Category Archives: Policy Agendas

Recess is Over: Congress (will be) back in Session.

Congress returns from recess next week after an unexpectedly successful final week in July. Congress passed a significant Veterans health bill and temporarily extended the Highway Trust Fund. While there were breakthroughs, Congress failed to find common ground on several … Continue reading

Posted in Policy Agendas | 1 Comment

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

The State of the Union: Putting First Things First

State of the Unions.  What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing. Ok “absolutely nothing” is an oversimplification.  But as best political scientists are able to discern, presidential speeches in general—like last night’s State of the Union—have little independent effect on … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas, Political Behavior, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment

On (the lack of) Gun Control Laws: How Much is the NRA to Blame?

This is a reblog of one of Nate’s posts from January of 2011 in response to the Gabby Giffords shooting.  I think it’s germane to the present conversation.  And for the record, this is not an endorsement of the NRA by any means, just an attempt … Continue reading

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Left and Right are Still Important: The Flux of National Debate

Ezra Klein is frustrated with the fluctuation in party positions. His most damaging critique of this dynamic: “Parties — particularly when they’re in the minority — care more about power than policy.” And parties’ fluctuation in their respective policy positions “make … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Policy Agendas, Political Parties, The Presidency | 1 Comment

On (the lack of) Gun Control Laws: How Much is the NRA to Blame?

Following the horrific events in Tucson last Saturday, it is little surprise that Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and several other members of Congress are moving to re-instate several gun control measures.  Meanwhile,  gun sales went up dramatically this past week, in … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Marginal Significance of NY-26

Much has been made of Kathy Hochul’s victory in New York’s 26th congressional district–a district that has elected a Republican since 1970.  Most observers have cited her victory as a “referendum” on the Republican Party and Paul Ryan’s proposed budget … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Policy Agendas, Political Behavior | 2 Comments