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The Bill; How the Adventures of Clinton's National Service Bill Reveal What Is Corrupt, Comic, Cynical--and Noble--About Washington

Waldman, Steven

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670853003 / ISBN 13: 9780670853007
Published by Viking, New York, 1995
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xiii, [5], 301 pages. Cast of Characters. Flowchart. Notes. Index. Signed by author. Waldman, national correspondent for "Newsweek, " chronicles the journey of the National Service Bill. His inside view provides a look at how Washington really works; from Clinton's presidential style, to the inner working of Capitol Hill. Derived from a Kirkus review: A nifty case study of the trail -- from policy idea to law -- of the bill that established the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, the program known as AmeriCorps. Waldman, a national correspondent for Newsweek, decided to adapt the magazine's "inside story" approach to presidential races and apply it to an examination of one campaign promise. He chose national service because he thought it typified Clinton's vision and tested his "expansive idealism and aggressive pragmatism." Waldman's thorough narrative of the process profiles policy aides, lobbyists, and bureaucrats to show how pressure and politics, more than logic, shaped the final bill. The centrist Democratic Leadership Council had long advocated a required national service that would be a civilian analogue of the military draft. But candidate Clinton proposed a service corps made up of volunteers who would receive college-tuition aid. The mix of service and reward, of community obligation and governmental activism, stirred campaign audiences, but the proposal got little scrutiny. Clinton wanted a $9.4 billion program over five years, but he ended up with a $1.5 billion program over three years after the bill went through a mix of interests, including banks, students, unions, and veterans. Congressional debate, the author notes, focused on whether loans should be directed through universities rather than on the more complex issue of how long students should make percentage-of-income repayments. Waldman deplores the follies involved but still finds the proposal a rare, even noble, federal endeavor. A lively tale of early Clintonism. Bookseller Inventory # 60969

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Bill; How the Adventures of Clinton's ...

Publisher: Viking, New York

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First edition. First printing [stated].

About this title

Synopsis:

A Newsweek correspondent provides an eye-opening look at the inner workings of Washington, exploring efforts to define and create Clinton's National Service Bill and showing what happens when good ideas collide with Washington bureacracy. 25,000 first printing. $25,000 ad/promo.

From Library Journal:

Despite the pretentious claims made by the title, this is a fine and accessible case study of the legislative process. Journalist Waldman was given the opportunity by his employer, Newsweek, to cover one of Clinton's legislative proposals from campaign idea to signature by the president. He had access to key White House staff and their meetings as well as to those significant members of Congress and their staffs who shepherded the bill through the legislative labyrinth. While Waldman has a somewhat cynical view of the political process that produced the National Service Act, he possesses fine political insight that allows the reader to understand the advantages and disadvantages of compromises in order to achieve one's goals in Washington. Besides making the reader aware of the roles of competing interest groups, the media, congressional representatives, and legislative and executive staffers in shaping the bill, he illuminates Clinton's motivation and political instinct. This contemporary version of Eric Redman's Dance of Legislation (1973) is highly recommended for popular political science collections.
Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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