Michelle Whyman

Award Information

Negotiating Agreement in Congress Research Grants 2017

The Provision Timeline Database: Connecting Compromise in Congress with Legislative Durability

I am applying for this grant to produce an interactive data visualization website that houses the “Provision Timeline Database” and allows users to explore patterns of lawmaking and durability over the entire span of United States history. The visualization tool imbedded in the proposed website would enable users to see the big picture of U.S. lawmaking by aggregating all provisions of federal law and following their progress through Congress and their lifecycle after passage. The research using this data demonstrates that the legislators’ willingness to compromise on policy throughout the legislative process increases the durability of the provisions they enact. Passing durable law requires that legislators refrain from using omnibus legislation as a vehicle for controversial provisions, convince a supermajority of legislators to compromise on the substance of legislation, and adopt procedures that democratize the House and allow sufficient time for deliberation.