12 November 2014
Dodd Free Response
Congress evolves and changes naturally much like a kaleidoscope. Change flows naturally yet it ends up quite different than what it was at first. Congress members like most politicians enter politics in seek of personal power. The motives behind this can one of various things; a desire for ego gratification, prestige, or a personal salvation through good works.
The most basic lesson all congress members is that to stay in power they need to win reelection. Since reelection is so important and may be difficult to achieve, its pursuit can be very consuming. Members cannot just rely on their party and must create personal organizations to support them. Yet not all members are preoccupied with reelection, most members have secure electoral margins. Electoral margins allow for “powerpositions” that generate authority and legitimize a select decision role for a member in the eyes of his peers.
The concern of members with increasing congressional power rather than just reelection has had an influence of how Congress is structured. Virtually all members of U.S Congress are occupied with power considerations. Each member wants to exercise power, to make key decisions. This puts members against each other. This widespread power motive is resolved through dispersing power. One logical solution is to separate power into various autonomous committees and subcommittees. This system denies every member the opportunity to control all policy decisions, but it allows long lasting members to generate authority and gain power as committee chairs. Most members do not spend all their time in their districts but in washington attending committee meetings. Members usually have their staff handle things
like casework. There is a plethora of committees, some which are more desirable to be on than others. Some have a national effect while others only influence the House. Simply put, this career choice is a “power ladder” that members attempt to climb in their quest for power.
Most members want more power but it can't be given to everybody. For this reason a