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Lee Drutman, “Can Congress fix itself?” Vox:

“The committee begins its work with some big limits. It is initially authorized for only one year and can only issue recommendations supported by two-thirds of its members. The Senate has not created a companion committee, and unlike in past congressional reform efforts, this is not a “joint” committee. If we expect this committee to truly modernize Congress in a year, we’re setting it up for failure. But if we expect the committee to solve a few easy problems, and then catalyze a several-year process of big reform, it may yet succeed.”

Mike Lillis, “Pelosi runs tight ship as more stormy waters await,” The Hill:

“Early cracks in the diverse House Democratic Caucus are creating new challenges for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has run a tight ship since taking the gavel but faces policy battles that will test both party unity and her capacity to bridge internal divides.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “With Procedural Maneuver, House G.O.P. Elevates Anti-Semitism as Political Issue,” New York Times:

“The House voted unanimously on Wednesday to condemn anti-Semitism and “all attempts to delegitimize and deny Israel’s right to exist,” adopting language put forth by Republicans who have spent weeks trying to paint two freshman Democrats as anti-Semites and dozens of other Democrats as their enablers.”

Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris, “Pelosi’s freshmen fracture amid GOP pressure,” Politico:

“As the GOP continues to peel off rank-and-file Democrats, party leaders have grown alarmed — and are increasingly engaged in finger-pointing about who is to blame for the disunity and what to do about it, according to interviews with nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and aides.”

Dana Bash and Bridget Nolan, “Bipartisanship: Two history-making women already showing how it’s done,” CNN:

“The last time two women led a House committee, the year was 1977 and the panel was the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop. Forty-two years later, another female duo is in control. This time it’s one of the most powerful committees in Congress — the House Appropriations Committee — which is at the center of congressional power and spending.”

Emily Cochrane, “Unlikely Partnership in House Gives Lawmakers Hope for Border Deal,” New York Times:

“Because of their committee ranks, both women represent House party leaders on the bipartisan panel of lawmakers negotiating a compromise on border security, and their unlikely partnership — Ms. Lowey, 81, is an ardent liberal, and Ms. Granger, 76, is a fierce conservative — is one reason their colleagues believe they can reach an agreement before government funding again lapses on Friday.”

Li Zhou, “Senate Republicans want to change the rules to push through more Trump nominees,” Vox:

“A resolution from Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and James Lankford (R-OK) want to curb debate time to two hours per nominee, thereby expediting the process significantly — and increasing the number of district judges the Senate could confirm.”

James Wallner, “Senate Republicans blame Democrats for a problem the GOP helped create,” Washington Examiner:

“On closer inspection, the evidence does not support Republican accusations that Democrats’ “historic obstruction” is responsible for delaying the confirmation process. In their rush to judgment, Republicans have failed to see that they are instead to blame for the status quo. Considering what happens after senators invoke cloture illustrates the reasons why.”

Morgan Chalfant, “Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump,” The Hill:

“The change allows staff of House committees to conduct depositions without any lawmakers present, freeing up the panels to move through witnesses in their investigations quickly without the constraints of the previous Congress.”

German Lopez, “This is the most diverse Congress ever. But it’s still pretty white,” Vox:

“The current Congress is the most racially diverse in history, but it’s still much whiter than the country overall, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.”

Caroline Kitchener, “Politicians cut deals in Congress’s gym. But it’s not a welcoming place for women,” The Lily:

“The gym at the House of Representatives is one of the few Capitol Hill hangouts where congressmembers from all parties can apolitically commingle. Deep in the bowels of the Rayburn House Office Building, representatives congregate for games of pickup basketball. They spin. They paddle-ball. They once got Xtreme with former House Speaker Paul Ryan. As members return to work out, day after day, the space gives rise to some of the most powerful networking in the world. But it’s rarely used by women.”

Sarah Kliff, “Paid line-standing: the bizarre congressional practice that shocked Ocasio-Cortez, explained,” Vox:

“But line-standing for congressional hearings is, arguably, a different circumstance. These are public hearings that, in theory, are open to all Americans. But hearing rooms don’t always have enough space to accommodate all those interested, and attendees are typically let in on a first-come, first-served basis.”

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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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