Center for Effective Lawmaking

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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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Abigail Spanberger

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Abigail Spanberger  Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA7) spent her freshman term in Congress on a variety of high profile initiatives. In a conversation with Professors Craig Volden (UVA) and Alan E. Wiseman (Vanderbilt University), Co-Directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Representative Spanberger shares valuable insights into what it takes to be an effective lawmaker in Congress.  Join us as the Congresswoman answers questions on how she approaches her job, such as how she seeks to build bipartisan coalitions, how a legislator tries to cultivate a…

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Center for Effective Lawmaking Annual Report 2019-2020

The Center for Effective Lawmaking 2019-2020 Annual Report Welcome to the 2020 edition of the Center for Effective Lawmaking Annual Report.  This overview report represents our annual means of spreading the word about the accomplishments, broad goals, and future plans for the Center.  At a time when so many people around the world are feeling so distant from one another, we could not be more thankful for the close community of those who continue to work with us to advance the Center’s work. We thank our student interns and researchers, who…

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