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Articles on Legislation

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Reporters waiting outside a private meeting between advisers to President Biden and Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema about the Build Back Better Act on Capitol Hill, Sept. 30, 2021. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Don’t care about the Build Back Better Act? Hearing people’s personal stories might change that

A quarter of Americans don’t know how they feel about the Build Back Better Act. Focusing on Americans’ individual stories – and not just political theater – could help fuel civic engagement.
You know they’re waiting, just anticipating … for CBO figures they don’t yet possess. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Congress is waiting on the CBO for its Build Back Better report – but how did fiscal scorekeepers come to be so powerful in politics?

Five Democrats are refusing to vote on a signature bill until the Congressional Budget Office delivers its full cost estimate. For a small agency, the CBO can hold a lot of legislative sway.
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.

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