The Cardinals of Capitol Hill: The Men and Women Who Control Government Spending

Richard Munson, Author Grove Press $23 (222p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1460-0
Munson ( The Power Makers ) tracked the 1991 work of the ``VA-HUD'' subcommittee, which oversees grants to housing, the EPA and other domestic programs, through subcommittee negotiations, hearings on the spending bill, arguments on the House floor and negotiations with the Senate. His reportage is most illuminating when it shows how representatives shape their public gestures for political points, and how little-known staffers--most of whom claim to be nonpartisan pragmatists--exert substantial power. However, Munson's evenhanded style generally avoids criticism of pork-barrel politics, and shies away from an analysis of lobbying influence. He concludes, perhaps a bit too optimistically, that Congressional appropriators generally ``serve our nation well.'' Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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