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James Wallner

Senior Fellow, Governance Project, R Street Institute

by James Wallner (page 2)

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Recent work supports “structured consent” approach to decision-making

February 26, 2019
Nearly ten years ago, I set out to tell a story about the Senate that was not being told. I wanted to understand better how the Senate actually worked at… Read More
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McConnell follows in Reid’s footsteps

February 13, 2019
Back when he was the Senate’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, disagreed profoundly with how Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., managed the institution. McConnell even accused Reid of doing “tremendous damage… Read More
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McConnell maintains firm grip despite pledging to restore the Senate

February 12, 2019
In January 2014, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the case that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was running the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” into the… Read More
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Senate rules of procedure

February 5, 2019
The Senate’s rules of procedure are comprised of five parts: the Constitution; Standing Rules; statutory rules; standing orders; and precedents. The interaction of these component parts creates the procedural architecture… Read More
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Mitch McConnell said the 115th Congress was ‘the best,’ but it’s more dysfunctional than ever

February 4, 2019
A top spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., summed up the legislative achievements of the Republican-controlled 115th Congress as such: “The most accomplished Congress in decades.” McConnell … Read More
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Republicans propose using standing order to nuke Senate rules

January 29, 2019
Senate Republicans are threatening to go nuclear if Democrats do not support a deal to lower the maximum amount of debate time that presidential nominations can receive after cloture is… Read More
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Partisan competition is not the cause of Congress’s dysfunction

January 28, 2019
Speaking at the annual meeting of Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa society in 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson maintained that it was the scholar’s duty to show people “facts amidst appearances.”… Read More
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McConnell-Schumer agreement attempts to block unauthorized action

January 24, 2019
Last year, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced shortly before the Senate adjourned for the holidays that he and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY., agreed that the… Read More
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Congress has forgotten how to fight

January 9, 2019
The problem with the Congress today is that its members are unwilling to take a punch for a cause in which they believe, much less throw one themselves. On one… Read More
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Real purpose of the Senate: To check the actions of the House

December 6, 2018
Niccolò Machiavelli was one of the principal architects of American constitutionalism. A heterodox thinker in his day, Machiavelli observed in his Discourses on Livy (1531): “Those who blame the quarrels of the Senate… Read More