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Conclusions and Discussion

Conclusions and Discussion

(p.126) Chapter Six Conclusions and Discussion
Congress in Reverse
Jordan M. RagusaNathaniel A. Birkhead
University of Chicago Press

Chapter six, the concluding chapter, summarizes the book’s arguments that (a) repeals are a distinct type of legislative activity and (b) that repeals are uniquely partisan. Chapter six then applies the main themes of the book to an extended discussion of the Affordable Care Act. The important conclusion from this application is that repeals are difficult under all circumstances but even moreso given the policy area—social policy is more resistant to change than post other domains—and when a party has internal cleavages—like the contemporary GOP. The chapter then offers implications for other areas of scholarship, including how repeals influence the “responsible party government model,” how it increases political conflict and may decrease public approval, and may also be associated with decreased legislative capacity. Last, the chapter extends the arguments to other forms of reversal, including the 18th Amendment (prohibition) and its repeal by the 21st Amendment, as well as the Convention of the States. It ends while making a modest step toward a unified theory of statutory revision.

Keywords:   Affordable Care Act, 21st Amendment, Responsible Party Government

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