Brookings study points to Harry Reid and Senate Democrats as source of gridlock
By Joel Gehrke
Brookings Institution scholars, inspired by baseball statistics, conducted an analysis of the 113th Congress that points rather directly at the Democrat-controlled Senate as a the locus of congressional gridlock.
The analysis opens with the observation that the House, contrary to expectation, passed twice as many bills as the Senate in 2013. Why? Because of the Senate committee process.
“When we look at this category, then, we begin to understand where the problem lies: even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87 percent of bills die in committee,” Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker write in Politico. “While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon.”
That observation undermines the conventional wisdom about Republican opposition to President Obama causing gridlock. (even taking into account the statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said in 2009 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”)
… One countervailing point against the idea that the committees account for the gridlock: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has the authority to bypass the committee process and bring legislation to the Senate floor for a vote — which he does on controversial issues, such as the unemployment insurance extension