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Why Not Parties?Party Effects in the United States Senate$
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Nathan W. Monroe, Jason M. Roberts, and David W. Rohde

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534879

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534947.001.0001

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The Senate Whip System: An Exploration

The Senate Whip System: An Exploration

Chapter:
(p.73) 5 The Senate Whip System: An Exploration
Source:
Why Not Parties?
Author(s):

Erin M. Bradbury

Ryan A. Davidson

C. Lawrence Evans

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226534947.003.0005

This chapter provides a description of the Senate whip system in action. It provides a degree of support for contentions that majority-party leaders in the chamber influence member behavior and legislative outcomes. The portrait of party influence that emerges from this study, however, diverges in important ways from what is known about leadership influence in the House. By most accounts, majority-party leaders in the House have the procedural prerogatives and other formal advantages necessary to control the floor agenda, typically enabling them to keep items that would divide the majority caucus from appearing on the floor agenda. For the most part, the majority leadership in the Senate lacks these prerogatives. Still, Senate party leaders do play critical roles as negotiators and bargainers on legislation, nominations, and other chamber business. Especially on significant party issues that deeply divide Democrats from Republicans, the compromises and bargains necessary to manage the flow of legislation in the Senate are made or heavily influenced by the top party leaders.

Keywords:   whip count, majority leadership, voting behavior, party leadership, Senate leaders

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