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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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Catch-22: Cloture, Energy Policy, and the Limits of Conditional Party Government

Catch-22: Cloture, Energy Policy, and the Limits of Conditional Party Government

(p.198) 11 Catch-22: Cloture, Energy Policy, and the Limits of Conditional Party Government
Why Not Parties?

Bruce I. Oppenheimer

Marc J. Hetherington

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes and contrasts the congressional struggle over energy legislation in the 1970s with the one of 2001–5. In doing so, it serves as a vehicle for evaluating the impact of changes that have occurred in U.S. governing parties as they have gone from relatively weak, ideologically diverse, noncohesive, overlapping organizing structures that granted their leaders limited powers to stronger, relatively ideologically homogeneous, highly cohesive (by historical standards) and polarized ones, willing to grant their leaders far greater authority and resources with which to mobilize their members. Among the questions addressed are the following: In what ways has the move to what has been labeled “conditional party government” affected the nature of coalition building in Congress? Have the effects been different in the Senate than in the House? What has been the impact on the nature of public policy? Does conditional party government result in the passage of legislation at median party positions, as opposed to at median chamber positions?

Keywords:   energy law, conditional party government, coalition building, Congress

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