Center for Effective Lawmaking

CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association

CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association On June 13, 2024, the Regional Reporters Association hosted a webinar featuring Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman. The Association represents local news outlets covering Washington, D.C. from their hometown perspectives, bringing insights from inside the Beltway to their local constituents and communities. Professors Volden and Wiseman offered an overview of the CEL, highlighting the Legislative Effectiveness Scores of members of Congress, how these scores undergird CEL’s larger research agenda, as well as how this research can be…

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Discussing Effective Lawmaking with Representative Mark Takano

Discussing Effective Lawmaking with Representative Mark Takano Representative Mark Takano has represented California in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2013, and currently serves the 39th congressional district. He has been identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) as being the fifth-most and sixth-most effective Democratic lawmaker in the House in the 116th and 117th Congress, respectively (which convened from 2019-2021 and 2021-2023). He was also identified as being the most effective Democratic House member in these congresses in advancing Defense policy. In addition, he was the most effective…

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Discussing Effective Lawmaking with Representative Don Bacon

Discussing Effective Lawmaking with Representative Don Bacon Representative Don Bacon has served as the U.S. Representative for Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district since 2017. He has been identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) as being the most effective Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 117th Congress (2021-2023) and the fourth-most effective lawmaker, overall, in the House during the 117th Congress, despite being a member of the minority party at the time. He was also the most successful member of the House in terms of incorporating…

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Tom Wickham: Motion To Vacate Explained

Tom Wickham: Motion To Vacate Explained On March 22, 2024, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene took procedural steps toward removing Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. This activity comes just six months after Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from the Speaker’s post in the House and Representative Johnson was elected Speaker. To provide insights, Tom Wickham, former Parliamentarian of the House who now serves as Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a Center for Effective Lawmaking Advisory Board Member, has given the following overview of where the…

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CEL Research Affiliate Wins MPSA Award

CEL Research Affiliate Wins MPSA Award Arjun Vishwanath, a Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) research affiliate and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, has been given the award for Best Paper in American Politics by the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) for research presented at their 2023 Annual Conference. His article, "The Impact of Values on Issue Stances: Evidence from Panel Studies," tests the role of political values as a driver of issue attitudes relative to two commonly posited sources of such attitudes…

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CEL presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellows

CEL presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellows On February 23, 2024, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) gave our annual presentation to the LEGIS Congressional Fellowship program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. The LEGIS program is composed of a bipartisan group of professionals from government agencies selected by offices in both chambers of Congress to learn about the lawmaking process and serve as subject-matter policy experts for legislators. As in previous years, co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman (of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy…

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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen served as the U.S. representative for Florida’s 18th and 27th congressional districts from 1989 to 2019. She has been identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) with the distinction of being among the top ten most effective Republican lawmakers in the US. House of Representatives in the 110th, 111th, and 112th Congresses (2007 to 2013). She was also identified as the most effective lawmaker in advancing international affairs policy among both Republicans and Democrats in the 112th Congress (2011…

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CEL Event: Effective Lawmaking in Virginia

Former Virginia House Minority Leader David Toscano and former Speaker Bill Howell (from left to right). (Photo by Ryan Strand, Batten School). CEL Event: Effective Lawmaking in Virginia On Monday, February 5, 2024, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL), within the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, held a presentation titled   “Effective Lawmaking in Virginia: Past, Present, and Future” as part of the school’s Batten Hour series. The panel discussion featured Bill Howell, former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, and David…

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The CEL on “Understanding Congress”

The CEL on "Understanding Congress" Craig Volden, professor of public policy and politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia and co-director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL), was a recent guest on the podcast "Understanding Congress," hosted by Kevin Kosar, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). They discussed the topic of “What is legislative effectiveness?”, covering what the term means, how it is measured, and why it is an important area of research. We are pleased to have…

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Polarization and Lawmaking Effectiveness in the United States Congress

Polarization and Lawmaking Effectiveness in the United States Congress Political scientists have emphasized the rightward ideological movement of congressional Republicans across recent decades, relative to a more limited leftward shift by Democrats. However, new research from Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman (of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, respectively), and CEL Graduate Affiliate Patrick Buhr (also of Vanderbilt) argue that this asymmetric polarization has not translated into an equally conservative shift in lawmaking. Drawing on data on the lawmaking effectiveness of Representatives and…

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