Honest messengers: How symbolic messaging votes in Congress match vote choices on “real” votes

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May 20, 2019
Members of Congress take many votes on policies that have no hope of becoming law. Often called “messaging votes” or “position taking votes,” they allow members the chance to reveal… Read More

Do members of Congress suffer the consequences of scandal?

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May 6, 2019
Scandals in Congress are common. On average, at least one member of the House of Representatives is found every two months to be involved in a personal imbroglio or… Read More

Make Congress (properly) political again

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April 10, 2019
Chris DeMuth’s new essay powerfully and convincingly argues that well-functioning representative government is a necessary condition for national cohesion in our democratic age. DeMuth is not starry-eyed about legislatures, or… Read More

The value of seniority in today’s House of Representatives

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April 10, 2019
During the “Textbook Congress” era from roughly the late-1940s to the early-1970s, seniority was tremendously valuable to members of Congress, particularly in the House.  Since World War II, data demonstrate… Read More

In defense of passionate women

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March 14, 2019
March is Women’s History Month, a fitting precursor to an even bigger celebration. On June 4, 2019, the United States will begin its centennial commemoration of the nineteenth… Read More

McConnell is not omnipotent

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March 11, 2019
This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suggested that he alone has the power to select the measures on which his colleagues vote. When McConnell was asked why the… Read More

Why Pelosi doesn’t want to change the rules

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March 6, 2019
A little-known procedural tool called the “motion to recommit” is suddenly all over the news. This is because House Republicans have successfully used the motion twice this year to force politically… Read More

Highlights from the new 115th Congress legislative effectiveness scores

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March 6, 2019
The Center for Effective Lawmaking is pleased to announce the release of the Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for the recently completed 115th Congress (2017-18).  As in all previous releases, the scores… Read More

More moms in Congress could mean more attention on children and families

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February 21, 2019
The 2018 election has brought in the most diverse Congress in its history. There has been much attention already on the so-called Pink Wave of women, the Rainbow… Read More

McConnell follows in Reid’s footsteps

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February 13, 2019
Back when he was the Senate’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, disagreed profoundly with how Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., managed the institution. McConnell even accused Reid of doing “tremendous damage… Read More