Kristina Peterson and Andrew Duehren, “Lawmakers Vow to Modernize Congress, One Modem at a Time,” Wall Street Journal:

“Congress is a fixer-upper right now,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer (D., Wash.), the chairman of the panel. “Every couple of decades, Congress establishes a committee like this to look at what’s working and not working.”

Melanie Zanona, “‘They basically have nothing to do’: Trio of Republicans face life in exile,” Politico:

“Duncan Hunter, Chris Collins and Steve King have been excommunicated from the House GOP conference in the most public way possible: stripped of their committee assignments and forced to watch the legislating from the sidelines.”

Max Stier, “How to Break the Shutdown Fever,” Politico:

“Our elected leaders must avoid another disastrous shutdown by finding a solution to the current crisis, but that is not enough. They must also resolve the underlying conditions that allowed the shutdown to happen, ensure it does not occur again and address the fallout from this self-inflicted wound.”

Griffin Connolly, “Lots of legislation would deal with future shutdowns, but most of it DOA,” Roll Call:

“Momentum built in Congress last month to address future government shutdowns, with lawmakers from both parties introducing at least 30 bills in January to curb the effects on government workers, create monetary disincentives for lawmakers and administration appointees to let appropriations lapse, or, in some cases, eliminate the government shutdown altogether.”

Todd S. Purdum, “Kevin McCarthy’s Pyrrhic Victory,” The Atlantic:

“Kevin McCarthy finally has the job he’s dreamed of—chief of his Republican Party in Congress—yet it’s anything but his dream job. He is the leader of the minority in a legislative body in which the minority has no juice. He is not the speaker of the House.”

Niels Lesniewski, “Senate Rules panel could advance plan to cut debate time on Trump nominees next week,” Roll Call:

“Senate Republicans are moving ahead with an effort to effectively change the rules, reducing the amount of debate time allowed on many lower-level nominations by President Donald Trump.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “House offices on timeline to implement anti-harassment policies,” Roll Call:

“The House took steps Thursday to further codify a more appropriate culture on Capitol Hill, following last year’s prolonged dispute over how Congress should protect its own staff from harassment and discrimination.”

Ashley Deeks, “Can Congress Constitutionally Restrict the President’s Troop Withdrawals?” Lawfare:

“To what extent can Congress constitutionally require the president to keep troops overseas? Even though the president has now suggested that he might either retain some troops in Syria or shift troops to Iraq (which would preserve their ability to respond to developments in Syria), and even though he seems to have changed his mind about withdrawing troops from South Korea, these questions may well arise again in short order.”

Jen Patja Howell: Stan Brand on congressional subpoenas and contempt. Lawfare podcast:

“Stan Brand, who served as the general counsel to the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983, talks about the institutional role of the general counsel, the ins and outs of congressional contempt and subpoena enforcement, and the various challenges the House will confront over the next two years.”

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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...

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