How committee staffers clear the runway for legislative action in Congress

June 13, 2018
Admittedly, the audience at this spring’s “The State of Congressional Capacity Conference” was a receptive one. Congressional scholars from across the country gathered and presented research asking and… Read More

Concentrating implementation: How ideological agreement between the House and Senate affects delegation to the bureaucracy

June 5, 2018
Image source: The Hill By Jordan Carr Peterson Many scholars and observers of American legislative politics focus on the substantive public policies contained in laws Congress enacts. For instance,… Read More

What do Senators actually want for their states and what do they receive? The importance of priorities and easy political wins

May 31, 2018
Image source: Senate Appropriations By Jeremy Gelman When Congress is doling out money or projects, the evergreen question is who won and who lost? Indeed, after the passage of the… Read More

Democratic decay, legislative diplomacy, and the House Democracy Partnership

May 1, 2018
Image source: HDP By Ryan Dukeman Until very recently, “democratic backsliding” was a term consigned mostly to the annals of academic theory, concerned chiefly with perceived “democracy deficits”… Read More

Evaluating Congress’s information processing capacity

April 17, 2018
Two big questions emerged from the recent congressional capacity conference: “capacity for what?” and “capacity for whom?” These are great questions that ask us to think… Read More

Do competitive elections influence legislators’ productivity?

April 10, 2018
 By Michael J. Barber and Soren J. Schmidt In terms of passing bills, the most recent congressional sessions have been the least productive of any during the past… Read More

What is “regular order” worth?

April 4, 2018
Image source: Washington Times By James M. Curry and Frances E. Lee Last month, Congress passed its latest omnibus spending deal, and it did so using legislative processes that… Read More

Building Article I Conservatism

March 27, 2018
By Philip Wallach The Federalist Society has been famously influential in shaping conservatives’ constitutional vision since its founding in 1982. Its promotion of original-meaning originalism and the concept of… Read More

The Senate – At War With Itself? A discussion with Molly Reynolds and James Wallner

Featured image thumbnail
March 22, 2018
In this Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group session, Senate experts James Wallner and Molly Reynolds consider the reasons for the Senate’s dysfunction. The wide ranging discussion touches on partisan dynamics,… Read More

Nothing is inevitable in politics, even in the Senate

March 14, 2018
Image source: CNN By James Wallner The future is not inevitable. And it cannot be predicted with certainty. There is no iron law of history according to which events unfold… Read More