Analysis Of Richard Fenno 's House

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According to Richard Fenno, each Congress member has his or her own home style based upon how he views his constituency. A member’s home style includes how much time he spends in the district, how much direct contact he has with constituents through casework, how he allocates his staff between his home district and Washington, D.C., and the representative’s overall demeanor. Through this homestyle members establish their three main goals of: 1) re-election; 2) passing public policy that benefits their district, and 3) gaining prestige among their peers. Re-election is essential for the other two goals to be fulfilled. Representative Paul Tonko spends a large amount of time within his district. He is known as a very friendly and inviting Congress member who is always at social gatherings within the Capital District. His website, which is located at, is very inviting and truly gives constituents a sense of who he is and how he represents the district. He invites any and all comments and inquiries, including specific casework. Tonko has three offices within the district in Albany, Schenectady, and Amsterdam. Each of these offices are in major areas of the 20th District and easily accessible to many constituents regardless of where they live within the district. Tonko is very committed to representing his district and his constituents’ interests. This fact is reflected in his voting record and sponsored bills. Committees: Members of the United States House of Representatives typically sit on six committees and subcommittees in total (“The Committee System” 1). When representatives are elected to the House, each representative bids for committees that they would like to sit on. Oftentimes these bids reflect the charact... ... middle of paper ... ...e State University at Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It is in Tonko’s best interest (for re-election) to be on these committees and subcommittees because a large piece of his constituency is involved in either the Energy or Commerce Industry through work, buying products, etc. Furthermore, Tonko’s committee assignments align with the Informational Theory regarding the purposes of serving on committees. The Informational Theory “proposes that legislative bodies established committees to provide law makers with the specialized expertise required to provide law makers with the specialized expertise required to make informed judgements in a complex word”(Davidson and Oleszek, 2016, 164). This makes sense for Tonko, as each of the committees and subcommittees he is on focus on energy and commerce, which is linked to his district as well (as mentioned above).

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