Watch: The History of the Legislative Effectiveness Scores
During a recent Expert Chat conversation, hosted by the Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy, Professors Alan E. Wiseman and Craig Volden gave rare insight into how the Center for Effective Lawmaking was first formed, with roots from when the Co-Directors were both faculty at Ohio State University.
At that time, Volden and Wiseman utilized their skill sets to create a meaningful metric for effectiveness in Congress by assessing which members successfully pass substantive and significant pieces of legislation regardless of political party affiliation. As they share in the Chat, they wanted to dig into the conversation on effective lawmaking that was, at that time, quite limited.
“The question we wanted to focus on when we started 12 years ago is WHY some members of Congress are better at passing legislation than others?” Professor Wiseman shared.
The Co-Directors eventually found themselves at different universities but discovered a strong and singular partnership between the two and clear support for their work. Eventually, the Center for Effective Lawmaking was formed.
Through the years, the Center has managed to garner attention from prominent politicians, their staff, and other policy professionals. The Center’s initiatives have become increasingly important as we currently deal with time-sensitive issues that require urgent responses from congressional members.
Additionally, there is clearly a demand for the Center for Effective Lawmaking’s research for both academic purposes and informed conversation around representatives in the public eye. High performing incumbents utilize the Center’s research during campaigns to enhance their lawmaking effectiveness. For example, the New York Times endorsement of Sen. Amy Klobuchar for president was based in part on the Center for Effective Lawmaking’s finding that she was the most effective Senate Democrat in the 115th Congress.
The Center’s working papers series and other publications have become a proud and natural extension of the Center’s purpose over time. Research conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, both by the Co-Directors and by its diverse group of faculty affiliates, focuses on not only scoring congressional members but studying women’s issues, the significance of elite educated legislators, the lawmaking effectiveness of military veterans, and more. Each of these different research projects further illuminates legislative procedures and processes.
Ultimately, the Center for Effective Lawmaking’s goal is to provide information to produce meaningful change on the Hill. In this way, lawmakers and their staffs are better equipped to serve and represent their constituents.
Watch the Batten Expert Chat in its entirety here or below.