The ideological ends against the middle: House roll call votes on normal trade relation status for china, 1990-2000

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Abstract

From 1990 to 1999, the House of Representatives held roll call votes to attempt to overturn presidential extensions of Normal Trade Relation (NTR) status to China. What was once a routine matter attracting little congressional attention became a highly divisive matter. Interestingly, the coalition that formed to oppose such extensions was a partnership of strange bedfellows: extreme liberals joining their far-right colleagues to try to rescind the president's extension of normal trade status for China. When the distribution of opposition on the yearly extensions of NTR is compared to that on the vote to approve permanent NTR (PNTR) for China, the ideological distribution of opponents changes noticeably. I argue that important procedural differences between the votes on the yearly extension, and PNTR, serve to explain why ideologically extreme members formed their strange alliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-70
Number of pages18
JournalCongress and the Presidency
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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