How the President and Senate Affect the Balance of Power in the House: A Constitutional Theory of Leadership Bargaining

Posted: 2 Jul 2008

See all articles by Gisela Sin

Gisela Sin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Arthur Lupia

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Abstract

Can the President or the Senate affect the balance of power in the House? We find that they can. Our answer comes from a model that links House leadership decisions to the constitutional requirement to build lawmaking coalitions with the Senate and President. Changing the ideal point of a non-House actor, while holding constant the ideal point of all House members, can alter the House's balance of power. Power shifts because changes in the Senate or President can reshape the set of achievable legislative outcomes, which, in turn, alters the bargaining power of key House members. A corollary clarifies when empowering preference outliers (policy extremists) in the House leads to legislative outcomes that moderates prefer. Overall, our theory clarifies how constitutional requirements induce House members to make different leadership decisions than they would if they were, as commonly represented, unaware of other chambers or branches of government.

Suggested Citation

Sin, Gisela and Lupia, Arthur, How the President and Senate Affect the Balance of Power in the House: A Constitutional Theory of Leadership Bargaining. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154655

Gisela Sin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

378 Lincoln hall
Urbana, IL 61820
United States

Arthur Lupia (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-647-7549 (Phone)
734-764-3341 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.umich.edu/~lupia

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
809
PlumX Metrics