Professional Staffs of Congress

Professional Staffs of Congress (Hardback)

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 Professional Staffs of Congress
Purdue University Press

Book Description

To meet the challenges of the twentieth century, Congress needs expert assistants.  Providing such help poses perplexing problems because of the diffuseness and changeability of the internal power structures of Congress.  Moreover, basic values of our governmental system may be jeopardized by too much or the wrong kinds of congressional staffing.


Since the advent of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, Congress has equipped itself with a sizable professional staff.  This book is the first comprehensive study of the nature and functioning of that staff.  It concentrates on the staffs of the committees, individual members, and Legislative Counsel of Congress.  They are the most closely interknit elements of the congressional staff, perform the bulk of the staff work on legislation and oversight of administration, and comprise the largest share of the professional aides.  Their organization, recruitment, qualifications, tenure, size and work are described and evaluated.  And their relationships with one another and with the other congressional, executive branch, and nongovernmental staffs are discussed.


To aid the general reader in understanding the context in which the committee staffs operate and the resulting requirements of their situation, a chapter on the nature of the standing committees of Congress is included.  A summation of the conclusions reached rounds out the study.

About the Author(s):

Kenneth Kofmehl, professor of government at Purdue University, is consultant to the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and has also served as consultant to the Committee on Science and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences.  He is the author of several government documents and numerous articles and reviews in professional journals.  Winner of a Best Teaching Award at Purdue in 1967, Kofmehl is frequently invited to address conferences on political science and government.  He received his B.A. from the University of Idaho and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University.