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Congressional Careers
Author: John R. Hibbing

ISBN: 9780807843406
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 230
Published: 17 August 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 1.7
According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans want elected officials to serve only a limited number of terms. Nevertheless, every two years American voters return, on average, more than 95 percent of incumbents to the U.S. House of Representatives. John Hibbing's book provides unique evidence of the problems that would result from congressional term limitations.

The first scholar to analyze congressional careers using longitudinal data, Hibbing looks at how the career patterns of a typical House member have evolved over the last forty years. By showing that the gap between the legislative contributions of junior and senior members has grown in recent years, Hibbing contends that as members gain in seniority they become more knowledgeable, efficient, and valuable legislators. Thus he argues against congressional term limitations.

Hibbing's findings illuminate other fundamental and surprising changes. House members now are as electorally secure early in their careers as they are late, and they are less likely to deviate from their previously established roll call voting pattern. Members acquire positions of authority (subcommittee chairs) more quickly...

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