Faculty Achievement: Dr. C. Damien Arthur

Dr. C. Damien Arthur, assistant professor of public administration and policy in the department of Political Science, has been awarded a national grant by The Dirksen Congressional Research Center.

The grant enables Arthur to travel to the archives at the newly constructed Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University. At the center, he will utilize the latent data in the congressional papers of Senator Byrd to construct an empirical assessment in the legislative sub-series on appropriations, his case-work correspondence, and his personal papers sub-series from 1989 to 2009.

Emphasizing his leadership and influence on the Senate Appropriations Committee (1989–2009), the project explores Robert C. Byrd’s entrepreneurial fight to eradicate the presidential line-item veto. He operated under the imperative that the Congress was responsible for spending and prioritizing the taxpayers’ money, not the president. The research will demonstrate Byrd’s leadership in limiting what he perceived as a constitutional dereliction and the expansion of presidential authority within budgetary power. This research offers insight into the study of the resources, techniques, and institutional conditions of senatorial entrepreneurship.

The Dirksen Congressional Research Center’s mission is to “help people better understand the U.S. Congress, its people, its processes, and the public policies it produces. Since 1978, the Congressional Research Grants program has invested more than $944,208 to support over 436 projects.”

For more about the granting agency and the awards for the 2015 cycle, search here: