How to make Congress work better for the American people

Every few decades, Congress comes to the realization that it needs to fix itself. For the last 50 years, whether due to an imminent crisis or a slow deterioration, special reform committees have been established to deliver reforms on everything from committee operations to congressional ethics. These committees were tasked to diagnose the problems facing the legislative branch and prescribe solutions to make congress more effective. Some ideas worked, some didn’t, and others were put on the shelf and only utilized years later.

The problems today are plain for all to see. Less than 20% of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing. A witness at a recent hearing testified that only 27 percent of U.S. Senators and 16 percent of U.S. Representatives have been in office long enough to have seen the federal funding process work as intended. Earlier this year, a former Member of Congress shared that “the current system encourages good members to leave, just as they are gaining the needed experience to be effective.” Partisanship is up, civility is down. Technology is rapidly changing our world, and Congress has struggled to keep up….(Read more)

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Topics: Reform Efforts