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Agenda Crossover: The Influence of State Delegations in Congress, Sarah A. Treul

Reviewed by Jennifer L. Selin

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“Academics spend too much time talking about parties and not enough time understanding states” (p. 1). This statement by a member of Congress highlights the importance of understanding the interactions between national legislators who represent the same state. These connections between members of state delegations increasingly have important policy and electoral consequences.

In Agenda Crossover, Sarah A. Treul explores how the relationships among state delegations in Congress can help members represent their constituencies and win reelection. Each member of Congress constructs his or her own issue agenda, defined as a set of issues on which the member sponsors legislation in order to promote the good of the country, the member's political party, and the member's constituency. These issue agendas help legislators send signals about legislative priorities and establish a reputation with constituents, other members of Congress, and observers of the legislative process.

State delegations aid legislators in deciding on which issues to focus their agendas. Members of state delegations assist each other in understanding their constituencies and can provide knowledge about what issues will aid in reelection.

Yet because members of the House of Representatives and the Senate face different incentives when forming their

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