Setting the Agenda: Responsible Party Government in the U.S. House of Representatives

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 26, 2005 - Political Science - 336 pages
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Scholars of the U.S. House disagree over the importance of political parties in organizing the legislative process. On the one hand, non-partisan theories stress how congressional organization serves members' non-partisan goals. On the other hand, partisan theories argue that the House is organized to serve the collective interests of the majority party. This book advances a partisan theory and presents a series of empirical tests of that theory's predictions (pitted against others). The evidence demonstrates that the majority party seizes agenda control at nearly every stage of the legislative process in order to prevent bills that the party dislikes from reaching the floor.

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Procedural Cartel Theory
Modeling Agenda Power
The Primacy of Reeds Rules in House Organization
FinalPassage Votes
The Costs of Agenda Control
The Textbook Congress and the Committee on Rules
The Bills Reported from Committee
Positive Agenda Power
Author Index

Which Way Does Policy Move?

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About the author (2005)

Gary W. Cox is a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. In addition to numerous articles in the areas of legislative and electoral politics, he is author of The Efficient Secret (winner of the Samuel H. Beer dissertation prize in 1983), coauthor of Legislative Leviathan (winner of the Richard F. Fenno Prize in 1993), and author of Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral Systems (1997), which was awarded APSA's awards for the best book in political science (Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award), the best book in comparative politics (Gregory Luebbert Prize), and for the best book in political economy. His latest book, Elbridge Gerry's Salamander, analyzes the political consequences of the reapportionment revolution in the United States. Cox is a former Guggenheim Fellow and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996.

Mathew D. McCubbins is a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. His authored works include Legislative Leviathan: Party Government in the House (1993); Under the Watchful Eye: Managing Presidential Campaigns in the Television Era (1992); Recent co-edited books include The Origins of Liberty: Political and Economic Liberalization in the Modern World (1997); and Elements of Reason: Cognition, Choice, and the Bounds of Rationality (2000). His most recent book is Stealing the Initiative: How State Government Responds to Direct Democracy (2001) with Elisabeth Gerber, Arthur Lupia, and D. Roderick Kiewiet. McCubbins is also the author of numerous articles in journals such as Legislative Studies Quarterly; Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization; Law and Contemporary Problems; and the American Journal of Political Science. He is the coordinator of the Law and the Behavioral Sciences Project and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences for 1994-95.

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