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Kate Ackley, “‘Dead billionaires’ and a tech Peace Corps? Lawmakers float ideas to fix Congress,” Roll Call:

“Hoyer and other lawmakers also called on the committee to recommend better compensation for their employees to help woo a more diverse roster of aides and to retain them, stemming the flow of staffers to higher-paying gigs in the K Street lobbying corridor. Others offered their ideas for improved cybersecurity in the legislative branch; an overhaul of Congress’ budget and appropriations process; and a new congressional calendar to reduce lawmakers’ travel time, among others.”

Rachel Bade and Mike DeBonis, “‘Like herding cats’: Pelosi struggles to unify Democrats after painful fight over anti-Semitism,” Washington Post:

“After a triumphant start this year in which she bested President Trump in an epic showdown over a government shutdown, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now struggling to unify Democrats after two weeks of painful infighting that could have lasting ramifications for her newfound majority and the 2020 election.”

Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris, “Inside Pelosi’s playbook to wrangle the freshmen,” Politico:

“Using strategies she’s honed over decades, the speaker has managed to keep a sprawling freshman class in line — and on her side — despite breaking with them on issues ranging from impeachment to the “Green New Deal.””

Bob Bauer, “Speaker Pelosi and the Norms of Impeachment,” Lawfare:

“Whatever may be said about the merits of the speaker’s position, her remarks are certainly not “precedent.” They carry great weight but only in the current circumstances. They do not establish constraints on future Congresses any more than Ford’s remarks did.”

Rachel Bade and Mike DeBonis, “Pelosi’s caution on impeachment exposes Democratic rift about ousting Trump,”Washington Post:

“Pelosi’s allies believe her skepticism about impeachment protects her moderates in swing districts, gives her an exit strategy should special counsel Robert S. Mueller III find no wrongdoing by the president, and could even strengthen her leverage if something serious arises and Pelosi reverses course to impeach him later.”

Lindsey McPherson, “House Democrats show improved response to Republican messaging votes,” Roll Call:

“House Democrats seem to have sharpened their response to Republican motions to recommit after the GOP twice bested the new majority using the procedural tool this year.”

Don Wolfensberger, “After setbacks, some House Democrats want to repeal a longstanding minority party right,” The Hill:

“Although Democrats pledged last fall that if elected to the majority they would return to the “regular order” of more open committee and floor participation, the talk now about abolishing or severely limiting the minority right to offer a final recommit amendment flies in the face of that promise.”

Scott Wong and Juliegrace Brufke, “House Republicans find silver lining in minority,” The Hill:

“Republicans are adapting to their role in the minority, where messaging — not governing — is now the key focus after Republicans handed over gavels, committee seats and control of the floor to the Democrats. A leaner 197-member GOP conference also means that Republicans have begun to mend some of their rifts and come together as they fight to flip back the House in 2020.”

Marianne Levine, “Senate deals blow to Trump in vote to terminate border emergency,” Politico:

“In a 59-41 vote, the Senate approved a House passed-resolution to block Trump from funding his border wall without congressional approval. The GOP revolt will force Trump to issue the first veto of his presidency.”

James Hohmann, “Trump will soon be forced to issue his first two vetoes, as Congress seeks to wrest back power,” Washington Post:

“Coming from a Senate that’s proved so pliant to Trump’s whims over the past two years, the back-to-back votes are significant and could foreshadow more resistance — or independence — to come.”

Paul C. Light, “How the House should investigate the Trump administration,” Brookings:

“In this paper, Paul Light examines the most significant House investigations after World War II, drawing on this history to identify lessons for developing an impactful probe. Light also explores the potential for high-quality action by the new House majority, and puts forth specific reforms to improve the overall effectiveness of future House investigations.”

Elaine Kamarck, “Congressional investigations: Presidential harassment or constitutional duty?” Brookings FixGov:

“In order to increase the impact of House investigations he argues that the House should create a “Select Committee on Investigatory Practice” to go along with the House Committee on the Modernization of Congress. This committee would create training materials for new investigators and tap into the wealth of experience contained in places like the newly created Levin Center at Wayne State University.”

Geoffrey  Manne and Seth Weinberger, “Time to Rehabilitate the Legislative Veto: How Congress Should Rein in Presidents’ “National Emergency” Powers,” Just Security:

“Indeed, as the current “emergency” demonstrates, congresses and presidents that delegate or receive broadened power must be careful what they wish for. After all, the power you give to “your president” will eventually be in the hands of “their president.””

Sarah Ferris and Heather Caygle, “House Dems to ditch budget and avoid new schism,” Politico:

“Eager to steer clear of another public intraparty battle, House Democrats are expected to avoid a vote on a budget this year, multiple Democratic lawmakers and aides tell POLITICO.”

Paul Kane, “Paid internships are a reality again in Congress after public shaming,” Washington Post:

“On Tuesday, six months after the initial approval, a congressional committee gave the final sign-off on a program that will allow Capitol Hill interns to be paid.”

Justin Fox, “Maybe Washington Does Need More Lawyers,” Bloomberg:

“There’s something different about the new U.S. Senate. For what appears to be the first time ever, lawyers are in the minority in the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” In the House of Representatives, where they fell into the minority in the late 1970s, lawyers are now down to just a third of the total.”

Bridget Bowman, “No caucus, no problem? Some freshman Democrats avoid ideological groups,” Roll Call:

“A handful of freshman Democrats have opted not to join any of the party’s ideological groups: the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, and the centrist New Democrat Coalition.”

Colin Dueck and Mike Gallagher, “Fixing Congress, Fighting China: An Interview with Rep. Mike Gallagher,” The American Interest:

“Since assuming office, Gallagher has emerged as one of the Republican Party’s youngest foreign policy wonks, an outspoken advocate for Congressional reform, and a conservative with an independent streak. He was recently one of only 13 House Republicans to vote against President Trump’s declaration of an emergency on the southern border.”

Haley Bird, “Justin Amash is the loneliest Republican in Congress,” CNN:

“Amash came to Congress with the Tea Party wave in 2010, and although Republicans controlled the House for the entirety of his congressional career until a few months ago, Amash has long been the odd man out.”

Brett Samuels, “Pence loses House office space,” The Hill:

“Vice President Pence no longer has an office on the House side of Congress, with a senior Democratic aide confirming Tuesday that it was part of the latest round of reassignments.”

Paul V. Fontelo, “Members of Congress are rich with student debt,” Roll Call:

“As lawmakers look to reshape the federal loan process in the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a cohort knows firsthand the pain of rising college costs — 68 members, or 13 percent of Congress, reported that either they or their family members are mired in student debt.”

David M. Drucker, “Elise Stefanik is pushing fellow Republicans to confront the party’s woman problem,” Washington Examiner:

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., is pushing fellow Republicans to admit they have a problem and thoroughly re-evaluate their approach to women voters, warning colleagues in Washington that a rocky relationship with this critical bloc is hobbling the party and could prove costly in 2020.”

Thomas Edsall, “No Hate Left Behind,” New York Times:

“Just over 42 percent of the people in each party view the opposition as “downright evil.” In real numbers, this suggests that 48.8 million voters out of the 136.7 million who cast ballots in 2016 believe that members of opposition party are in league with the devil.”

David French, “Partisan Hate Is Becoming a National Crisis,” National Review:

“Taking her words at face value, Pelosi is doing something that more politicians should do when making a momentous decision — considering the consequences not just for one’s partisan tribe but also for the health of the American body politic. Striking this balance increasingly isn’t just a matter of political positioning; it’s a national necessity.”

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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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