PS 171C Week 7.docx

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Political Science
Tim Groseclose

PS 171C Week 7 – Tuesday  Describe the procedure for introducing a discharge petition. Does it really require 218 signatures? Can the Speaker or Chair of a committee do anything to block it? If the discharge is successful, can the gill be amended when it’s on the floor? o Approach the Clerk, and ask for a discharge petition. o Ask people to sign petition; need 218 signatures (absolute majority) o In our class, 67 seats so 34 signatures are required o Waiting period of approximately 7 days o Bill then gets an automatic vote on the floor  Suppose your bill passes a policy committee but the Rules Committee refuses to pass a “rule” (i.e. resolution to all the floor to consider your bill). How can you respond? o Ask to put the bill on the suspension-of-the-rules calendar o Discharge the “rule” (i.e. the resolution you sent to the Rules Committee) from the Rules Committee o If it was just the Chair who opposed the bill, use the rider tactic within the Rules Committee o Use the rider tactic on the floor  A majority of members said they were in favor of Inhofe’s resolution. What hurdles did he still have to overcome to pass his resolution? o Abolish the “secrecy rule” which protected the names of members who signed discharge petitions (Inhofe’s resolution would make these names public) o Inhofe writes a resolution H. Res. … o Clerk directs the resolution to Rules Committee, which at the time the Republicans were a minority o Democrats controlled Rules Committee, and they refused to mark the bill up or send it to the floor o Inhofe started a discharge petition for his resolution and encouraged people who signed it to try and memorize the names on the list o Once he had the names, Inhofe gave a list of members who refused to sign it to a major newspaper/periodical o Pressure resulted in enough signatures  Why are there so few discharge petitions? o Petitions undermine the authority/expertise of majority leadership/committees o If committee is representative of the House then if a majority of the committee opposes then so will a majority of the House o If the number of signatures approaches 218, the committee often releases the bill Thursday  Two more single-dimension legislature examples  Krehbiel’s last two sentences of Section IV of his notes on “Pivotal Politics” says: “Therefore the bill b* represents the optimal legislation given the 3/5th senator’s pivotal status. It leaves the filibuster pivot f indifferent between the bill and the right-of-center status quo.” Are there any facts on p. 17 that contradict this statement? o Someone to the right of the status quo (far right) will filibuster o Senators 1-60 will try to invoke cloture o Krehbiel calls the most difficult person to get on the cloture coalition (farthest right on the 1-60 coalition) the filibuster pivot o Say status quo is 62.5. Median voter at 50 will try to propose 57.5001 bill to get the filibuster pivot on the 1-60 coalition while getting a policy that is better than 60 o 57.5001 is b* since it leaves filibuster pivot indifferent between the status quo and the bill o Facts on p. 17 that contradict  Final vote: 71 to 27  Should have been 60 to 38 o Why does a filibuster pivot not always yield 60 to 40?  Suppose median is 50 and status quo is far to the right (say above 70). Then the median will propose its own ideal p
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