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A deftly crafted insider account of how congressional committees really work

Look Inside


For three years while serving as a senior adviser to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce—one of the most powerful committees in Congress—Bruce C. Wolpe kept a diary, a senior staffer’s look at how committees develop and promote legislation. With its insider’s view of the rough-and-tumble politics of cap-and-trade, healthcare reform, tobacco, oversight, and the debt ceiling agreement, The Committee uniquely melds the art of politics and policymaking with the theory and literature of political science. The authors engage with the important questions that political science asks about committee power, partisanship, and the strategies used to build winning policy coalitions both in the Committee and on the floor of the House. The insider politics and strategies about moving legislation in Congress, from internal and external coalition building to a chairman’s role in framing policy narratives, will captivate both novice and die-hard readers of politics.

Bryan W. Marshall is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Miami University.
Bruce C. Wolpe has served as Chief of Staff to Julia Gillard, Australia’s 27th Prime Minister and Senior Adviser to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), chair of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Watch: Bruce Wolpe and Bryan Marshall interviewed on C-SPAN2 BookTV Link | 12/7/2018Read: The Committee covered in Congressional Quarterly Link | 11/26/2018Campus event: Milken Institute School of Public Health Link | 7/12/2018
Author Events:Campus event: The Aspen Institute Link | 7/18/2018Author event: Politics and Prose Link | 7/21/2018Author event: Busboys and Poets Link | 11/1/2018