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Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking by Keith Krehbiel

By Keith Krehbiel

Politicians and pundits alike have complained that the divided governments of the final many years have resulted in legislative gridlock. no longer so, argues Keith Krehbiel, who advances the provocative concept that divided executive truly has little influence on legislative productiveness. Gridlock is actually the order of the day, taking place even if an identical get together controls the legislative and government branches. Meticulously researched and anchored to genuine politics, Krehbiel argues that the pivotal vote on a bit of laws isn't the person who supplies a invoice an easy majority, however the vote that permits its supporters to override a potential presidential veto or to place a halt to a filibuster. This conception of pivots additionally explains why, while debts are handed, profitable coalitions are likely to be bipartisan and supermajority sized. supplying an incisive account of whilst gridlock is triumph over and displaying that political events are less significant in legislative-executive politics than formerly inspiration, Pivotal Politics remakes our figuring out of yank lawmaking.

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13 In the end, the scope of the package was small. The dramatic "change" that had been promised repeatedly in the election was incremental at best, and the reason it was not larger than incremental is that the superrnajoritarian requirement of cloture has the effect of making1, the sixtieth percentile senator, pivotal. Given this, the equilibrium legislative proposal is the bill, b*, which leaves the filibuster pivot,1, indifferent between the status 13. Technically, the sixtieth senator, who is pivotal, needs only to be indifferent between the status quo and the bill.

By 1990 and 199I, congressional support for the idea offamily leave had increased. A key development was that moderate Republicans, such as Labor Secretary Lynn Martin and Representative Marge Roukema of New Jersey, came on board and became more assertive in giving the cause a bipartisan voice. Bipartisanship was also facilitated by the growing affinity of Republicans for family values and by considerable weakening of the family leave bill over the years. As a result, proponents obtained greater than simple-majority support in both chambers in I99I.

15 Since 65 senators had earlier voted for a stronger bill, a veto-proof majority seemed within reach. ) In the House, however, support seemed to be waning by the time the Congress reconvened after the convention. On September 10, the House voted 241-161 to pass the conference report-about 50 votes short of that required to override Bush's certain veto. 16 The veto occurred on September 22. The resulting preelection rhetoric was predictably intense, and the Senate, after four years and 32 vetoes from Bush, finally overrode the president 68-31.

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