Center for Effective Lawmaking

Reforming Congress, A Conversation with Sunwater Institute

Reforming Congress, A Conversation with Sunwater Institute The Center for Effective Lawmaking’s Co-Directors, Professor Craig Volden and Professor Alan E. Wiseman, had the opportunity to engage in an in-depth conversation with Matthew Chervenak, Founder & President of the Sunwater Institute, about Congressional reform and what concerns and recommendations we can identify based on the research at the CEL. In a two-part video series, now available online, the dialogue touches on everything from what motivated the CEL Co-Directors to bring rigorous data analysis on lawmaking effectiveness to the field of political…

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Being an Effective Lawmaker from Day One: A Guide for New Members of Congress

Being an Effective Lawmaker from Day One: A Guide for New Members of Congress The CEL is grateful for the willingness of members of Congress to engage in public service at this crucial time. We congratulate the newly-elected members of the 117th Congress. In conjunction with the start of the new legislative session, we are excited to announce the release of our new and comprehensive New Member Guide.This guide offers our best advice for how new members can become effective lawmakers. We scoured all of the materials presented in previous new…

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CEL Statement Condemning the Capitol Hill Insurrection

CEL Statement Condemning the Capitol Hill Insurrection The Center for Effective Lawmaking works to help build a Congress that is comprised of effective lawmakers, has strong institutional capacity, and possesses the incentive structure that is needed to address America’s greatest public policy challenges. The assault on the Capitol on January 6 and surrounding events show us how far we still have to go to achieve this vision. We strongly condemn the violence as well as the hatred and lies that led to the attack. There can be no effective lawmaking…

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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative French Hill

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative French Hill Congressman French Hill (R-AR2) 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…

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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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