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E.E. Schattschneider Award ($500).

For the best doctoral dissertation completed and accepted in 1998 or 1999 in the field of American government and politics.

Award Committee: Luis Fraga, Stanford University, chair; Karen O'Connor, American University; and Howard Rosenthal, Princeton University.

Recipient: Glen S. Krutz, Arizona State University

Dissertation: "Explaining Institutional Change: The Rise and Impact of Omnibus Legislating"

Dissertation Chair: Jon Bond, Texas A&M University

Citation: In this extremely creative and insightful dissertation, Glen Krutz argues that the increased use of omnibus legislation is an effective mechanism used by both President and Congress to achieve policy goals in an environment of growing issue complexity. Although omnibus legislation has been used since the 81st Congress in 1949-50, it has become more and more common in national legislation. It now comprises almost twenty percent of all bills enacted. Building upon important work in Congressional decision making, divided government, and budgetary politics, Krutz's sophisticated integration of theoretical literatures and his empirical examination of over 1,000 major bills from 1949-94 reveals that "omnibus legislation is a way to manage uncertainty in legislative institutions in order to get things done, and that leaders, members, and the president all gain something in striking omnibus bargains." The analytical design that engages both microfactors of strategic bargaining and macro-factors such as ins titutional constraints allows Krutz to make a major contribution to our understanding of how American government continues to evolve in ways that result in legislative productivity. As Krutz so eloquently states, "[Omnibus bills] provide a way to circumvent the pressures of deficit politics and issue complexity, the gridlock of divided government, and the gridlock of committee jurisdiction fragmentation. In this regard, omnibus bills tell a collective story of successful strategic-level and institutional adaptation to challenging circumstances." Dr. Krutz has made a major contribution to our understanding of American national institutions that will be cited favorably for many years to come.

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Publication:PS: Political Science & Politics
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:312
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