chapter
4 Pages

Epilogue

ByMarian Currinder

The 1970s reforms sought to democratize the House by dispersing power more evenly throughout the chamber. The challenge for majority party leaders in the House is to find ways to prevent members from putting their own goals ahead of the party's goals. Members who wish to climb the chamber's power ladder are expected to give beyond the minimum requirements in order to demonstrate their strong commitment to the team. Just as individual members tried to adapt the system for redistributing campaign money to serve their own personal ambitions, the congressional parties have adapted the system to serve collective party goals. By containing internal fragmentation, the parties have addressed one problem but opened themselves up to others. The increased emphasis on campaign money may also lead to ethical lapses. The persistence of narrow majorities suggests that the conditions will not change in the foreseeable future. In the absence of reform, money will continue to dominate party politics in the House.