Power and Motion to Recommit

Power and Motion to Recommit

By Keith Krehbiel, Adam Meirowitz
2000Working Paper No. 1645

Motivated by the U.S. Congress's motion to recommit with instructions to report forthwith, a simple spatial model is analyzed to clarify the relationship between early-stage agenda-settings rights of a committee and/or the majority party, a late-stage minimum parliamentary right of the majority party and/or noncommittee member, and the distribution of pwoer over outcomes. The extent to which certain parlimentary rights empower agents is dependent on the relative locations of the exogenous status quo and the preferences of the legislators. Comparative statics are derived on the relationship between proposal order and power by considering a model that allows preference heterogeneity and status quo centrality to vary. Finally, the findings are related to recurring substantive debates on majority-party power and committee power.