Two deeply polarized political parties engaged in a close-fought and bitter struggle for electoral victory and legislative control mark the contemporary Congress. In recent decades, Congress has become increasingly divided by party and unable to perform its duties with decorum and dispatch. Yet the great challenges of the present era often require congressional action. By acting, Congress frequently defines the scope and powers of the executive branch as well as the scope and jurisdiction of the judiciary. Thus, dysfunction within Congress reverberates throughout the entirety of the American political system. That is the focus of this course. Prerequisite: POSC 100 or permission of the instructor.