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Legislative Simulation: The Federal Budget

How does a bill really become a law? This course is about the formal and informal American legislative and budget process. The course is part lecture, part simulation. You will learn the formal processes that govern legislating and White House policymaking, including: how a President decides what policy to propose; Congressional committee markups; House and Senate floor debate, rules, and the amendment process; conference committees; and Presidential signatures and vetoes. You will then learn how legislative coalitions are built and broken, how and why bargaining occurs, the roles of interest groups and lobbyists, how an Executive Branch tries to influence Congress, how political parties and elections influence legislative behavior, and how the press and personalities influence all of the above. While this is primarily a class about policymaking process, we will learn enough about federal budget policy to make your participation in budget legislative simulations more effective. Can your class solve America's long-term budget problems when your counterparts in Washington have so far been ineffective at doing so?nElements used in grading: Class participation (for lectures and the simulations), attendance and written assignments (memos).


Instructors for this course

Keith Hennessey