Congressional Procedure

A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process

By Richard A. Arenberg (Author), Alan S. Frumin (Foreword)

Book Summary

“A clear explanation of the workings of the United States government that should be required reading for politically engaged Americans.” — KIRKUS

Congressional Procedure explains the legislative and congressional budget processes along with all aspects of Congress.

This comprehensive guide to Congress is ideal for anyone who wants to know how Congress really works, including federal executives, attorneys, lobbyists, media and public affairs staff, government affairs, policy and budget analysts, congressional office staff and students.

  • Clear explanation of the legislative process, budget process, and House and Senate business
  • Legislative process flowchart
  • Explanation of the electoral college and votes by states
  • Relationship between budget resolutions and appropriation and authorization bills
  • Amendment tree and amendment procedures
  • How members are assigned to committees
  • Glossary of legislative terms

About the Author

Alan S. Frumin is Parliamentarian Emeritus of the U.S. Senate. Richard A. Arenberg is Clarence Adams and Rachel Adams Visiting Professor of the Practice of Political Science and a Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs at Brown University. He is the author of Congressional Procedure: A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress. He previously taught at Northeastern University and Suffolk University. He worked for Sens. Paul Tsongas (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME) for 34 years. He served on the Senate Iran-Contra Committee in 1987. Arenberg is co-author of the award-winning, "Defending the Filibuster: Soul of the Senate," named "Book of the Year in Political Science" by Foreword Reviews in 2012. A second edition was published in 2014. The U.S. Senate Historical Office published "Richard A. Arenberg: Oral History Interviews" in 2011. He serves on the Board of Directors of Social Security Works and the Social Security Education Fund. He is an affiliate at the Taubman Center for American Politics & Policy. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Providence Journal, Politico, and The Boston Globe. He is a Contributor at Newsmax and The Hill. Arenberg holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Boston University.

Customer Testimonials

"The actual rules of Congress, written and unwritten, are rarely mastered even by the members themselves. All the formalities matter, but so do the folkways that govern their daily application. Arenberg has written a sophisticated and invaluable primer on both. It may take time to be familiar with the ins and outs of Capitol Hill, but Arenberg gives us a great place to begin and an excellent manual to carry with us on the way." -- Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent / NPR News, Executive in Residence / School of Public Affairs / American University "Richard Arenberg understands the workings of the Senate as well as anyone I know. Congressional Procedure reflects his wealth of experience, common sense, political savvy, and extensive knowledge of the legislative process." -- Carl Levin, U.S. Senate (D-MI) (1979- 2015)