Center for Effective Lawmaking

Effective Lawmaking Behind the Scenes
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Effective Lawmaking Behind the Scenes

Effective Lawmaking Behind the Scenes In this Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) working paper, Co-Directors Craig Volden (University of Virginia) and Alan Wiseman (Vanderbilt University), and Faculty Affiliates Mary Kroeger (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Erinn Lauterbach (Villanova University), and Kelsey Shoub (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) demonstrate how behind-the-scenes lawmaking has become much more common in the U.S. Congress in recent years, with numerous bills embedded in must-pass legislation. Building on previous political science research, they offer a methodology to identify all bills that are substantially embedded in all laws in both…

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Legislative Effectiveness: The Elements of Success

Legislative Effectiveness: The Elements of Success The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman recently wrote an essay titled “Legislative Effectiveness: The Elements of Success” which was published in the Summer 2024 issue of the quarterly political journal Democracy as part of the symposium “Revitalizing Political Leadership.” The article examines the role of state legislatures in developing effective lawmakers at both the state and federal levels, based on the analysis of the CEL’s Legislative Effectiveness Scores (which measure lawmaking effectiveness of members of Congress) and the…

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The CEL’s 2024 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking

Ju Yeon “Julia” Park (r) being presented with the CEL’s Best Publication award by co-director Craig Volden (l) (Photo by Jenna Huber, Batten School). The CEL's 2024 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) was pleased to announce the recipient of the 2024 Award for the Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking at our Sixth Annual Research Conference, at the University of Virginia on Monday, June 10, 2024. The recipients of this year’s award are Pamela Ban (UC San Diego), Ju Yeon “Julia” Park (The Ohio…

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CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association

CEL presentation to the Regional Reporters Association On May 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 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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The Conditional Lawmaking Benefits of Party Faction Membership in Congress

The Conditional Lawmaking Benefits of Party Faction Membership in Congress In this new Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) paper published in Political Research Quarterly, CEL co-directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University respectively, alongside Lafayette College’s Andrew Clark (also a CEL Faculty Affiliate), examine how joining a party faction can impact a lawmaker’s effectiveness. Party faction membership has been shown to increase lawmakers' electoral success, but this paper investigates if the benefits persist once those lawmakers enter Congress. The authors’ research tests three…

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