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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides a critical overview of some major theoretical perspectives in the literature on party leadership, organization, and activity in the US House from the 1970s on. It then addresses a few of the major issues raised in this work in more detail, and describes some avenues for future research that can build on the solid foundation recent work has offered. The Democratic majority in the House established a series of institutional reforms between 1970 and 1976. Cartel theory gave the greatest attention to negative agenda power. This theory also expected that some features of legislative organization would vary with the homogeneity of preferences within the majority party, and some features would be invariant, and the existence of this constant minimum of party power is the principal difference between the theories.

Keywords: US House, party leadership, legislative organization, Democratic majority, cartel theory, party power, institutional reforms

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