Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid takes a candid look at Washington personalities and politics, revealing the motives and strategies, the cooperation and rivalry, the honesty and the deceit behind a seemingly minor piece of legislation. He traces the course of S.790--the Inland Waterways Bill--from its inception to its eventual passage, a process with as many twists and subplots as a novel, and with characters just as vivid.
In Congressional Odyssey: The Saga of a Senate Bill you will discover:
- a cast of main characters including Jimmy Carter, Edward Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Hamilton Jordan, Howard Baker, Tip O'Neill, Russel Long, and other key political figures
- a covert alliance between the railroad lobby and environmentalists, masked by a money-laundering scheme
- the White House in-fighting triggered by the bill, leading to the ouster of Brock Adams during President Carter's cabinet shakeup
- Carter's problems with the Congressional leadership, exacerbated by his support of the Inland Waterways Bill authored by Republican Senator Pete Domenici
- "know-who" lawyers, who get things done through their connections rather than their legal abilities
- the Alton, Illinois, Lock and Dam 26 project that earned Senator Proxmire's first "Golden Fleece Award" for wasting tax dollars
- the thoughts and feelings of the dozens of central personalities who talked with surprising frankness to T.R. Reid
Congressional Odyssey: The Saga of a Senate Bill makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the people and the power struggles in the public eye, and behind closed doors, on Capitol Hill and in the White House.