RSVP here:

Lunch will be served, but RSVPs are required.

*Graduate students are encouraged to meet with Prof. Lee immediately following her talk in SSPA 2112, 1:30-2pm.*

About the speaker:
Frances E. Lee has been a member of the Maryland faculty since 2004. She teaches courses in American government, the public policy process, legislative politics, political ambition, and political institutions. Her research interests focus on American governing institutions, especially the U.S. Congress.

About the talk:
It is no secret that the contemporary Congress is riven by partisan conflict. Majority leaders of the contemporary Congress preside over parties that are more cohesive than at any point in the modern era. Party leaders also take a much more central role in the legislative process. But what do these large-scale shifts in legislative process and partisanship mean for policymaking?

Remarkably, congressional majority parties today are no better at enacting their legislative priorities than they were in the 1980s. About half the time, contemporary majority parties fail to legislate on their agenda items. The majority party's failures are almost as frequently the result of their own inability to agree among themselves as they are a result of being blocked by their party opposition. When majority parties do succeed in passing their agenda items, they rarely do so via party-line votes. Instead, when they win, they usually do so by coopting minority party support, including one or more of the minority party’s top leaders. Despite some salient exceptions, the laws of recent years have been enacted by coalitions that are just as bipartisan on average as those of the 1970s.


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