Center for Effective Lawmaking

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative French Hill

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative French Hill Congressman French Hill (R-AK2) has a unique background. Not only is the Representative a businessman, Vanderbilt alumnus, and graduate from UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Congressman Hill also has significant experience as a former staffer on Capitol Hill.Representative Hill served as an aide to Republican Senator John Tower; was a staffer on the Senate Banking then the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; served as executive secretary to President George H. W. Bush’s Economic Policy Council; and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the…

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Discussing Effective Lawmaking in Latin America

Discussing Effective Lawmaking in Latin America On December 3, 2020, the Center for Effective Lawmaking Co-Directors as well as our current post-doctoral affiliate, Erinn Lauterbach, participated in a conversation hosted by American University regarding effective lawmaking in Latin America.Moderated by SIS Associate Professor Matthew Taylor, this forum compared legislative processes in the United States with those found in Latin America.Watch the conversation in its entirety below:https://youtu.be/H85TOihj65I

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WATCH: “What’s Next for Congress?” with Molly Ball

WATCH: "What's Next for Congress?" with Molly Ball The Center for Effective Lawmaking hosted a Virtual Batten Hour on November 9 featuring Molly Ball.Ball is the National Political Correspondent for TIME and a frequent television and radio commentator. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Pelosi, a biography of the first woman Speaker of the House. Prior to joining TIME, Ball covered U.S. politics for The Atlantic, Politico and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She has received numerous awards for her political coverage, including the Gerald R. Ford…

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WATCH: The Future of Congressional Reform with Rep. Derek Kilmer

WATCH: The Future of Congressional Reform with Rep. Derek Kilmer On November 12, 2020, the Center for Effective Lawmaking was honored to host Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA06) for a public conversation surrounding his work as the Chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. (For an analysis of how the Select Committee's work intersects with research from the Center for Effective Lawmaking, read our article here.) The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Committee (“Select Committee”) was established by H.Res. 6 on January 4, 2019 and is…

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Divided America, Divided Government: What’s Next?

Divided America, Divided Government: What’s Next? America remains deeply divided.  Closely contested races.  A slight rightward move in the House.  A slight leftward move in the Senate.  If current election trends continue, 2021 will feature President Biden overseeing a Democratic House and Republican Senate.In some ways continued divided government is fitting.  Politicians should be placed in a position where they need to compromise and take one another’s views into account.  But will they?  Or will they dig in on their partisan divisions, which will contribute to gridlock, and ultimately provide…

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Legislative Effectiveness in the American States

Legislative Effectiveness in the American States Overcoming significant barriers that have previously limited scholarly research on the legislative effectiveness of individual state legislators, the Center for Effective Lawmaking is able to announce exciting new progress! Building on innovative approaches that CEL researchers have used in recent studies of the U.S. Congress, we have developed State Legislative Effectiveness Scores (SLES) for state legislators across 97 legislative chambers over recent decades.  And the results unearth more questions we encourage scholars and researchers to explore with renewed vigor. Our SLES is based on…

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On the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Recommendations

On the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress Recommendations The vision statement of the Center for Effective Lawmaking points toward a Congress “comprised of effective lawmakers” and featuring a “strong institutional capacity.”  It is in this light that we viewed the work of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress with great anticipation and enthusiasm.  We were pleased to meet with members of the Select Committee and committee staff in a variety of forums and to offer our suggestions to the committee as they formulated their recommendations and…

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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Don Young

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Don Young Congressman Don Young (R-AK) was elected as the representative for Alaska's at-large district in 1973. His decades of service since have given him a wealth of experience navigating Capitol Hill, as well as a unique perspective of changes to the legislative institution through time. As one of our all-time highest ranking lawmakers for legislative effectiveness, Professors Craig Volden (UVA) and Alan E. Wiseman (Vanderbilt University), Co-Directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, ask Representative Young to share his thoughts and stories on how…

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2020-2021 Small Grant Awards Announced

Small Grant Awards for 2020-2021 Announced It is with honor and excitement that we announce our 3rd annual small grant awards and recipients. The body of academic research produced by both the first and second cohorts of CEL grant recipients has been not only impressive but also critical to the field. We know that this year’s group of awardees will deliver the same high caliber scholarly work.The CEL’s funding and support for research grants is consistent with its commitment to advancing the generation, communication, and use of new knowledge about…

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Foxes v. Hedgehogs and Issues Specialization in Congress

Foxes vs. Hedgehogs: Issue Specialization and Effective Lawmaking in the U.S. Congress Members of Congress can specialize in particular policy areas or maintain a more general approach in the bills they sponsor. Is one approach more effective than the other? The impact of a Representative’s or Senator’s choice on this matter has, before now, been largely left to speculation and anecdote. But the Center for Effective Lawmaking has released new research indicating that the vast majority of lawmakers have overly general legislative agendas. This has powerful implications for effective lawmaking.The…

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