The take down that wasn’t: Pelosi and yesterday’s House kerfuffle

July 16, 2019
Official portrait of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, photographed January 11, 2019. Late Tuesday afternoon, a rare level of excitement hit the floor of the House… Read More

How McConnell blocked amendments on the defense bill

July 8, 2019
The Senate voted Monday to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (S. 1790). Senators approved the motion to proceed to… Read More

Floor and Committee Processes in the House of Representatives: Issues, Options for Reform, and Potential Consequences

July 1, 2019
To:             The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress From:       Molly E. Reynolds, Senior Fellow; Brookings Institution; E. Scott Adler, University of… Read More

Explainer: The House of Representatives committee markup process

June 25, 2019
View/download this House Committee Markup Explainer. Read More

Are amendment strategies learned through experience or contingent on the institution?

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May 27, 2019
Seniority in Congress is a standard explanation for why some legislators are more effective lawmakers. Studies in political science reinforce this assumption with empirical observations that senior members are more… Read More

How the Senate keeps track of its precedents

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April 22, 2019
An intricate architecture of rules and practices governs the legislative process in the Senate. The institution’s procedural structure rests on five interlocking supports: the Constitution; the Standing Rules of the… Read More

Republicans go nuclear: An after action report

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April 8, 2019
Republicans in the Senate finally acted to change the rules to speed up the confirmation process for some presidential nominations. They used the nuclear option to shorten the amount of… Read More

Three ways Republicans can go nuclear

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April 1, 2019
Frustrated by how long it takes to confirm President Trump’s nominees, Republicans are accusing Democrats of dragging out unnecessarily the time permitted under the rules after the Senate has invoked… Read More

Republicans poised to nuke legislative filibuster

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April 1, 2019
In 2017, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged not to abolish the legislative filibuster. He did so to persuade his fellow Republicans to back his plan to use… Read More

Rule change empowers leaders to silence senators

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April 1, 2019
Republicans in the Senate want to change the rules to speed up the confirmation process for presidential nominations. Yet their proposal goes much further. It empowers the majority and minority… Read More