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How Washington Actually Works For Dummies



How Washington Actually Works For Dummies

Greg Rushford (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-46324-6 July 2012 128 Pages


Get the inside scoop on the most powerful city on Earth

Washington, D.C.: Capital of the Free World; the most powerful city on Earth. No other country, company, or international organization can compare with the reach and wealth of the federal government. Policymaking — the art of deciding what programs to support, what laws to pass, or what regulations to write — is at the core of what Washington does and is what everyone, from the President on down, wants to influence.

How Washington Actually Works For Dummies isn't a dry explanation of the American system of government but a playbook for how Washington really works: who has a seat at the table, how the policymaking process works, and how one survives. It takes you inside the political process in Washington, discusses changes in recent decades, and explains how the parts fit together. You find out:

  • Who really runs Washington
  • Why the President’s power is limited
  • How Congress (and its committee structure) works
  • What the bureaucrats — the men and women behind the curtain — do to earn your tax dollars
  • How lobbyists, activists, and other players influence policy

In a presidential election year when economic issues are center stage and the candidates will go head to head in policy debates, there’s no better time to discover the ins and outs of how policy is actually made.

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: A Brief History of Washington 5

Chapter 2: The People behind the Curtain: Federal Bureaucrats 23

Chapter 3: Professional Persuaders: Lobbyists 35

Chapter 4: Other Voices in the Debate: Outsiders, Gatecrashers, and Wallflowers 51

Chapter 5: Congress 67

Chapter 6: The Presidency 81

Chapter 7: Policymaking 95

Chapter 8: Ten Ways to Participate in Washington Policymaking 113