By Marian Currinder

Philip A. Wallach, “Congress: Difficult by Design,” National Review:

“Congress is an embodiment of America’s unmatched commitment to pluralism. As such, it deserves to be mended rather than ended. Efforts to reform Congress will be fraught and messy, but in the past they have succeeded in spite of widespread skepticism.”

Jay Cost, “The Senate and the Supreme Court Have Been Granted Too Much Power,” National Review:

“For my part, I am ready to have a constitutional debate over the structure of our government — including whether equal apportionment of the Senate makes sense. But in return, I demand a constitutional debate over the powers of our government.”

Betsy Wright Hawkings, “Congress stops its starvation diet,” The Hill:

“This past week, reversing a years-long trend of chronic underfunding, the House and Senate approved a Legislative Branch appropriations bill that puts Congress on a trajectory to restore its capacity to function and govern more effectively.”

Elaina Plott, “A New Petition From House Democrats Could Complicate Nancy Pelosi’s Future,” The Atlantic:

“At least 10 Democrats in the lower chamber have signed on to a letter to Caucus Chair Joe Crowley seeking a change to caucus rules that would raise the number of votes required to nominate a candidate for speaker.”

John Bresnahan, “Democratic rebels try to change rules on Pelosi,” Politico:

“A group of House Democrats is trying to change party rules to require 218 Democratic votes alone for their speaker nominee, a shot at Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.”

Molly E. Reynolds and Peter Hanson, “There might not be a government shutdown this year. This is big news,” Washington Post:

“Has budget sanity returned to Congress? Not so fast. Special circumstances greased the skids this year. But deep political divisions will continue to generate budget crises, increasing pressure on lawmakers to revamp budget laws designed for the politics of the Watergate-era.”

Michael Tanner, “Congress Finds a New Excuse to Avoid Balancing America’s Books,” National Review:

“But not to worry; both the Left and Right have discovered a magic money tree in the form of a concept known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), an idea prominently promulgated by Bernie Sanders’s chief economic adviser, Stephanie Kelton, that is now being used to argue that lawmakers shouldn’t worry about the size of the national debt.”

Kellie Mejdrich, “Leahy Endorses Return of Spending Bill Earmarks,” Roll Call:

“The top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee would like to bring earmarks back to the appropriations process, restoring a practice banned in 2011 after several years of scandals and negative publicity.”

Thomas Spulak and George Crawford, “How to fix Congress in one step,” Politico:

“Dear next Speaker: Restore authority to the Rules Committee, and you will take a giant step towards restoring sanity and legitimacy to Congress.”

John Bresnahan and Nolan D. McCaskill, “Meet the Democrats poised to torment Trump,” Politico:

“These veteran Democrats have served in the majority and minority, and they have a long list of bills they want to push, even if Trump and Senate Republicans can make sure those measures never becomes law.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “Public-Facing Congressional Research Reports Site Launches to Criticism,” Roll Call:

“Government transparency advocates say the content of the new website does not meet the requirements set out in law. Of the 627 reports available on the site, there are no reports from before January 2018. That is not a comprehensive collection of so-called active reports, defined as “current and relative to the legislative agenda.””

Shawn Zeller, “Primary Challengers Aren’t Always More Partisan in Congress,” Roll Call:

“The challengers who have defeated incumbents in primaries, starting with the tea party election of 2010 through the 2016 campaign, are for the most part more partisan than their predecessors. But the sample size is small and, in some cases, the new representative or senator has been more willing to work with those on the other side of the aisle.”

Elana Schor, “Ex-aides in Hill sexual harassment scandals tell Congress: Finalize a misconduct deal,” Politico:

“Seven women who have come forward about experiencing sexual harassment while they worked in Congress made a public plea Thursday for lawmakers to finalize a deal to strengthen Capitol Hill’s misconduct policing system.”

Ryan Kelly, “It Can Take Years for a Lawmaker to Get a Bill Enacted,” Roll Call:

“Less than a third of the current members of the House had one of their bills signed into law in their first term. The Senate, with fewer members and generally more legislative experience, has a steeper learning curve. Only 12 of the current senators completed or went past their first term with a law to their name.”

Michael Dean McGrady Jr., “Paying congressional interns is a good thing,” Medium:

“While some fiscal conservatives may be skeptical, in actuality these newly approved funds for intern salaries presents a set of unique opportunities to improve human capital on Capitol Hill.”

Alex Gangitano, “Congress’ Hurricane Caucus Keeps On Growing,” Roll Call:

“You can be someone who — as a member of Congress — can be as helpful to your local officials, your constituents, as you possibly can,” she said. “It is important for everyone … to know that the federal government is there.”

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Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a senior fellow with the R Street Institute’s Governance Project and editor of LegBranch.org. Marian previously served as senio...