Date of Original Version

6-2012

Type

Conference Proceeding

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

First Page

793

Last Page

802

Rights Management

Copyright 2013 ACL

Abstract or Description

A U.S. Congressional bill is a textual artifact that must pass through a series of hurdles to become a law. In this paper, we focus on one of the most precarious and least understood stages in a bill’s life: its consideration, behind closed doors, by a Congressional committee. We construct predictive models of whether a bill will survive committee, starting with a strong, novel baseline that uses features of the bill’s sponsor and the committee it is referred to. We augment the model with information from the contents of bills, comparing different hypotheses about how a committee decides a bill’s fate. These models give significant reductions in prediction error and highlight the importance of bill substance in explanations of policy-making and agenda-setting.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Published In

Proceedings of the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, 793-802.