Category Archives: Legislative Politics

A Caveat on Congressional Productivity

On Thursday, Chris Cillizza examined an Obama statement in Texas: “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures, just basic activity.” Cillizza agrees and extrapolates this a little too far, saying this Congress … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas, Political Institutions | 1 Comment

Will McCutcheon Decision help the House Majority?

To say the Republican majority has struggled with the influence of outside groups during the past two congresses is to put it mildly. These groups have stymied progress on major legislation, counseled members into bad strategic stances with serious economic … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Legislative Politics | Leave a comment

Tradition v. Partisanship: Holds in a Post-Nuclear Senate

Originally posted for the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown. Since roughly the 1950s, “holds” have been a staple of the Senate landscape. Though they can’t be found in the Senate rulebook or precedents, holds have played an important role in … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Senate | Leave a comment

Why Americans “Tune Out” the State of the Union

With the State of the Union just a few hours away, the political science blog-o-sphere is all abuzz.  The essential reading list includes: Can presidential speeches sway public opinion?  Jonathan Bernstein weighs in here. Does the State of the Union … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Polarization | 2 Comments

Yes, Elections are Cultivating Polarization. But…

Competition for power, gerrymandering, disappearing marginal districts define Congress’s electoral landscape. Today, the American electorate is both closely divided and increasingly uncompetitive. In other words, partisan majorities are narrower today than at any time since the Civil War but congressional … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Elections, Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Polarization | Leave a comment