Home » Between The Branches: The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs by Kenneth E. Collier
Between The Branches: The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs Kenneth E. Collier

Between The Branches: The White House Office Of Legislative Affairs

Kenneth E. Collier

Published December 31st 1997
ISBN : 9780822939788
Hardcover
330 pages
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 About the Book 

Because of the power-fearing drafters of the U.S. Constitution, the presidents tools for influencing Congress are quite limited. Presidents have had to look beyond the formal powers of the office to push a legislative agenda. In Between theMoreBecause of the power-fearing drafters of the U.S. Constitution, the presidents tools for influencing Congress are quite limited. Presidents have had to look beyond the formal powers of the office to push a legislative agenda. In Between the Branches, a book of unprecedented depth, Kenneth Collier traces the evolution of White House influence in Congress over nine administrations -- from Eisenhower to Clinton.The gulf between the president and Congress is crossed by unsung warriors, the presidential aides of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Collier argues that the experience of these aides -- their roles, problems, and strategies -- provides the best insight on this important relationship. Collier conducted interviews with many of these White House emissaries, as well as with members of Congress, to find the sources of presidential influence not found in broad quantitative studies. Using original documents from presidential libraries, he also provides a detailed comparative analysis of influence in every administration since the first White House office dedicated to working with Congress was established in 1953.Collier concludes that, more than anything else, it is the presidents ability to affect lawmakers chances of reelection that gets results on Capitol Hill. Collier also shows how presidents have continually had to seek out new ways to win legislative victories-including a range of public strategies like election mandates -- because of an evolving paradox: Presidents are elected to lead, but representatives get votes by showing independence from the president.Between the Branches will enlighten students of the presidency, Congress, and all thoseinterested in American politics.To this multi-administration study collier brings a firm grasp of the existing literature, first-hand examination of the documents in presidential libraries, and elite interviews collected from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The product is a thoroughly documented account of how presidents seek to influence Congress as well as how Congress register reciprocal effects on the president. Joseph A. Pika, University of Delaware