Center for Effective Lawmaking

Center for Effective Lawmaking 2020-2021 Annual Report

Center for Effective Lawmaking 2020-2021 Annual Report Welcome to this year's Center for Effective Lawmaking Annual Report.Like our past annual reports, this overview represents our means of spreading the word about the accomplishments, broad goals, and future plans for the Center.  During a year when so many people around the world felt distant from one another, we could not be more thankful for the close community of those who continue to work with us to advance the Center’s work. In our newest annual report you can:Read testimonials from our research assistants, post-doctoral…

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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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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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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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Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Electoral Success

Turning Legislative Effectiveness into Legislative Success The Center for Effective Lawmaking (“CEL”) conducted an in-depth study to explore whether lawmakers in Congress are rewarded in primary elections for their effectiveness. Do effective members win at a greater rate during this time of the electoral cycle? Can they ward off challengers? The answer, for the first time, is clear. And it has obvious impacts on how lawmakers considering reelection should use their time in Congress. Looking at congressional primaries data from 1980-2016 allowed CEL researchers to remove partisan cues and focus…

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How Effective are Party Faction Members in Congress?

How Effective are Party Faction Members in Congress? There is much discussion given today’s political climate about the rise and strength of political factions. As those who are like-minded bind more closely to push through legislation and change, the inclination is to believe that working together in a cohesive faction will wield power to move legislative changes through Congress and the larger the faction the more powerful it is. But is this true? At the Center for Effective Lawmaking, we took an in-depth look at ideological caucuses. Factions (formally referred…

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