Jeffery A. Jenkins is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 601 University Place, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1006.
Parties as Procedural Coalitions in Congress: An Examination of Differing Career Tracks
Version of Record online: 7 JAN 2011
2005 Comparative Legislative Research Center at the University of Iowa
Legislative Studies Quarterly
Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 365–389, August 2005
How to Cite
JENKINS, J. A., CRESPIN, M. H. and CARSON, J. L. (2005), Parties as Procedural Coalitions in Congress: An Examination of Differing Career Tracks. Legislative Studies Quarterly, 30: 365–389. doi: 10.3162/036298005X201590
- Issue online: 7 JAN 2011
- Version of Record online: 7 JAN 2011
We examine the degree to which parties act as procedural coalitions in Congress by testing predictions from the party cartel theory (Cox and McCubbins 1993, 1994, 2002). We gain leverage on the question of party influence in Congress by focusing on three types of House members: reelection seekers, higher-office seekers, and retiring members. We argue that retiring House members are no longer susceptible to party pressure, making them the perfect means (when compared to higher-office seekers and reelection seekers) to determine the existence of party influence. Results from a pooled, cross-sectional analysis of the 94th through 105th Congresses (1975–98) suggest that party influence is indeed present in Congress, especially where the party cartel theory predicts: on procedural, rather than final-passage, votes. Moreover, we find that procedural party influence is almost exclusively the domain of the majority party. This latter finding is especially important because most prior studies have been limited to investigating interparty influence only.