The Constitution gives most of the power and authority of government to Congress, but over the last 200+ years Congress has delegated much of that power to the president. Still, Congress remains the branch responsible for passing legislation, setting the government’s budget, and overseeing the executive branch. This week’s chapter from the textbook gives an overview of how Congress works, including a section on how a bill becomes a law. (If you want the nostalgic cartoon version you can watch it here.) Mayhew provides a vital discussion of what motivates members of Congress, and Fenno examines how Congress members interact with their constituents. Lee discusses how polarization influences congressional parties’ approach to the legislative process, and Sinclair discusses how the actual business of lawmaking differs from the “official” description given in the textbook. The optional textbook chapter covers interest groups; we don’t have a week on lobbying this summer but groups primarily interact with Congress so reading it this week would be appropriate.