Our American Discourse, Ep. 21: How the Senate Can Beat Gridlock—and Why That’s Not Always a Good Thing

Americans are fed up with gridlock. Congress is one of the least popular institutions in the country. So you might think the solution is for legislators to pass major legislation. But what if the solution is even more controversial than the problem? If you’ve heard of “budget reconciliation,” you probably didn’t hear unanimously good things. That’s because it’s a risky game…a fascinating, strategic game deep in the trenches of our democratic tug-of-war.

In this episode, Molly E. Reynolds teaches us how budget reconciliation works, where it came from, how it’s being wielded, and why you should care.

Dr. Reynolds is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and the author of the recent book Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate. To learn more, you can go to https://www.brookings.edu/experts/molly-e-reynolds/.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, or Stitcher.


“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey and Ryan Hedden.