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The US Congress for Kids: Over 200 Years of Lawmaking, Deal-Breaking, and Compromising, with 21 Activitiesby Henry Waxman Ronald A. Reis Kristi Noem
An interactive guidebook to the history and inner workings of the legislative branch of the U.S. Government Providing a historical perspective on all that is going on today, US Congress for Kids examines the major milestones in congressional history, including the abolition of slavery, extending the vote to African Americans and to women, and investigating misconduct in both government and private institutions. Kids will be engaged by the focus on dramatic stories, personalities, and turning points while also benefitting from the clear discussions of Congressional purpose, structure, history, and ongoing issues. Educational, hands-on activities that illuminate the workings of the U.S. Congress include making a House ceremonial mace, creating congressional money, making a capitol dome, and designing a Congressional Medal of Honor.
At a time when some of the most sweeping national initiatives in decades are being debated, Congressman Henry Waxman offers a fascinating inside account of how Congress really works by describing the subtleties and complexities of the legislative process. For four decades, Waxman has taken visionary and principled positions on crucial issues and been a driving force for change. Because of legislation he helped champion, our air is cleaner, our food is safer, and our medical care better. Thanks to his work as a top watchdog in Congress, crucial steps have been taken to curb abuses on Wall Street, to halt wasteful spending in Iraq, and to ban steroids from Major League Baseball. Few legislators can match his accomplishments or his insights on how good work gets done in Washington. In this book, Waxman affords readers a rare glimpse into how this is achieved-the strategy, the maneuvering, the behind-the-scenes deals. He shows how the things we take for granted (clear information about tobacco's harmfulness, accurate nutritional labeling, important drugs that have saved countless lives) started out humbly-derided by big business interests as impossible or even destructive. Sometimes, the most dramatic breakthroughs occur through small twists of fate or the most narrow voting margin. Waxman's stories are surprising because they illustrate that while government's progress may seem glacial, much is happening, and small battles waged over years can yield great results. At a moment when so much has been written about what'swrongwith Congress-the gridshy;lock, the partisanship, the influence of interest groups-Henry Waxman offers sophisticated, concrete examples of how governshy;ment can (and should) work.
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