What Happens Now in the Senate Judiciary Committee

October 15, 2020
(This piece originally appeared in Legislative Procedure.) After two marathon days of questioning, the Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to complete its review of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to… Read More

One way to modernize Congress is a throwback

October 14, 2020
Paul Kane, senior congressional correspondent and columnist for the Washington Post, writes about the last set of recommendations by the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress and how… Read More

Senate Judiciary Committee’s Record on Virtual Hearings: May – Sept. 2020

October 6, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Congress. According to GovTrack, 72 members of Congress so far “have been quarantined, tested positive for COVID-19, or came in contact with someone with COVID-19.”… Read More

Memo: Staff recruitment, retention, compensation and benefits; and chair term limits

October 16, 2019
To:                  The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress From:              Alan E. Wiseman, Co-Director, Center for Effective Lawmaking, Vanderbilt University; Craig Volden, Co-Director, Center for Effective Lawmaking, University of… Read More

Which House committees are the most partisan?

August 27, 2019
Congressional scholars have long suggested that some committees in the House of Representatives are more partisan than others as a natural consequence of the types of issues different committees deal… Read More

Intraparty organizations’ electoral coordination and party leader retribution

Featured image thumbnail
May 29, 2019
The dynamics in Congress today increasingly reference intraparty organizations like the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) or the New Democrat Coalition. Groups like these, which have existed since at least the… Read More

The liberal Democratic origins of the conservative House Freedom Caucus

Featured image thumbnail
May 22, 2019
Perhaps no group better epitomizes what James Madison described as the “mischiefs of faction” in the 21st century than the House Freedom Caucus (HFC). Madison defines a faction as “a number of citizens,… Read More

Learning about legislative learning: Congressional hearings, organizational expertise, and the environmental movement

Featured image thumbnail
May 8, 2019
In January, we published an article, “Greening the Congressional record: environmental social movements and expertise-based access to the policy process,” in Environmental Politics. The impetus for the project was our… Read More

The good, the bad, and the ugly: House committee authorizations edition

Featured image thumbnail
April 4, 2019
Follow the money. The  cliche is typically employed  by investigators looking to break a case. But the saying applies to Congress, as well. In order… Read More

You can take a congressperson outta Washington …

Featured image thumbnail
March 21, 2019
Last week the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held its first hearing. One of its tasks is to recommend ways to reform congressional procedures. Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.),… Read More