Congressional Leadership



Republicans’ Inability to Do Routine Things Is Scuttling Their Big Plans

The 2016 election was a near universal shock. President Trump beat (nearly) all prognosticators. House Republicans only lost 6 seats, retaining their 4th largest House majority since 1930. Senate Republicans also beat the odds and held on to a 52 seat majority. Suddenly, the 2016 Election that was supposed to go bad for Republicans turned


Senior Fellow Mark Harkins in the News

GAI | August 24, 2017

Senior Fellow Mark Harkins was interviewed by CBS News to weigh in on a recent New York Times report about a widening rift between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. You can see the CBS News story here .


It’s more than just bad process. It’s harmful.

There’s a lot of ​talk about the broken processes in the House and Senate, particularly around the health​ ​care bill. Extraordinary secrecy has been employed to push the AHCA through the House and the BCRA through the Senate. ​In fact, t​here’s so much commentary about how “broken” the institution is that people are overlooking what


Secrecy in Lawmaking and What it Spells for the rest of the 115th

Josh Huder | July 24, 2017

The House and Senate efforts to repeal and replace versions of the Affordable Care Act have relied on an amazingly convoluted, opaque, and covert process. It was, and is, a stunning display of haste and hubris, well outside the norms of the modern legislative process. Speaker Ryan dropped the American Health Care Act (AHCA) practically


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: CR edition

Josh Huder | April 17, 2017

Next week, the government will run out of money to stay open. And in typical fashion, Congress has left itself an insanely small window to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep it functioning. (If the process plays out normally, the Senate will have approximately  5 hours to spare before the government shuts down. This


The new Budget Drama and Procedural Inventiveness. Got to love the House.

Josh Huder | February 24, 2016

The optimism following the 2-year budget deal struck last October is officially over. Many House majority members who were unhappy with the deal remain unhappy. Over the past month House conservatives have signaled they will not vote for a budget unless they find $30 billion in cuts. Enacting a budget (or appropriations) below the


How long will the “open process” last?

Josh Huder | February 3, 2016

During the Republican retreat two weeks ago Speaker Ryan doubled down on his commitment open the process in the House. The original pledge was offered to satisfy conservative members’ desire for greater input and influence. Anyone with a deliberative-democratic bone in their body should welcome this change and the pledge. However, it comes with


Regular order: Republicans’ risky venture into open debate

Josh Huder | December 1, 2015

Members in the House are calling for regular order. If you have no idea what “regular order” means, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re probably in the company of many members of Congress. Calls for regular order are almost as old as the institution itself. In theory, regular order is open, deliberative processes


The Road Ahead

By Laura Blessing and Josh Huder, Senior Fellows Speaker John Boehner finally succumbed to the four-year pressure campaign waged by House conservatives. As politically weak as Boehner was in his conference, the institutional powers of the Speaker meant that he was never going to be forced out of his position. He’s powerful enough that he could


Conservatives’ Playcalling: Hail Mary… Repeat.

(Hail Mary, noun, 2. (FOOTBALL) a very long, typically unsuccessful pass made in a desperate attempt to score late in the game.) It appears Speaker Boehner may have another rebellion on his hands. Will this be the toughest challenge to his speakership? Maybe. That is if you don’t include the last two speakership elections,


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