Additional Resources

Other Recommended Sites

  • House.gov – This is the official website for the U.S. House of Representatives and provides a wealth of legislative resources and links to related websites.
  • Senate.gov – The official website of the U.S. Senate houses information on Senators, committees, and current and historic legislation, and includes a section on the Senate’s collection of decorative art.
  • Roll Call – The newspaper of Capitol Hill since 1955 – online. 
  • Politico -- POLITICO covers political news with a focus on national politics, Congress, Capitol Hill, lobbying, advocacy, and more.
  • Kids in the House – This website provides educational and entertaining information about the legislative branch of the U.S. government for students of all age levels.  It includes a For Teachers section with resources, activities, and lesson plans. 
  • Ben’s Guide to the Government for Kids – Learn more about the life of Ben Franklin and find comprehensive information, grouped by grade level, about the our country’s form of government.
  • The Dirksen Center Web Suite – Six sites make up the web suite developed by the Dirksen Congressional Center, including Congress for Kids, Congress in the Classroom Online, and Congress Link.
  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75.
  • Historical Records of Congress: The National Archives – Find a variety of teachers’ resources, including lesson plans and other classroom materials related to U.S. history and teaching with documents.
  • THOMAS – THOMAS, a service of the U. S. Congress, is maintained by the Library of Congress.  It offers a wide range of materials, including current activities of the House and Senate, access to major bills under consideration or recently enacted into law, the text of the daily Congressional Record for the past five years, information on House and Senate committees, historical documents, information on the legislative process, and links to other government sites. 
  • Reports on Congressional Procedures – Find descriptions and reports for everything from House leadership structure and the stages of action on measures before the House to the ins and outs of the budget process.
  • Congressional District Demographic Data – This website of the US Census Bureau will help you find highlights from Census Bureau sources of economic and demographic data for your Congressional District.
  • Congress.gov – This site allows users to identify and contact elected leaders in Congress, the White House, and state legislatures; post letters online in Letters to Leaders and read what other Americans are saying to elected officials; and have your representative's votes sent to you weekly via e-mail.
  • The Congressional Institute – The Congressional Institute helps Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helps their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature.  The website provides resources on Congressional leadership roles, floor procedures, and a guide to the legislative process, among other things.
  • Center for Civic Education – The Center for Civic Education is the source for resources related to the We the People, Project Citizen, and other school-based civics education projects utilized widely across the country.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures – The NCSL website provides information about state governing bodies, current legislation and reports, surveys, and policies, as well as resources for teachers on the work of state legislatures, representative democracy, and citizen participation. 
  • iCivics: the Democracy Lab – This Web-based education project is designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in US democracy.  The website offers games and activities for students as well as lessons and other resources for teachers.
  • Close Up – Find information about the Close Up Foundation’s excellent Washington, D.C. experience for teachers and students, and access a variety of other classroom resources on civic education.
  • Association of Centers for the Study of Congress – ACSC supports a wide range of programs designed to inform and educate students, scholars, policy-makers, and members of the general public on the history of Congress, legislative process, and current issues facing Congress.
Books About Congress
 
Congress and Its Members, 12th Edition 
Roger Davidson and Walter Oleszek, CQ Press 2009
This classic is aimed at students and is full of examples, graphics and anecdotes, bringing to life Congress, its people, and its processes.
 
Education of a Senator 
Everett McKinley Dirksen and Frank Mackaman, Univ. of Illinois Press, 1998
Covering the years of his boyhood through his election to the Senate in 1950, this memoir reveals the foundation of a great public servant in the making.
 
Citizen Democracy: Political Activists in a Cynical Age, 3rd edition 
Stephen E. Frantzich, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008
Through a series of carefully chosen vignettes, Stephen Frantzich portrays citizens from every walk of life—rich and poor, old and young, black and white, male and female, left and right, famous and obscure—as they choose to become involved in politics.
 
How Congress Works and Why You Should Care 
Lee Hamilton, Indiana University Press, 2004
This book details the role and importance of Congress and some of the critical actions it has taken. Hamilton also describes the “complicated and untidy” process by which Congress really works and why we “need more people who know how to practice the art of politics.”
 
Strengthening Congress 
Lee Hamilton, Indiana University Press, 2009
In this book, Hamilton details the steps Congress should take to re-establish the power and influence envisioned for it in the Constitution and work more effectively with the executive branch.
 
Congress as Public Enemy: Public Attitudes Toward American Political Institutions 
John R. Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, Cambridge University Press, 1995
The authors argue that although the public is deeply disturbed spirited debate, compromise, deliberate pace and presence of interest groups, many of these traits are basic to modern democratic government.  
 
To Make All Laws: The Congress of the United States, 1789-1989 
James H. Hutson, Houghton Mifflin; reprint edition, 1990
In this book the author examines the organization and procedures Congress has adopted under the nation’s constitutional system of government and reviews some of the major legislative issues.
 
Government’s Greatest Achievements: From Civil Rights to Homeland Security 
Paul Light, Brookings Institution Press, 2002
This book explores the federal government's most successful accomplishments over the previous five decades and anticipates the most significant challenges of the next half century.
 
Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process, 8th edition
Walter J. Oleszek, CQ Press, 2010
This is a comprehensive work on congressional lawmaking today, providing a detailed look into the interplay of rules, procedures, precedents, and strategies.
 
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America And How To Get It Back On Track
Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann, Oxford University Press, USA, 2008
The Broken Branch offers both a diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline – bringing to light the historical roots of Congress’s current maladies – and a blueprint for change, from two leading scholars of government and politics.
 
Vital Statistics on Congress 2008
Norman J. Ornstein, Thomas E. Mann, and Michael J. Malbin, Brookings Institution Press 2008
This book combines historical context with insightful analysis and copious data, tracking the changing makeup of Congress through history and across several dimensions, to produce an authoritative picture of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
 
The Congressional Experience
David E. Price, Westview Press, 2004
In this book Congressman Price guides us through the labyrinth of rules, roles, and representatives that is Congress. 
 
Republic on Trial: The Case for Representative Democracy 
Alan Rosenthal, Burdett A. Loomis, John R. Hibbing and Karl T. Kurtz, CQ Press, 2003
The authors lay out criteria with which to assess our representative system.  By showing students what democracy entails in practice, they will come to see that uncertainty, competing interests, confusion, bargaining, compromise, and conflict are central to the proper functioning of our democracy.
 
Unorthodox Lawmaking: New Legislative Processes in the U.S. Congress, 3rd Edition Barbara Sinclair. Congressional Quarterly Press. 2007.
This book provides a look at the US legislative process, including the various detours or shortcuts a major bill is likely to encounter.  The process is illustrated with real-life examples through a series of case studies on national service legislation, regulatory overhaul, the omnibus drug bill, and more.
 
Google Books (http://books.google.com/) – Find a wide variety of books about government and civics, including several of the books listed above.