Consideration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: How this Landmark Bill Made Its Way through a Divided Congress




Hertz, K. J.

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Due to the landmark-nature of the economic recovery bill, how it made its way through a divided Congress deserves examination as we look ahead to other major legislative initiatives this Congress—such as health care reform and global climate change legislation. This paper will examine the political and procedural aspects of how the economic recovery bill advanced through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and the Obama Administration‘s role in setting priorities and parameters for the legislation. This work examines the degree to which the economic recovery bill was a leadership driven initiative and the role committees of jurisdiction played in drafting the legislation. It also looks at the procedural steps each chamber took to move the economic recovery bill and the degree to which the process varied from ―regular order‖ and House and Senate rules and norms. Finally, the paper explores the reconciliation of differences between House and Senate bills, and how the political dynamics of each chamber influenced the negotiations as a compromise agreement was brokered between party leaders and key Senate moderates.



American Recovery and Reinvestment Act