Proposes a new theory of Senate agenda setting that reconciles a divide in literature between the conventional wisdom - in which party power is thought to be mostly undermined by Senate procedures and norms - and the apparent partisan bias in Senate decisions noted in recent empirical studies. Chris Den Hartog and Nathan W. Monroe's theory revolves around a 'costly consideration' framework for thinking about agenda setting, where moving proposals forward through the legislative process is seen as requiring scarce resources. To establish that the majority party pays lower agenda consideration costs through various procedural advantages, the book features a number of chapters examining partisan influence at several stages of the legislative process, including committee reports, filibusters and cloture, floor scheduling and floor amendments. Not only do the results support the book's theoretical assumption and key hypotheses, but they shed new light on virtually every major step in the Senate's legislative process.
Chris Den Hartog is an assistant professor of political science at California Polytechnic State University. He has published articles and chapters about the legislative process in Congress, its evolution across history, and its effects on congressional policy making. Professor Den Hartog's work includes studies of the nineteenth-century House and the contemporary House and Senate. Nathan W. Monroe is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Merced. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Public Choice and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Professor Monroe previously held faculty positions at Michigan State University and the University of the Pacific.
Preface; Part I: 1. Costly consideration and the majority's advantage; 2. The textbook senate and partisan policy influence; 3. The costly consideration agenda-setting theory; Part II. Consideration Costs in the Senate: 4. Committees and senate agenda setting; 5. Scheduling bills in the Senate; 6. Effects of filibusters; 7. Disposition of majority and minority amendments; 8. Killing amendments with tabling motions and points of order; 9. Effects of amendments; Part III. Testing the Costly-Consideration Theory: 10. Testing our model; 11. Implications of costly consideration; Appendix A: relaxing the model's assumptions; Appendix B: last actions and coding amendment disposition.