James Wallner researches and writes about Congress, especially the Senate, the separation of powers, legislative procedure and the federal policy process. He also serves as a professorial lecturer in the Department of Government at American University, and is a fellow at American University’s Center of Congressional and Presidential Studies.

James joined R Street from the Heritage Foundation, where he was group vice president for research. Earlier in his career, he was executive director of the Senate Steering Committee during the chairmanships of Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). He also has served as legislative director to Toomey and to former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala).

James is the author of two books: The Death of Deliberation: Partisanship and Polarization in the United States Senate (2013) and On Parliamentary War: Partisan Conflict and Procedural Change in the United States Senate (2017).

James received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in politics from the Catholic University of America. He also holds a master’s in international and European politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

He currently lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Kimberly, two children and two golden retrievers.


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