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

What LBJ can teach new Congress members about gaining power in the House

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February 11, 2019
Robert Caro’s recent article on secrets he uncovered while digging through Lyndon Johnson’s archives provides fascinating glimpses into how political power is wielded in Washington. The ability… Read More

Mitch McConnell said the 115th Congress was ‘the best,’ but it’s more dysfunctional than ever

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February 4, 2019
A top spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., summed up the legislative achievements of the Republican-controlled 115th Congress as such: “The most accomplished Congress in decades.” McConnell … Read More

Partisan competition is not the cause of Congress’s dysfunction

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January 28, 2019
Speaking at the annual meeting of Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa society in 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson maintained that it was the scholar’s duty to show people “facts amidst appearances.”… Read More