Jeffrey E. Cohen asks why US presidents send to Congress the legislative proposals that they do and what Congress does with those proposals. His study covers nearly the entire history of the presidency, from 1789 to 2002. The long historical scope allows Cohen to engage competing perspectives on how the presidency has developed over time. He asks what accounts for the short- and long-term trends in presidential requests to Congress, what substantive policies and issues recommendations are concerned with, and what factors affect the presidential decision to submit a recommendation on a particular issue. The President's Legislative Policy Agenda, 1789-2002 argues that presidents often anticipate the Congressional reaction to their legislative proposals and modify their agendas accordingly.
Jeffrey E. Cohen is Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. He is the author of twelve books, including Presidential Responsiveness and Public Policy-Making: The Public and the Policies that Presidents Choose (1997) and Going Local: Presidential Leadership in the Post-Broadcast Age (Cambridge University Press, 2010), both of which won the Richard E. Neustadt Award from the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association for the best book on the presidency. Going Local also won the Goldsmith Book Prize in 2012.
Introduction. Two puzzles; 1. The president's legislative policy agenda; 2. Studying agenda building; 3. A theory of presidential legislative policy agenda building; 4. The size of the president's agenda; 5. The substantive content of presidential agenda; 6. Divided government and presidential policy moderation; 7. From the White House to Capitol Hill: presidential agenda success in Congress; 8. Conclusions.