Center for Effective Lawmaking

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Joe Neguse

Discussing Legislative Effectiveness with Representative Joe Neguse Representative Joe Neguse (D, CO-2) was identified by the Center for Effective Lawmaking as one of the top-ten most effective Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House in the 116th Congress. His high Legislative Effectiveness Score (LES) also made him the most effective freshman lawmaker in the 116th Congress; and he was also identified as the most effective Democratic lawmaker on legislation that engaged with Public Lands policies in that Congress. Representative Neguse was elected to his first term in November 2018, becoming the…

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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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WATCH: A Discussion on the Most Effective Lawmakers of the 116th Congress

WATCH: A Conversation on the Most Effective Lawmakers of the 116th Congress On March 22, 2021, the Center for Effective Lawmaking's new research was the feature of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy's Batten Hour. In this one-hour public event, Co-Director Craig Volden shared our newest legislative effectiveness scores and CEL Faculty Affiliate and UVA Professor Gerry Warburg shared his thoughts based on years of experience on The Hill.The discussion was lively, interesting and provided great insight as to how the research of the Center for Effective…

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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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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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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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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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Experienced Legislative Staff Crucial to Making a Difference on the Hill

Experienced Legislative Staff Crucial to Making a Difference on the Hill A legislative staff member’s role is critical to maintaining and sustaining the operations of congressional offices. And the CEL has released a study revealing that the more experience a congressional staff member has, the better equipped they are to make the lawmaker they work for more effective.Assessing data from 1974 to 2013, the CEL discovered that experienced congressional staff have a significant impact on a legislator’s performance in Congress. Experienced staff help members advance legislative proposals of greater significance…

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Women’s Issues and Their Fates in Congress

Women's Issues and Their Fates in Congress It is no surprise to voters that bills addressing the classically considered “women’s issues” are more likely to be introduced by female members of Congress. Yet, bills on such issues are half as likely as other bills to be passed into law. Beyond that fact, CEL research has revealed a further surprising and disheartening finding. The likelihood of passage of “women’s issues” legislation drops in half yet again if the women’s issue bills are sponsored by women themselves. If men sponsor the legislation,…

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Elite Education and Legislative Behavior in the U.S. Congress

Elite Education and Legislative Behavior in the U.S. Congress The Center for Effective Lawmaking announces new research about the relationship between elite education on legislative behavior, particularly effective lawmaking, in the U.S. Congress.About a third of the U.S. Congress is comprised of legislators who attended elite colleges, universities, and law schools. We studied how legislative behaviors within this group have differed from those of other legislators between 1973 and 2014. Elite education is defined as having graduated from the most highly ranked colleges and universities, such as Stanford or Harvard, and…

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