Category Archives: Policy Agendas

Left or Right? Who’s further from the middle?

Polarization is commonplace in American politics. Both parties are moving away from the middle. The debate often boils down to who is polarizing the most/fastest. New York Times opinion writer Peter Wehner sparked an interesting debate when he claimed, “in the … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Procedure, Polarization, Policy Agendas, Political Institutions, Political Parties | 1 Comment

Most budgets lack details. That doesn’t mean they’re ineffective.

Since the House budget resolution dropped yesterday a lot of complaints have surfaced about its lack of detail. Lack of detail have some claiming it abandons Paul Ryan’s budget, – even though it is remarkably similar – and many pundits … Continue reading

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It’s not all Gridlock: What Republicans can accomplish in the 114th Congress

Can decades of dysfunction reverse course in a single Congress? No. But despite the general pessimism surrounding Congress there are several reason to expect the 114th to be more productive than its recent predecessors, which were historically bad on several … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Legislative Procedure, Policy Agendas | 1 Comment

Recess is Over: Congress (will be) back in Session.

Congress returns from recess next week after an unexpectedly successful final week in July. Congress passed a significant Veterans health bill and temporarily extended the Highway Trust Fund. While there were breakthroughs, Congress failed to find common ground on several … Continue reading

Posted in Policy Agendas | 1 Comment

A Caveat on Congressional Productivity

On Thursday, Chris Cillizza examined an Obama statement in Texas: “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures, just basic activity.” Cillizza agrees and extrapolates this a little too far, saying this Congress … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas, Political Institutions | 2 Comments

The State of the Union: Putting First Things First

State of the Unions.  What are they good for?  Absolutely nothing. Ok “absolutely nothing” is an oversimplification.  But as best political scientists are able to discern, presidential speeches in general—like last night’s State of the Union—have little independent effect on … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas, Political Behavior, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment

On (the lack of) Gun Control Laws: How Much is the NRA to Blame?

This is a reblog of one of Nate’s posts from January of 2011 in response to the Gabby Giffords shooting.  I think it’s germane to the present conversation.  And for the record, this is not an endorsement of the NRA by any means, just an attempt … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Politics, Policy Agendas | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments