Center for Effective Lawmaking

Health Policy Legislative Effectiveness Scores: Highlights from the 116th Congress

Health Policy Legislative Effectiveness Scores: Highlights from the 116th Congress Which lawmakers are best able to move health policy changes through Congress, and why? In March, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) released our Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for the recently completed 116th Congress (2019-21). We also scored members of the House and Senate based on their interest in and effectiveness at lawmaking within twenty-one different policy areas, ranging from Agriculture to Immigration to Transportation. In addition to a historical consideration of the data (our scores extend back to 1973),…

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Discussing Lawmaking with Former House Parliamentarian Tom Wickham

Discussing Lawmaking with Former House Parliamentarian Tom Wickham Watch as the Co-Directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking interview Tom Wickham on lawmaking effectiveness, what advice he would give to new members of Congress today, as well as trends and changes he's noticed over the years. Mr. Tom Wickham, former Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives, serves as senior vice president of State & Local Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Wickham leads the Chamber’s new initiative that monitors state and local policy developments and coordinates state…

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Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective?

Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective? The 117th Congress wrestles with the Biden administration agenda and pressing policy challenges during an increasingly polarized time for American politics. The question looming large over all of these discussions is whether bipartisanship is dead.We find that, even in these politically polarized times, being a bipartisan lawmaker yields legislative payoffs.The Center for Effective Lawmaking has published new research drawing on data from the 93rd-114th Congresses (1973-2016). We explore whether attracting a larger proportion of cosponsors from the opposing party helps Senators and Representatives advance their…

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Highlights from the New 116th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores

Highlights from the New 116th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is pleased to announce the release of the Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for the recently-completed 116th Congress (2019-21).  As in all previous releases, the scores are based on the combination of fifteen metrics regarding the bills that each member of Congress sponsors, how far they move through the lawmaking process, and how substantial their policy proposals are.  The scores are normalized to an average value of 1.0 in both the House and the Senate.  More…

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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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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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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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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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