Negative Agenda Control in the Senate and House: Fingerprints of Majority Party Power

12 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007

See all articles by Sean Gailmard

Sean Gailmard

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Jeffery A. Jenkins

University of Virginia

Abstract

We present evidence suggesting that the majority party in the U.S. Senate exercises significant negative agenda control. Furthermore, this majority party negative agenda control in the Senate is very similar, in empirical terms, to negative agenda control exercised by the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives. This evidence comes from comparisons of majority party roll rates across legislative vehicles (S bills, confirmation votes, and conference reports) and across chambers of Congress. Majority party roll rates respond to disagreement with other political actors as if the Senate majority party does restrict agenda access. Moreover, the response of majority party roll rates to disagreement with other political actors is very similar across the two chambers. Given that explanations of majority party negative agenda control in the House are often predicated on chamber-specific factors with no clear analogues in the Senate, the results reveal a striking cross-chamber similarity.

Suggested Citation

Gailmard, Sean and Jenkins, Jeffery A., Negative Agenda Control in the Senate and House: Fingerprints of Majority Party Power. Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 3, pp. 689-700, August 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1065983 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00568.x

Sean Gailmard (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-4678 (Phone)

Jeffery A. Jenkins

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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