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POLS-309: Congress and Public Policy (Manento)

Spring 2021

For this assignment, you are required to pick a bill that has been introduced in Congress this year and track it through the legislative process. This guide will introduce several great resources that will help contextualize your selected bill's past, present, and future. Included herein are resources for finding:

  • the full-text of the bill and related documents (committee reports, hearings, floor debate, and floor votes),
  • information about the historical underpinnings of the issue(s) your bill seeks to address,
  • and, background information about the bill's sponsor(s), including a demographic profile of their district, campaign contributions, and interest group ratings. This will allow you to draw conclusions regarding effective representation.

You can browse legislation from the 117th Congress (2021-2022) to identify the bill with which you want to work. After you select a bill, head over to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a good idea for several reasons. First, you can get an up to date overview of your bill (past, present, and future). You can also get a good idea of issues and concepts associated with your bill. And finally, Wikipedia articles have links to relevant sources (e.g. government sources, newspaper articles, social media posts). You know never to cite Wikipedia; but, use it to identify quality information that will guide your research.