LegBranch Event

POSTPONED: Congress Overwhelmed: The Decline in Congressional Capacity and Prospects for Reform

When: February 2, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET
Where: Zoom webinar

  • Bettina Poirier, Adjunct Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law
  • Lee Drutman, Senior Fellow, Political Reform Program, New America
  • Dr. Tim LaPira, Coordinator, Government Relations Certificate program, James Madison University
  • Kevin Kosar, Resident Scholar, AEI


Congress Overwhelmed, an important new book edited by Timothy M. Lapira, Lee Drutman, and Kevin R. Kosar, presents the provocative thesis that a decline in congressional capacity is responsible for much of our contemporary political dysfunction. The book’s essays explore topics such as the role of congressional pay in developing expertise and why the efficacy of the legislature has lagged behind other branches of government. Perhaps most importantly, Congress Overwhelmed highlights the many ways in which our political outcomes could be improved by fundamental structural reforms. Please join Professor Bettina Poirier, Director of AU’s Program on Legislative Negotiation and former Senior Congressional Staffer, as she sits down with LaPira, Drutman, and Kosar to discuss their ideas for fixing the problems that currently ail Congress. This event is a joint effort by the R Street Institute, AU’s Program on Legislative Negotiation, the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group, the AU Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the AU Sine Institute.


Recommended reading:
Congress Overwhelmed, Link

Professor Bettina Poirier Biography, Link

Lee Drutman Biography, Link

Dr. Tim LaPira Biography, Link

Kevin Kosar Biography, Link