The liberal Democratic origins of the conservative House Freedom Caucus

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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

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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

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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 …

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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

Common myths about the House Freedom Caucus

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March 12, 2019
Since it was formed in early 2015, the House Freedom Caucus has made headlines for blocking bills in Congress, helping remove an incumbent Speaker of the House, and otherwise making… Read More

How the political parties leaned on legislative leaders for cash during the 115th Congress

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March 5, 2019
One of the open secrets in Washington is that the Democratic and Republican parties both lean on their most powerful legislators to raise extraordinary amounts of campaign cash, often under… Read More

How House committees get their money

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January 29, 2019
Committee funding in the House of Representatives is accomplished through a somewhat quirky process. Appropriators in the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee set a top dollar amount for the committees… Read More

Trump’s shutdown tactics borrow from the Freedom Caucus

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January 23, 2019
When President Donald Trump declared last month that he was willing to risk a partial government shutdown to secure funding for a wall on the southern US border, most… Read More

Pelosi’s revenge?

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January 16, 2019
The Hill was abuzz on Wednesday with news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had “exacted revenge” on one of her most vocal detractors, Rep. Katherine Rice (D-NY). A former… Read More

Senate Republicans get ready to play musical chairs

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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