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Acknowledgments This book is a sibling to Passing the Buck: Congress, the Budget, and Deficits (2004). In May 2001, as a dissertation fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, I presented a paper on the curious institutional and political history of the line-item veto movement . At that moment, however, deficits and budget reform were (temporarily ) off the political radar screen. So the conversation turned to whether my research approach was relevant to other, still-simmering policy dilemmas that also drove Congress to sacrifice institutional prerogatives , such as military base closures and fast-track trade implementation rules. I was instantly intrigued. A few months later came September 11, and Congress renewed its institutional identity struggles under novel circumstances. The new book project aimed to make sense of Congress’s problematic place in contemporary separation of powers arrangements by examining all of these issue areas for patterns in rhetoric and action. As Congressional Ambivalence evolved,I was fortunate to have expert guidance. I am deeply grateful to Lawrence C. Dodd, Daniel J. Palazzolo, and James P. Pfiffner for their close reading of the book manuscript and insightful suggestions. I am also thankful for conference paper feedback (often with extensive email follow-up) from Joseph M. Bessette, Louis Fisher, Richard M. Pious, Randall W. Strahan, and Jeffrey K. Tulis. In addition, I drew on the case studies in this book to contribute articles to PS: Political Science and Politics (2007) and Presidential Studies Quarterly (2010), refining my arguments in the process. My chapter in The Constitutional Presidency (2009), edited by Bessette and Tulis, blended my budget arguments from this book and Passing the Buck. For a sabbatical semester and other forms of research and institutional assistance , I thank the Department of Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville. I must also express my heartfelt appreciation for Stephen M. Wrinn, the indefatigable director of the University Press of Kentucky, and his expert staff for their enthusiasm and efficiency. Finally, I must acknowledge my wonderful home team. My daughters , Tovah and Talia, went from being a toddler and a baby at the beginning of this project to elementary school students at its completion. At home and school, they have already developed a keen interest in tracing the means and ends of decisionmaking. The constant and generous support of my family (parents, in-laws, and grandmother), department colleagues, and friends is far too vast to detail here, so I owe them all itemized appreciation in person. My tribute to my husband can be summed up easily: thank you, Dan, for everything. x Acknowledgments ...


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