This course will focus on the fundamental roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Congress and their interactions with the executive branch as it relates to the policymaking process. Given the presidential election of 2016, students will also gain further insight into the electoral process and hear first-hand from legislative staffers, policymakers, and others on the realities of campaigning, policymaking, and representation during an election year. Students will have the opportunity to publish research and write and recite their own floor speeches. A key feature of the class will involve the analysis of legislative behavior and executive action on policy areas being discussed and debated in the 2016 election cycle. Other topics include the committee system and lawmaking, presidential powers, House and Senate rules/procedures, political parties, the budget process and campaign finance, lobbying and interest groups, foreign policy, the Courts and the Bureaucracy.