Academics Batten X Moving Issues Forward in Congress Moving Issues Forward in Congress August 14, 2020 Online Event Register 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. Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, including within American federalism. Read full bio Related Content Craig Volden Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness Research Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem through the inclusion of institutional considerations such as political parties, committees, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is more effective than another at solving public policy problems and that all proposers are equally capable of advancing proposals. Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate Research Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. Faculty Spotlight: Improving the Way We Make Laws, with Science News Batten Professor Craig Volden no longer designs spacecraft—instead, he’s engineering a metric to combat political gridlock. Volden: Experienced Staff Promote Effective Lawmaking News According to research from Batten's Center for Effective Lawmaking, retaining experienced legislative staff is crucial to Congress doing its job better. In an op-ed for The Hill, center co-directors Craig Volden and Alan E. Wiseman say that when it comes to congressional staff, we get what we pay for.