Congress paper on Bernie Sanders
COURSE PAPER ASSIGNMENT: THE TWO CONGRESSES
Due Date: Tuesday, November 28th
There is a great deal of media attention today focused on individual members of Congress, a by-product of waning traditional norms that value the institution over the ambitions of the individual. Members of Congress act on what’s best for themselves, their districts/states, the nation as a whole, and their political parties. It’s quite a tightrope to walk. This semester, each student will choose a member of Congress (MC) outside of Illinois and write a paper on how that member of Congress navigates the often competing demands of “the two Congresses.” Specifically, how well does this MC balance the interests of their constituents with interests of the national good as well as goals of his/her political party and leadership? I will ask for the name of your selected member of Congress on Tuesday, October 24th.
You will need to rely on congressional reference materials to complete this assignment, such as the Thomas site (Thomas.loc.gov) and the Congressional Record. Additional resources that will be helpful include CQ Politics in America, CQ Weekly, Politico, The Hill, National Journal, Roll Call, OpenSecrets.org, Project Vote Smart, as well as current news articles about your member of Congress. Internet sources, if used sparingly and appropriately, will also be accepted.
Please address the following areas in your paper:
- A demographic profile of the state/district for your member of Congress (MC)
- A brief background on your MC
- What bills has s/he sponsored?
- What kind of floor statements has s/he made?
- What is his/her voting record like?
- What interest groups have the support of this MC? Who contributes to his/her campaign?
- On which congressional committees does your MC sit?
- Would you categorize this MC as “old guard” or “new guard”? Why?
- What do you think are the ambitions of this MC?
- Does this MC represent both Congresses equally well?
The paper should be 10-12 pages in length and should be double-spaced and typed in size 12 Times New Roman or some other standard font.
A title page, including student’s name and student I.D. number is also required, as well as a references page, placed at the end of the document. Any charts or graphs should be placed after the references page as an appendix.
Please remember to number pages. Papers should be stapled only; no folders are necessary. Student name should appear on the title page only.
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