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Articles on US Senate

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Bills have a long journey that includes going through the parliamentarian’s office in the Senate. Here, a corridor in the Senate. dkfielding/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The obscure, unelected Senate official whose rulings can help – or kill – a bill’s chance to pass

The Senate has a lot of rules, and its parliamentarian interprets what those rules allow – and what they don't. That can mean a bill will face either huge obstacles, or very few obstacles to passage.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats meet with reporters before the House voted to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package on Feb. 26, 2021. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Why using reconciliation to pass Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus bill violates the original purpose of the process

In 1974, Congress invented the reconciliation process to reduce deficits. More recently, reconciliation has been used in ways that increase the deficit. A public policy scholar explains the process.
Laws and policy are being made in Washington – both inside Congress and out. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Debunking the myth of legislative gridlock

The idea that Washington, DC is paralyzed by gridlock rests on half-truths about the legislative process and a basic misunderstanding of how contemporary policymaking works.
The U.S. Capitol, which was besieged by insurrectionists on Jan. 6, and where the Trump impeachment trial takes place in the Senate. Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

Impeachment trial: Research spanning decades shows language can incite violence

Language affects behavior. When words champion aggression, make violence acceptable and embolden audiences to action, incidents like the insurrection at the Capitol are the result.
House of Representatives members and staff walk the article of impeachment against Donald Trump across the Capitol. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Impeaching a former president – 4 essential reads

There are a lot of questions about the point of putting on trial someone who is no longer in office.
Pro-Trump rioters trying to enter Capitol building. A recent poll showed that up to one-fifth of Americans supported the assault on the Capitol. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Strong political institutions can uphold democracy, even if people can’t agree on politics

To repair the public's dwindling trust in the federal government, politicians must recommit to the impartial cooperation that bolsters political institutions.

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