What is Eric Shicklef's definition of Institutional Development of Congress

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Natalie Saaris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eric Shicklef concerns himself with the way that Congress determines its own rules and processes. Because the Constitution offers little guidance in this respect (it only states that the Speaker presides over the House and the vice president presides over the Senate), Congress has been free to decide its own committee system and party leaderships organization. Shicklef points to how the institutional organization has changed over time: whereas during the 1790s committees were formed only after legislation was introduced on the floor, today's Congress uses committees to draft legislation before it's introduced. The weak party structure of early Congress has grown into a more formalized system. Shicklef also notes the organizational structures between the House and the Senate: While the House gives more power to committees and majority-party leaders, the Senate gives more power to individual members.