In mid-December, The House passed a $1 trillion bill to avert another government shutdown with only three hours to go; the wealth of evidence this gives for essays is astounding and both of these articles are must-reads.
Firstly, it gives an insight into the relationship between the two parties in Congress, a situation likely only to deteriorate as Republicans take control of both chambers this month and the battle begins over Obama’s immigration executive order.
It also shows a lot about the relationship between Congress 9or in this instance, the House of Representatives) and the White House as, at the beginning of the day, it was the Democrats voting against allowing the spending bill being debated – stopping this debate would have essentially forced the government into shutdown. It was only the Republicans managing to switch the vote of one of their own that allowed the debate to get started. This is a great example of how parties are certainly not wholly united (the House and Presidency were held by Democrats at this point) and how the Presidency is certainly beholden to the House when it comes to money.
The stand that Nancy Pelosi took, along with some other outraged (liberal) Democrats, shows the importance of leadership in Congress. This question always makes students uncomfortable and this is a great example for the importance of the leadership within Congress. This article also talks about the role of the President and Vice President in lobbying Congress to get the bill passed (a useful example of the presidential powers of persuasion) and the face that Boehner and Pelosi has several phone calls throughout the day, suggesting the importance of bipartisanship in getting this bill passed.
Finally, it gives a great insight in to how bills are made. In this case, much of the rage felt by Democrats was at the additions to the bill including allowing “a wealthy couple to give three times the current donation limits to the national political parties”.
This is an absolutely fascinating moment in American politics from 2014, and one that you really need to know for your exams.