By Marian Currinder

House Leadership

Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, “Pelosi Talks of ‘Bridge’ to New Leader as Democrats Test Her Strength,” NYT:

“While she remains intent on reclaiming the speakership, Ms. Pelosi, 78, has also begun to acknowledge more candidly that the political realities of her party have changed and a transfer of power is coming, sooner or later.”

Mike Lillis, “Pelosi sees defections from an unusual quarter — the left,” The Hill:

“Nancy Pelosi is facing a new problem: an erosion of support from progressives who have long flocked to her side.”

Caitlin Yilek, “Republicans want Steve Scalise as next House speaker, not Kevin McCarthy,” Washington Examiner:

“A new Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday shows 18 percent of Republican voters would like to see Scalise in the position, while 11 percent want Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is expected to replace Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., once he gives up his post at the end of the current term, came in third with 9 percent.”

Congress, Miscellaneous

James Wallner, “Confirmation Wars and Constitutional Authority, Part I,” Law and Liberty:

“Ending the confirmation wars and restoring the Senate’s proper role in debates over controversial judicial nominees requires that its members acknowledge their legitimate means as well as the rightful ends of the process.”

James Wallner, “Confirmation Wars and Constitutional Authority, Part II,” Law and Liberty:

“Republicans’ constant invocation of principle in the confirmation wars hides the fact that they instead appear to be rationalizing whatever actions are needed to confirm controversial judicial nominees when they are nominated by a Republican and to oppose them when nominated by a Democrat.”

Walter Shapiro, “Instead of Oversight, This Congress Believes in Under-Sight,” Roll Call:

“The truth is that instead of practicing oversight, this Republican Congress specializes in under-sight. No offense by Trump and his henchmen is so big that it can’t be ignored by GOP committee chairmen.”

Brian D. Miller, “Independence of inspectors general should not be compromised by Congress,” The Hill:

“Inspectors general are popular with Congress right now. Conventional wisdom now seems to be: Let’s get the IG to look into it. I welcome the newly found appreciation for IGs, but I fear IGs may be the victim of their own success.”

Niels Lesniewski, “Trump Won’t Follow Congressional Directives on Russia and Crimea,” Roll Call:

“President Donald Trump objects to an effort by Congress to prevent his administration from recognizing Crimea as part of Russia. Crimea is a region in Ukraine that has been occupied by Russia for several years, with the Russian Federation having claimed to have annexed the region in March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the territorial matter is settled, but many in Washington disagree.”

Maya Kornberg, “Plenty of congressional hearings are not circuses. Here’s how we know,” Washington Post:

“But congressional hearings are not just theater. Although the overall number of committee hearings devoted to policy problems as well as the number of policy staff are both declining, committee hearings can bring lawmakers diverse and analytical information. Under the right conditions, lawmakers might even learn from these interactions.”

Congress of Tomorrow, “Three Reasons Why Congress Needs a New Schedule,” BPC:

“The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, a diverse group of civic leaders and former elected officials from across the political spectrum, issued a report with recommendations to revitalize Congress and strengthen our democracy. Among the list of recommendations is a synchronized, five-day workweek schedule with three weeks in session followed by one-week district work periods.”

Joe Lieberman, “Why Congress Can’t Fix Even the Small Things,” Time:

“You’d think Washington would work the same way — that after a bill becomes a law, Congress would go back and correct any mistakes and keep the law current. But over the last several years, this entirely sensible norm has fallen out of favor.”

Matt Glassman, “Congressional Capacity, “Government Contributions,” and Legislative Branch Spending Visibility,” Notice and Comment:

“It’s no secret that one of the biggest obstacles to increased congressional capacity is politial: Members of Congress are loathe to take votes to increase spending on their own staff. It’s not that they personally oppose it—I’ve nevertalked to a member in private who didn’t wish they could have more staff and pay them better—but instead a simple iron electoral logic: voters hate it.”

Elana Schor and Heather Caygle, “Congress dawdles as #MeToo scandals rage on,” Politico:

“Nearly a year after the #MeToo movement surged into the national consciousness, Congress is still far from a final deal on modernizing its own workplace harassment rules despite a slew of career-ending scandals in both parties.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Amid Chris Collins Scandal, Pelosi Vows Ethics Overhaul Under Democratic Majority,” Roll Call:

“The minority leader’s comments came in a Dear Colleague letter urging House Democrats to highlight the part of the caucus’s rebranded “For the People” agenda that calls for cleaning up corruption in Washington.”

Jennifer Shutt, “House GOP Appropriators Facing Steep Turnover in 116th Congress,” Roll Call:

“A Democratic “wave” this November, should one materialize, could result in the departure of as many as five senior House Republican appropriators, which would mark the biggest wipeout of major players from one side of the dais in 26 years.”

Meredith McGehee, “Congress should prohibit members from serving on company boards,” The Hill:

“A member of Congress’ first responsibility is to the public and their constituents to make the best possible decisions on their behalf. The responsibility of a board member of a corporation is a fiduciary one; that is, to maximize profit. These two roles cannot coexist without creating conflicts of interest, as the case of Collins, who also apparently spent work hours to successfully induce other members of Congress to invest in the company, clearly shows.”

Matthew Yglesias, “Democrats are nominating an unprecedented number of women to run for Congress,” Vox:

“So far across the 41 states that have held their primaries, 41 percent of all Democratic Party nominees — and 48 percent of all non-incumbent nominees — are women, a level that simply obliterates all previous records.”


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Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a permanent staffer of the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress as of December 2019. ...

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