Senate Dynamics: The Power of Committees, Pt 1

It has been said that failure has many fathers, but in Senate committees, failure has many motions. Bills are passed by indefinitely, continued to the following session, stricken, and occasionally left in committee. In the House, bills are also frequently left in committee or tabled. In this post, we’ll take a look at some numbers that help to illustrate just how significant committees are in the legislative process.

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Charting the GOP’s Rise in the Old Dominion

In 1924, the country was keeping cool with Coolidge—the popular president would be elected in his own right in a landslide that fall—and both chambers of Congress were firmly in Republican hands, the House under the vigorous leadership of T.R.’s son-in-law, Nick Longworth, and the Senate under the direction of Charles Curtis, to this day the highest-ranking Native American in U.S. political history. The stock market was booming, the post-war malaise had lifted, and Republican fortunes had never been higher—at least not since the end of Reconstruction. It was a good time to be a Republican.

Except in the Old Dominion. Continue reading

Compare State Senators

In previous posts, we’ve served up some statistics on how Virginia State Senators compared to each other during the 2014 session — but now we’re handing over the reins.  Using the script embedded below, select any State Senator to see a list of how often they voted with each colleague, with the majority of the Senate as a whole, and with the average member of each party.  Then, clicking on the hyperlinked name of any Senator will take you to a table listing each bill (floor votes) on which the two Senators disagreed.

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Senate Dynamics: Member Vote Patterns, Pt 2

On Monday, we looked at how member vote patterns illustrate party cohesion and offered a table providing some insight into which members are the most likely to buck the chamber’s consensus. Today we’ll examine which members are the most likely to vote with the average Democrat or Republican, then delve into some of the more interesting legislative pairings. Continue reading