, party leadership and committees in U.S Congress American Congress is believed to be a representative institution; however many people believe that its present functioning is against the norms of an institution. Even though members of Congress are elected to safeguard the interests of America in general and the interests of their constituencies in particular, many of them are believed to be safeguarding their own interests rather than that of the country or the people…
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Long Serving Members, Party Leadership and Committees in U.S Congress
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Download file to see previous pages An institution should never work for a particular segment of people alone. It should work for the wellbeing of all the people. This paper analyses American Congress as an institution with its long-serving members, party leadership and committees. First, and foremost, Congress is sometimes called the "People's Branch," because it is so close to the electoral process and, hence, the voters. Whereas the entire Executive Branch has two elected officials, president and vice president (and they run together as a team), the population of Congress results from 535 separate elections. Members can rarely rest from fund raising or campaigning. Every two years, about 470 of those seats are up for reelection--all of the House and 1/3 of the Senate (Weingarten). Before analysing Congress as an institution, it is necessary to know what an institution is. Institution is often become a controversial word. It has no standardized definition. Different people define the term institution in different ways. According to James Pedlar (2011), “An institution is a changeable, but permanent, product of purposive social role behaviour which subjects the individual to obligations, gives him formal authority and possesses legal sanctions” (Pedlar). If this definition is true, one can safely say that American Congress is definitely an institution at least in principle. It should be noted that none of the Congress members are permanent and each of them are elected for a specific period only. At the same time, one should not be forgotten that American congress is a permanent entity even though its members are changing periodically. All the congressmen have some kind of obligations towards the country and also towards the people the constituencies they represent. Moreover, each congressman has some kind of power given to them by the American constitution. In short, American Congress satisfies all the requirements of an institution. At the same time, it should be noted that some of the members of American congress have already crossed 50 years service as Congressman. For example, Robert Byrd, who died at the age of 92 recently, had served American Congress for around 52 years. Same way more than 25 members of the current Congress have crossed more than 35 years of service in Congress. These statistics clearly suggest that even though a prescribed term was there for the Congressmen, many of them were able to continue in Congress for very long periods. This is because of the fact that American constitution allows a person to compete elections to Congress as many times he likes. Even though presidential term is fixed to two terms maximum, such restrictions are not there for the congressmen. That is why many people argue that American Congress is not at all an institution since many of its members remain the same for a longer period. As everybody knows, conservatives and Democrats are two of the major political parties in American Congress. The leadership of these parties in the Congress will be elected by the party conferences. One of the will be the majority party leader whereas the other would be the minority party leader. At present, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are working as the floor leaders in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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