Congressional Productivity

Please select three of the following questions and write essays on them. your essays consist of language other than your own. 1. In recent years Congressional productivity in terms of passing laws has declined.  What are possible causes?  What might be some potential solutions?   2.How can we evaluate the performance of presidents?  Historians and political scientists have tried to rank presidents.  Stephen Skowronek has argued that whether a president has the chance to be a “great president” depends on the broader context in which a president comes to power.  Your textbook discusses presidential “batting averages” in terms of bills passed on which the president took a position and presidential approval ratings.  Discuss these different ways of assessing presidential performance.   3.In the conclusion of the chapter on the presidency the authors of your textbook state that “[t]he presidency is a far more powerful office than it was a century ago.  Has it grown too powerful for a republic?  Or is it too hobbled to carry out the mandate of the public?”  In other words, is the president too powerful or too weak?  How would you answer this question?   4.Political parties first formed in the United States in the 1790s.  Since then, we have seen a number of “party systems” in the United States which have differed in terms of who the major parties were, what issues divided them, which interests they represented, and which party tended to dominate.  On this basis your textbook distinguishes among six different party systems.  Explain.

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