Presidential success in a bicameral legislature
Linde, Kyla Ashton
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Recent scholarship on presidential success in the legislative arena articulates the president's success as a one shot game: the president takes a position and it either passes or fails one chamber of Congress. While such an avenue is beneficial for several reasons, I maintain that it is more beneficial to consider the president's success in terms of the final outcome. If the purpose of presidential activity is to effect policy, then considering whether or not a bill passed into law is essential. I test such an assumption on an original data set consisting of all bills the president took a position on from 1969 through 2010. I find that unlike individual roll call votes the president is more successful at negative agenda control on the bill level by keeping votes from passing both chambers. Additionally, the party makeup of the legislature has a significantly reduced effect on bills than much of the previous research asserts about individual roll calls.