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Homestyles and Congressional-Constituency relations

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Introduction

Choose two members of Congress from the same state. Compare and contrast their home styles and Washington styles. How are their "presentation of self" and choices in Washington shaped by electoral results, the nature of their district or state (homogeneity, heterogeneity, partisanship, etc) and prior political experience? In the book Home Style, House Members in Their Districts, the author Richard Fenno presents a detailed investigation on the effects that elected officials' perceptions of their constituencies have on their political behavior in their home district, as well as in Washington. Fenno utilizes nearly eight years of research to help construct an insightful discussion pertaining to the relationship among a representative's home style and their Washington activity. Through the course of his evaluation, Fenno found that each representative employed their own unique approach for addressing constituent demands, while balancing personal goals with party expectations and objectives in Washington. An in-depth comparison of the unique representational styles of Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin depicts how different home styles are employed to achieve support and success in Washington, as well as at home. At the same time, such an analysis illustrates how prior political experience, electoral results, and the political nature of Maryland has helped shape the choices and legislative attitudes of Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin in Washington, as well as in their representative state of Maryland. ...read more.

Middle

of Federal funds to address underlying factors contributing to the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.7 With issues relating to higher education, Senator Mikulski has used her position on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to block proposed state tuition increases, as well as implement changes in existing practices to make education more affordable and accessible for Maryland students. She has been active in securing Federal funds to be used for scholarships to send underprivileged Maryland residents to college, as well as to finance programs to strengthen the skills of city teachers.8 Her dedication to helping the elderly as a social worker is also apparent through her efforts in the Senate by sponsoring various pieces of legislation aimed at improving the protections and benefits offered by Medicare and Social Security. On the HELP Committee, Mikulski has passed notable pieces of legislation including the Spousal Anti-Impoverishment Act, which strengthened the safety net protecting the elderly by supplementing the funds for senior citizens who have spouses in assisted living facilities.9 These few examples highlight the broad range of issues that Mikulski focuses on in the Senate but barely scratch the surface of her full extent of activity in Washington. The impact of her actions on important issues present in Maryland, as well as the nation as a whole, exemplifies her home style commitment to helping others. ...read more.

Conclusion

The success and support which Mikulski and Cardin have enjoyed at home has been found to be related to their actions in Washington. The symbiotic relationship between their home style and the decisions they make in Washington is a key concept that Fenno attributes to Congressional success. With Mikulski and Cardin, this has proven true, and their continued achievement in the Senate will reinforce the significance of balancing local interests and party agendas with national issues. 1 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 2 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 3 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 4 Fenno, 103 5 Fenno, 72 6 EPA 2008 Chesapeake Bay Program Grant Guidance 7 EPA 2008 Chesapeake Bay Program Grant Guidance 8 Senator Barbara Mikulski personal webpage- education 9 Senator Barbara Mikulski personal webpage-seniors and medicare 10 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 11 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 12 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 13 CQ Congress Collection: Mikulski, Barbara A 14 CQ Politics in America: Cardin, Benjamin L. 15CQ Politics in America: Cardin, Benjamin L. 16 Senator Benjamin Cardin personal webpage 17 Voting Alignment Results. Washington: CQ Press. 18 Voting Alignment Results 2. Washington: CQ Press. 19 Voting Alignment Results 3, Washington: CQ Press. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bezirdjian 1 ...read more.

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