Cloture votes weaponized to handicap executive branch transition

September 7, 2018
The Senate has invoked cloture 108 times on executive nominees during the 18 months of the Trump presidency. By calling for cloture with the intent to obstruct progress, the Senate… Read More

Unring the bell

September 6, 2018
(Editor’s note: This post is a follow up to yesterday’s post and originally appeared in Legislative Procedure on September 5, 2018.) By James Wallner Yesterday’s post detailing… Read More

How to make the Senate a nuclear-free zone

September 5, 2018
(Editor’s note: This post originally appeared in Legislative Procedure on September 4, 2018.) Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., regrets going nuclear. Democrats used the controversial maneuver in 2013 to lower unilaterally the… Read More

ICYMI: Analysis on legislative gridlock and congressional oversight

September 4, 2018
The most recent edition of the The Legislative Scholar, the newsletter of the legislative studies section of the American Political Science Association, focuses on “the pervasive problem of… Read More

How diverse are Democratic Senate offices? You might be surprised …

August 30, 2018
Seemingly every year, journalists tweet pictures of House and Senate interns, offering photographic evidence that those interning in the branch of government most connected to the people don’t really look… Read More

Remembering Senator John McCain

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August 27, 2018
(Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared in the First Branch Forecast on August 27, 2018.) McCain Senate office building? In his tweets commemorating the life of Sen. McCain, Sen. Read More

How to spot policy riders in appropriations bills

August 22, 2018
(Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared in  Legislative Procedure on August 15, 2018.) By James Wallner Senate Rule XVI (paragraphs 1 and 2) prohibits the inclusion of… Read More

How effective are former governors as legislators in Congress?

August 14, 2018
(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Hewlett Foundation website on August 8, 2018.) By Jean Parvin Bordewich Governors form a subset of senators with the unique… Read More

House rules should be available to public before vote

August 9, 2018
(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Legislative Procedure blog on August 8, 2018.) At the beginning of the 115th Congress, members of the House of Representatives… Read More

Losing isn’t required to play the game

August 6, 2018
By James Wallner The way in which the Senate considered the minibus appropriations bill (HR 6147) last week was a classic example of how its leaders (and bill managers)… Read More