Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking
Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the last decades have led to legislative gridlock. Not so, argues Keith Krehbiel, who advances the provocative theory that divided government actually has little effect on legislative productivity. Gridlock is in fact the order of the day, occurring even when the same party controls the legislative and executive branches. Meticulously researched and anchored to real politics, Krehbiel argues that the pivotal vote on a piece of legislation is not the one that gives a bill a simple majority, but the vote that allows its supporters to override a possible presidential veto or to put a halt to a filibuster. This theory of pivots also explains why, when bills are passed, winning coalitions usually are bipartisan and supermajority sized. Offering an incisive account of when gridlock is overcome and showing that political parties are less important in legislative-executive politics than previously thought, Pivotal Politics remakes our understanding of American lawmaking.
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104th Congress activist mood agenda setting analysis assumptions behavior bipartisan budget budgetary Chapter Clinton cloture votes coalition sizes coefficient conditional party government Congress congressional consistent Democrats dependent variable Descriptive Statistics divided government dummy variables election electoral empirical enactments equation equilibrium example expectation Extreme opponent f-statistics figure filibuster pivot findings gridlock interval House hypothesis ideal point interpretation Krehbiel leaders legislative productivity majority party majority-party Mayhew's measure median voter theory moderate multidimensional nonpartisan null hypothesis observations occur outcomes override partisan advantage partisanship party government theory percent pivotal politics theory positive prediction preference effects president president-side filibusters president's party presidential power Probit quartile question reconciliation bill relatively Republicans Rohde Second seems Senate significant specific start-of-term status quo points status quo policies substantive supermajoritarian supermajority Switchers theoretical theory of lawmaking tion U.S. lawmaking unified government veto pivot veto-pivot quintile vote pairs winning coalition