Clearing a Path for Collaborative Legislation

Clearing a Path for Collaborative Legislation

Problem

Control over the legislative agenda allows majority party leaders to block inclusive legislation in favor of partisan outcomes. Often, majority party leaders use their control of the agenda to block legislation that does not enjoy the support of a majority or more within their caucus, and, as a result, legislation that would receive the support of bipartisan majorities in the full chamber can be kept from the floor, in favor of partisan alternatives.

Solution

Wider adoption of rules and practices that decentralize agenda-setting power in order to clear a path for collaborative solutions. While most chambers give control over the agenda to the majority party or majority party leaders, other have adopted procedures that decentralize control over the agenda, empowering collaboration and the inclusion of both parties in the policymaking process. Rules and practices that can decentralize control of the agenda fall into three categories:

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