Center for Effective Lawmaking

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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WATCH: Effective Lawmaking: A Cornerstone of Democracy

WATCH: Effective Lawmaking: A Cornerstone of Democracy On Friday, October 20, 2023, the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) held a presentation titled “Effective Lawmaking: A Cornerstone of Democracy” as part of our “Conversations with Effective Lawmakers” Series and the Karsh Institute’s “Democracy360” event, a three-day series that brought together thought leaders, journalists, policymakers, scholars, activists, artists, and students in Charlottesville, VA, to explore collectively how to shape a thriving democratic future. CEL co-directors, Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman, moderated a discussion panel featuring former U.S. House Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL)…

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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Gerry Connolly

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Gerry Connolly Representative Gerry Connolly has served as the U.S. representative for Virginia's 11th congressional district since 2009. Representative Connolly has been identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) as being the most effective Democratic lawmaker in the U.S. House during the 117th Congress, as well as the most effective Democratic House Member in the area of government operations. He was also cited as having one of the longest streaks of “Exceeding Expectations” among all House members.CEL Co-Directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman recently…

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REWIND: Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Will Hurd

REWIND: Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Will Hurd Former Representative Will Hurd announced today that he was running for the Republican nomination for president. He served as the U.S. representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district from 2015 to 2021, and was identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) as being one of the top 10 most effective Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House during his first term in Congress, as well as being the third most effective freshman lawmaker within his class.Back in September, CEL Co-Directors Craig Volden and…

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The Legislative Success of “Giant Killers”

The Legislative Success of “Giant Killers” Incumbent members of Congress are difficult to defeat in elections: since the early 1970s, fewer than 10 percent of all those who have run against them have been successful. In this paper, Sean Theriault, Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) Faculty Affiliate, along with Jared Hrebenar and Isabel Reyna, examine the legislative effectiveness of those rare challengers who knock off incumbents they nickname “Giant Killers” and find that they have greater than expected legislative success after…

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The CEL’s 2023 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking

The CEL's 2023 Award for Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) was excited to announce the recipient of the 2023 Award for the Best Publication on Effective Lawmaking at our Fifth Annual Research Conference, at Vanderbilt University on June 5, 2023. The recipient of this year’s award is Todd Makse of Florida International University, for his 2022 article in Political Research Quarterly titled “Instant Credibility: The Conditional Role of Professional Background in Policymaking Success.”In this work, Makse posits the hypothesis that lawmakers can gain credibility…

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Highlights from the New 117th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores

Highlights from the New 117th Congress Legislative Effectiveness Scores By Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman, Co-Directors, Center for Effective LawmakingThe Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is pleased to announce the release of the Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) for the recently completed 117th Congress (2021-23). 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…

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Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Will Hurd 

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Will Hurd Former Representative Will Hurd served as the U.S. representative for Texas’s 23rd congressional district from 2015 to 2021. Representative Hurd was identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) as being one of the top 10 most effective Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House during his first term in Congress, as well as being the third most effective freshman lawmaker within his class. CEL Co-Directors Craig Volden and Alan Wiseman recently sat down with Representative Hurd to discuss his time in Congress. Among…

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WATCH: Race & Political Representation Inside & Outside of Congress

WATCH: Race & Political Representation Inside & Outside of Congress On March 31, 2022, Alan Wiseman, Co-Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) moderated a discussion at Vanderbilt University where a distinguished group of panelists explored how those advocating for underrepresented groups have made progress inside and outside of Congress. The panel included Michael Eric Dyson, Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University; Michael Minta, professor of political science at the University of…

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Representative Barney Frank & Journalist Robert Kaiser Discuss Legislative Effectiveness

Representative Barney Frank and Journalist Robert Kaiser Discuss Legislative Effectiveness For the next in our “Conversations with Effective Lawmakers” Series, we reach back into the vault of interviews conducted by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.  In this case, we present an interview conducted by CEL Co-Directors Alan Wiseman and Craig Volden in spring of 2019.We had the pleasure of sitting down for a wide-ranging conversation with former member of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), and with Washington Post reporter and award-winning author Robert Kaiser.  Kaiser’s book Act of Congress focuses…

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