Legislative Process

Are “Gangs” the Solution?

Gangs of lawmakers have been making news since at least the 1983 reform of Social Security. The theory is that smaller, nimbler groups including members from both parties are more likely to get results on contentious issues. While in recent years gang activity in the Senate has proliferated, their record has been at best spotty.

The Boehner Rule: A Minority of the Majority?

What do the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Hurricane Sandy Relief Act, and the fiscal cliff deal have in common? All passed the House this year over the objection of a majority of the majority party. In bringing these bills to the House floor, Speaker John Boehner chose to willfully violate the “Hastert Rule”

Filibuster Rules Changes Epitomize the Senate

The more things change… The Senate has spoken—at length—and the result is…not much. This sentence could characterize the 112th Congress as well as the changes agreed to in Senate Resolution 16, the first roll call of the 113th (86 yeas, 9 nays). After months of the majority’s frustration with constant filibuster threats, impassioned pleas for

Debt Ceiling Extension Likely to Pass; No Federal Pay Freeze

Later today the House will vote on a plan to effectively lift the debt limit for four months, removing, or at least postponing, the threat of default. The bill, HR 325, temporarily extends the debt limit without seeking any concessions on spending, and allows Republicans a way to avoid having to actually cast a vote

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