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The headlines were inescapable: States faced a financial disaster of epic proportions because of COVID-19. But, the predictions were wrong. In an article for The Conversation, Batten's Raymond Scheppach explains why the disaster never happened.

Congress

Committee chairs have long been considered power brokers for lawmaking, but according to research from the Center for Effective Lawmaking, their lawmaking effectiveness is diminishing. In an op-ed for The Hill, Batten's Craig Volden and Vanderbilt University's Alan E. Wiseman write about the trend.

U.S. Capitol Building

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., along with Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and retired Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., were the most effective Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the recently completed 116th Congress (2019–20), according to new research from Batten's Center for Effective Lawmaking.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats meet with reporters before the House voted to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package on Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In 1974, Congress invented the reconciliation process to reduce deficits. More recently, reconciliation has been used in ways that increase the deficit. Batten’s Ray Scheppach spoke with The Conversation to explain the process.

Neera Tanden

The Biden administration is heading back to square one as the chances for a Neera Tanden confirmation, the president's initial pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget, seems increasingly unlikely to gain enough Senate votes. Batten’s David Leblang spoke to Newsweek about potential candidates under consideration to take Tanden's place.

Gerry_warburg

America cannot go to war unless Congress authorizes it, but Congress has rarely taken a vote to start and end a war. On Julie Rose's "Top of Mind," Batten professor Gerry Warburg explores why Congress leaves it to presidents to expand America's global conflicts. 

maurice_jones

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones spoke at the Batten School in October 2015.

Joe_Biden_2020

As President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees have been named, much of the discussion has been about their ideological leanings. In an article for The Hill, Batten's Craig Volden and Vanderbilt University's Alan E. Wiseman, co-directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, outline why these ideological discussions are too narrow a focus.

tb_silos

In commentary compiled by the Miller Center, Batten Professors Jennifer Lawless, Margaret Foster Riley, Todd Sechser, and Craig Volden weigh in on the 2020 election, offering updates on the latest developments.

Early voting in Virginia began on Sept. 18 and voters have been lining up ever since. (Photo by Ziniu Chen, University Communications)

Batten's Jennifer Lawless, along with William Antholis, and Kyle Kondik, discuss how mail-in and absentee votes are counted, why results could be delayed this year, and how the pandemic has affected the election.