By Marian Currinder

Lee Drutman and Kevin Kosar, “The Other Biggest Problem in Washington,” New York Times:

“A supine Congress unable to hold a president accountable. Members who find the job miserable (except for the status). A persistent problem of understaffing and lack of policy expertise. For decades, Congress has faced these growing problems and others. The Trump era has thrown them into overdrive.”

Jeffrey Rosen, “America is Living James Madison’s Nightmare,” The Atlantic:

“What would Madison make of American democracy today, an era in which Jacksonian populism looks restrained by comparison? Madison’s worst fears of mob rule have been realized—and the cooling mechanisms he designed to slow down the formation of impetuous majorities have broken.”

Jack Crowe, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Calls Kavanaugh Hearings a ‘Highly Partisan Show,’” National Review:

“Contrasting Kavanaugh’s hearings last week with her own, which occurred in 1993, Ginsburg called the partisan grandstanding of Democrats “wrong” and expressed a desire to return a spirit of collegiality to the process.”

Patricia Murphy, “Congress Handled 9/11 and Anthrax. Now It Brings Catastrophe on Itself,” Roll Call:

“We’re now on the doorstep of a constitutional crisis because Democrats and Republicans spend more time attacking each other as enemies, instead of being allies in the fight against the enemies we know this country is facing.”

James M. Banner, Jr., “House Hostility, Senate Smackdowns,” Weekly Standard:

“What’s more, it brings to the fore a subject—verbal abuse and physical violence, rooted in politics, on the floor of the United States Congress—that has never received the attention that Joanne Freeman brings to it. A superb, serious, authoritative, lively, occasionally amusing work of scholarly bravura, her book is also timely—although today’s circumstances, not the author, make that so.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Good Government Groups Urge ‘Systematic Reform’ of House Rules,” Roll Call:

“Twenty outside groups that seek to promote good government sent a letter to House lawmakers Wednesday morning, urging them to take back their individual power and overhaul the chamber’s rules.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Too Soon for Rules Talk, Uneasy House Members Say,” Roll Call:

“Revisiting the House rules is a normal task lawmakers undertake every other fall, but this year, several members are uneasy about beginning that process ahead of a midterm cycle in which the chamber majority could change hands.”

Lindsey McPherson, “15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes,” Roll Call:

“At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.”

Casey Burgat, “Proposed GOP Rule Change Is a No Good, Very Bad Idea,” Real Clear Policy:

“The most obvious implication of this proposal is that it would remove any pretense of individual representation on the part of the members. Instead, if adopted, allegiance to party — and particularly party leaders — would come before district.”

Jonathan Bernstein, “Republicans Want to Change the Rules. They Know It’s a Bad Idea,” Bloomberg:

“Good catch by Casey Burgat, who flags a House Republican proposal to shift more influence within the chamber from individual members to the party leadership by means of a rule change that would threaten committee assignments and chairmanships of those Republicans who vote against their party or sign on to discharge petitions.”

Kris Kolesnik, “GOP destroyed oversight — Dems obligated to clean up mess if elected,” The Hill:

“Oversight by Congress is a lost art. What Republicans have wrought is downright destruction. If Democrats re-take either chamber of Congress in November, they are obligated to resuscitate that function Republicans have allowed to atrophy in service to their president.”

Greg Sargent, “If Democrats win, they’ll have a big mess to clean up,” Washington Post:

“In short: If Democrats do take back some or all of Congress, they’re going to have a lot of cleaning up to do. And while it’s tempting to think that all this means is exercising the oversight on President Trump that Republicans have not, it’s not that simple.”

Sarah Ferris, “House, Senate leaders strike spending deal, tie Trump’s hands on shutdown,” Politico:

“House and Senate spending leaders said Thursday they have struck a deal on a massive package that would fund two-thirds of government, including some of the largest federal agencies — and the bill would also box in President Donald Trump.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “What Congress Wants to Study and ‘Explore’ About Itself,” Roll Call:

“What to do with some basement ambience, Horse-mounted police and Dunkin’ Donuts are but a few questions appropriators want answered as they look to fund Congress and its agencies to the tune of $4.8 billion.”

Jennifer Shutt, “Potential Fiscal Year Move Sows Discord on Select Budget Panel,” Roll Call:

“The federal government may soon operate on a fiscal year that begins on Jan. 1, if the Republican co-chair of a special committee charged with overhauling the budget and appropriations process has his way. But Democrats on the panel are not sold, throwing into doubt tentative plans to release a full slate of recommendations this month.”

Kate Ackley, “Democrats Weighing Earmark Revival if They Take Back House,” Roll Call:

“Numerous congressional insiders — including lawmakers, staff and lobbyists — say that the GOP ban on earmarks has led to increased legislative gridlock on Capitol Hill because it took away pivotal incentives for vote wrangling.”

G. William Hoagland, “What Would Pete Domenici Think?” Roll Call:

“His biggest concern today would be the country’s fiscal outlook. He would be upset that the Republican Party has lost its moorings and thrown away its claims to fiscal responsibility. When he supported the 2001 Bush tax cuts, it was within the framework of reducing a projected surplus, not to expand a deficit.”

Michael Burke, “Pelosi: I’m here as long as Trump is here,” The Hill:

“House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told CNN in an interview set to air Monday that she plans to remain in her role as long as President Trump is on office.”

Rachel Bade, “Power struggle looms for House Republicans,” Politico:

“But behind the scenes, the rivalry between the two men is as intense as ever, as the moment of reckoning to determine who will replace Paul Ryan draws closer — and the prospect of losing the House in the midterms grows.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “Steny Hoyer Touts Oversight and Ethics Standards as Key to Trust in Government,” Roll Call:

“Efforts to boost transparency, ethics and oversight are among House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s strategies for restoring Americans’ trust in government if Democrats win the House majority for the next congress.”

Ella Nilsen, “House Democrats’ top priority if they win in November is a sweeping anti-corruption bill,” Vox:

“The agenda — recently formalized by a House resolution — is designed to rein in the influence of money and lobbying in Washington, expand voting rights in the United States, and increase public financing of campaigns. Democrats are prepping a final version of a bill to be ready to go if they are in charge by January 2019.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “Accountability Groups Back Boards Ban for Lawmakers,” Roll Call:

“Government accountability groups are backing a resolution, to prohibit members of Congress from serving on the boards of publicly held companies.”

Nicholas Fandos, “In an Increasingly Diverse House, Aides Remain Remarkably White,” New York Times:

“House aides write federal policy and multitrillion-dollar budgets, oversee the administration of government and shape the public’s view of Congress, but the top staff members of the House of Representatives are far less racially diverse than the country itself — or even the lawmakers who employ them.”

J.J. McCollough, “Why States Still Matter,” National Journal:

“Assuming existential debates about the Senate will increase as its partisan imbalance grows starker, those supporting the Senate status quo will only be persuasive to the extent that they can remind voters why states matter.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “46 Republicans Call on Ryan, McCarthy to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,” Roll Call:

“Nearly 50 House Republicans are calling on Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to bring a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor before it expires Sept. 30.”

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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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