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James Wallner

Senior Fellow, Governance Project, R Street Institute

by James Wallner (page 2)

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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
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Jeff Flake doesn’t have to go gentle into that good night

November 19, 2018
In a famous poem, Dylan Thomas urges his father, “Do not go gentle into that good night … Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Thomas’ poem is about… Read More
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R Sheet on forcing votes

November 16, 2018
KEY POINTS 1) Today’s majority leaders exercise unprecedented control over the Senate floor. 2) They do so to prevent their colleagues from offering amendments without their prior approval. 3) Leaders… Read More
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Assessing McConnell’s Role in Judicial Confirmations

November 14, 2018
The Senate has spent much of its time in the 115th Congress confirming President Trump’s judicial nominations. Before the midterm elections, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., touted… Read More
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Senate Republicans get ready to play musical chairs

November 5, 2018
Regardless of what happens in the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans are set to play a game of musical chairs on some of the most important committees in the Senate. The… Read More
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Reforming the Senate’s hotline system

October 31, 2018
(Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared in Legislative Procedure on October 29, 2018.) Senators often blame their leaders whenever they are frustrated with how the Senate works. Yet they… Read More