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Conferee Discretion and Bill Failure in Conference Committees

Conferee Discretion and Bill Failure in Conference Committees

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter Five Conferee Discretion and Bill Failure in Conference Committees
Source:
The Congressional Endgame
Author(s):
Josh M. Ryan
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226582375.003.0005

The formal model characterizes conferees as having discretion to change legislation. Most importantly, conferees can make more dramatic changes to the bill when the winning coalitions in the chambers are unwilling to reject the bill because they receive low benefits from rejection, and when coalition size is large. If the winning coalitions within each chamber are small, even a minor change to the legislation by the conferees could result in a few members switching their vote and a loss in majority support. Likewise, failure at the post-passage resolution stage is characterized as a mistake in the use of discretion by the conferees. The results demonstrate that more moderate coalitions constrain conferee discretion as they are more willing to reject the bill.

Keywords:   conferee discretion, conference committees, bill failure

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