Legislative Process



On to Reconciliation! Republicans have a plan but probably won’t follow it.

Josh Huder | January 12, 2017

The Senate passed a budget yesterday. It lacked some of the typical hallmarks of a budget resolution. Namely, the chamber did not debate in any great detail discretionary spending numbers. This budget is meant for one purpose and one purpose only: repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following the campaign congressional Republicans set out on


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


How John Boehner would Lose his Job: He Chooses to.

Josh Huder | September 24, 2015

This is the week Speaker John Boehner will supposedly face a vote to remove him from the speakership on the House floor. Don’t buy the hype. Amid multiple headlines claiming Speaker Boehner is facing his most strident rebellion yet, it’s important to keep the procedural context in mind. The only way John Boehner will vacate


Will the Senate Go Nuclear Again?

Josh Huder | July 27, 2015

Put this in the “it’s not really nuclear” category. Despite several accounts reporting that Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) plans to go nuclear, don’t believe the headlines. That said this is likely the most interesting thing that will happen in the Senate this year, at least from a procedural standpoint. After cloture is invoked Senator Lee


Political parties are often too convenient an explanation

Josh Huder | April 28, 2015

Teagan Goddard asked the question, can politics be “unbundled” from political parties? In other words, if there is a market where we can unbundle phone and internet service, why isn’t there a market to unbundle politics from parties? Hans Noel wrote an excellent piecedescribing how the electoral and governing process


The budget rule is uncommon but (small ‘d’) democratic

The House budget proposal is being brought to the floor under an uncommon rule called the queen-of-the-hill. It’s being framed as quirkyodd and, at times, a signal of Republican dysfunction. However, it perhaps best described as a release valve. Under the queen-of-the-hill process multiple amendments (which is a full substitute bill) are


Quick process hit: Senate will vote on a clean DHS bill. Why that looked likely last Monday.

Today Senate Republicans are moving forward on the inevitable. They will vote on a clean DHS funding bill with no immigration riders attached. With time running out they struck a deal with Democrats, which Minority Leader Harry Reid agreed to a couple hours ago. The key point here is that DHS will come up for a


Democrats gained even more power in the DHS/immigration debate, and it happened last week

It’s well known that any Republican attempt to reverse Obama’s executive action would be an uphill battle. Because any congressional response required a legislative fix, Republicans face a likely insurmountable veto, even if they managed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. All the checks of government disadvantage Republicans’, and today


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