Could the Modern Senate Manage an Open-Amendment Process?

Legislative Process By Kevin R. Kosar January 1, 2024

Americans who tune into C-SPAN to see the Senate at work may well be surprised by what they do not see: members of the “world’s greatest deliberative body” debating on the floor and voting on amendments. Instead, legislation tends to get passed under unanimous concent, wherein each and every senator agrees to vote yes and not push for changes to the bill.

Why does the Senate work this way? This short paper explains the state of play, and considers whether the chamber could allow more amendments.


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