Moving Issues Forward in Congress

Which representatives and senators truly drive progress on specific public issues? Who gets things done, for example, when it comes to health care, or education, or defense? And how do they move specific legislation effectively through Congress?

Craig Volden, Professor of Public Policy and Politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia and Co-Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, along with Alan E. Wiseman, Professor and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair at Vanderbilt University and also Co-Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking,  will answer these questions and more in this unique half-day course.

For the first time, the Center for Effective Lawmaking will release 19 issue-area scores from the 1970s through current Congresses. While some of the highest-scoring performers may not surprise you, there are many lawmakers working quietly and effectively behind the scenes who likely will. Understanding how issues move forward through Congress is critical for shaping the future of significant policies.

Join the Center for Effective Lawmaking as we engage in meaningful conversations on how legislation is changed and the future of effective legislatures.

The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) is a joint partnership between the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and Vanderbilt University. It was created in 2017 to advance the generation, communication, and use of new knowledge about the effectiveness of individual lawmakers and legislative institutions in Congress. The Center grew out of the Legislative Effectiveness Project, based on the scholarship of Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman, as featured in the award-winning book Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers.


Course Schedule

11:00am-12:15pm Session I: “Understanding Lawmaking Effectiveness”

CEL Co-Directors Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman will dive into how lawmaking effectiveness can be measured. Using the Center’s research-based “Five Habits of Highly Effective Lawmakers,” participants will engage in a facilitated discussion regarding what makes certain lawmakers successful in shaping policy.

12:15-12:45pm Lunch

12:45-2:00pm Session II: “Assessing Effective Lawmakers by Issue”

CEL will present the top-scoring lawmakers in 19 different issue areas, a list that has yet to be publicly shared. The co-directors will discuss both how the scores were determined and their implications.