book

Inside Congress

A Guide for Navigating the Politics of the House and Senate Floors

By Trevor Corning, Reema Dodin, and Kyle W. Nevins
NICK series_CORNING_Inside Congress

Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress

The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process.

To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker’s staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate?

The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.


Trevor Corning spent more than four years at Brookings educating all levels of government and the private sector on how to engage with the U.S. government while also managing the Brookings Legislative Fellows program. As a member of CHIEF’s strategy team, Corning helps organizations reach their true potential by designing and delivering strategic plans and messaging platforms and translating complex ideas into easy-to-read content.

Reema Dodin serves as Floor Director to the Assistant Democratic Leader, Senator Richard Durbin, where she runs the whip operation for the Senate Democratic caucus. Prior to her current role, Reema served as Senator Durbin’s Floor Counsel and Research Director and as an aide to his Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law.

Kyle W. Nevins has over a decade of congressional experience, serving in a variety of staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He is cofounder and partner at Harbinger Strategies, a government relations firm based in Washington, D.C.

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