Russell W. Mills

Associate Professor, Political ScienceBowling Green State University

Award Information

Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants 2016

Associate Professor, Political Science

Vegan Pork: Congressional Letter-Marking and the Challenge of Negotiating Agreement in Congress

The ban on earmarks in both the House and Senate has resulted in a new practice for securing distributive benefits called letter-marking. The shift to letter-marking has made it more difficult for Congressional leaders to persuade rank and file members to vote for general interest legislation because agencies, not leadership, control the allocation of projects. This project explores the institutional determinants of letter-marking and how the emergence of this practice has reduced the power of Congress relative to the executive branch while reducing the possibility of negotiating agreement in Congress.