Political Science | The United States Congress
Y319 | 3453 | Schaffner


	Recent elections have changed the United States Congress in
important ways. The 1994 midterm elections brought the Republican
Party to power for the first time in decades.  In the 1996 elections
the Democratic Party narrowed the Republicansí congressional
majorities, and President Bill Clinton won reelection.  In the 1998
midterm elections, congressional Democrats maintained their strength
in the Senate and further narrowed the Republican House majority to a
mere 5 seats, a postwar low.  After the 2000 elections and a notable
defection, control of the Senate returned to the Democrats while
Republicans maintained a narrow margin in the House.
	This course will examine the nature of these changes and how
they have affected (or will affect) the House and Senate.  We will
examine a number of related questions: how do legislators balance
serving constituent interest and producing national legislation?
What are the competing centers of power and influence in Congress,
and what determines which area of influence is more dominant?  How
extensive are incumbent advantages in congressional elections, and
why do challengers sometimes overcome them and sometimes fail to do
so?.