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Senators as Political Entrepreneurs: Using Bill Sponsorship to Shape Legislative Agendas

Wendy J. Schiller
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 186-203
DOI: 10.2307/2111763
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111763
Page Count: 18
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Senators as Political Entrepreneurs: Using Bill Sponsorship to Shape Legislative Agendas
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Abstract

The interaction of individual legislators with their institutional environment is explored in a study of how and why United States senators use bill sponsorship to help construct their legislative agendas. A senator's use of bill sponsorship is a function of institutional and political variables including seniority, proximity of reelection, size of state economy, staff size, committee membership and committee positions. Regression analysis and interviews with Senate legislative staff are used to predict and explain the number of bills senators introduce. Senators are constrained in their use of bill sponsorship by a combination of institutional and political forces. This research suggests that current views of the Senate as a place that lacks structure and predictability in its operations may be overstated.

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