Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Advisor

Jeffrey Lazarus

Second Advisor

Amy McKay

Third Advisor

Amy Steigerwalt


The minority party in the House of Representatives possesses few procedural advantages. As a result, it is typically dominated by the majority party. I argue that the minority controls the use of one procedure in the House, the motion to recommit, and that it uses this control to strategically cross-pressure members of the majority party. Ultimately, this cross-pressuring places the minority in a win-win situation where they either receive a policy victory or better election results. The results of this project overwhelming support the theory of cross-pressuring and indicate that the minority is able to design, implement, and reap the benefits of its own strategy in the House.