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Paul Kane, “Want Congress to look more like the people it serves? Provide member housing, pay staff more,” Washington Post:

“Two of those possibilities should be considered next year in a bipartisan fashion: affordable housing for lawmakers and a significant pay raise for the legions of mid-level staff working countless hours on Capitol Hill.”

Meredith McGehee, “Do you want to drain the swamp? Then start investing in Congress,” The Hill:

“Congress should invest more in itself, including attracting and retaining talented staff, allocating greater resources to member offices and committees, and prioritizing subject matter expertise in the halls on Capitol Hill.”

Jim Newell, “Pelosi Wins the Democrats’ Nomination for Speaker—but It Ain’t Over Yet,” Slate:

“Despite a narrative that rapidly swings from “she’s doomed!” to “she’s crushed the rebellion!” after each development, Pelosi’s math problem has remained roughly the same for the past few weeks.”

Molly E. Reynolds, “Four key questions about Nancy Pelosi’s bid to be the next speaker of the House,” Brookings FixGov:

“If Pelosi is able to navigate her way to victory in the speakership race, it will be another reminder of her effectiveness at managing the competing interests that make up her party.”

Ruth Bloch Rubin, “Will Nancy Pelosi be the next speaker of the House? Here are 4 lessons for her challengers,” Washington Post:

“But Pelosi is adamant that she will stick it out and win. In a news conference last week, she goaded potential opponents: “Come on in, the water’s fine.” Why is Pelosi so confident? We can find clues in past speakership fights.”

Elaine Kamarack, “Why Nancy Pelosi Deserves to Be Speaker,” New York Times:

“Even her detractors say that she’s best at one of the most critical, if not most critical, roles of speaker, which is to court votes and count votes. Counting is a lot more complicated than conducting a survey. It involves understanding the political challenges of each and every member of Congress and then devising a legislative package that can pass.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Problem Solvers to Back Pelosi for Speaker After Reaching Agreement on Rules Changes,” Roll Call:

“Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus extracted concessions from Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday regarding changes to House rules in exchange for support from eight holdouts for her speaker bid.”

Mark Strand, “Deadlock for Speaker? Try Looking Outside the Chamber,” RCP:

“If Nancy Pelosi cannot get 218 votes for speaker, and there is no apparent alternative candidate, Congress might consider electing an outside person as a reform speaker. While it has never happened before, the Constitution allows it in Article I, Section 2.”

Paul Kane, “Democratic rising stars in the House grab lower rungs of power as veterans retain higher slots,” Washington Post:

“In many ways, these leadership elections serve as the informal start in the next race for House speaker — even before Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has formally locked down the necessary votes to return to the rostrum overseeing the House.”

Rachel Bade, “Freshman Dems demand more power from Pelosi,” Politico:

“A group of newly elected House Democrats are banding together to leverage more power in the next Congress, crafting a letter that calls for greater representation on powerful committees and in midlevel-leadership posts as well as frequent meetings with leadership.”

Linda Peek Schacht, “The challenge of opposition leadership in the age of Trump,” Brookings FixGov:

“But there are lessons and cautionary tales for today—for House leadership and members—in the 1986 majority leader race and what led up to it. Lessons on understanding the role of the leader, on sharing power, and on facing a president adept and unafraid to use the communication vehicle reaching most Americans.”

Jonathan Bernstein, “Here’s How New House Members Can Show Their Clout,” Bloomberg:

“Unfortunately, their mostly reasonable demands don’t include the one that would really shake things up in their favor: stronger House subcommittees.”

Douglas L. Kriner and Eric Schickler, “What can House Democrats accomplish with their new oversight and investigative powers?” Washington Post:

“Some observers warn Democrats not to push too far too fast, lest they risk a backlash. But a coherent, vigorous investigative strategy can erode President Trump’s support, leading to policy and political gains for the Democrats.”

Bradford Fitch, “This Is Not Your Father’s Congress,” Roll Call:

“As the freshman members who will be part of the 116th Congress orient to Capitol Hill this month, there are things that have changed about the job, and things that have not. (For more on the current requirements, the Congressional Management Foundation has published a new “Job Description for a Member of Congress.”)”

Lindsey McPherson, “Blue Dog Coalition Elects 3 New Co-Chairs to Lead Them in Next Congress,” Roll Call:

“The Blue Dog Coalition on Tuesday elected three new co-chairs — all current freshmen — to lead the group of two dozen fiscally conservative Democrats in the next Congress.”

Rachel Bade, “‘Congress wasn’t built for members like me’,” Politico:

“A record 102 women were elected in the midterms, a total that includes several moms with young children. The influx is forcing lawmakers to reassess policies to make Capitol Hill more female- and parent-friendly.”

Emily Cochrane, “Congress’s Lame-Duck Session: Critical Bills, Looming Deadlines, Little Unity,” New York Times:

“Lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill this week face a reckoning with an unwelcome reality of a gridlocked Washington: the lame-duck session’s growing pile of unresolved, but critical, legislation and a narrow window to act.”

Sarah A. Binder, Molly E. Reynolds and Fred Dews, “Legislation or gridlock after the 2018 midterms?” Brookings Podcast:

“Sarah Binder, a senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, and Molly Reynolds, a fellow also in Governance Studies, discuss politics and policy in the House and Senate following the 2018 midterm elections. What will change? What will stay the same? What are the prospects for bipartisan legislating? Will Democrats use their new House majority for pursuing a legislative agenda, investigating the Trump administration, or both?”

Sarah Ferris, “‘We got gamed’: Ryan’s dream of budget reform goes poof,” Politico:

“A special panel dreamed up by Speaker Paul Ryan to end the constant cycle of government shutdowns crashed and burned on Thursday. The special panel tasked with recommending budget fixes overwhelmingly rejected its own set of proposals, even after lawmakers admitted the package included only modest changes to the way Congress approves budgets and funds the government.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “House Democrats Release 2019 Legislative Schedule,” Roll Call:

“House Democrats have released the chamber’s floor schedule for 2019, which includes 130 days in session over 33 weeks and was tailored to accommodate the influx of lawmakers with young families joining the House next year.”

Catie Edmonson and Jasmine C. Lee, “Meet the New Freshmen in Congress: More Democrats, Diversity and Women,” New York Times:

“The congressional freshman class of 2019 is perhaps best described in superlatives. It is the most racially diverse and most female group of representatives ever elected to the House, whose history spans more than 200 years.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “High-Stakes Lottery Will Land New Members in Capitol Hill Offices,” Roll Call:

“Every two years, the office lottery that closes out new member orientation becomes a delicate game of chance that will determine who gets choice workspace — and who must toil in the congressional badlands.”

Stephanie Akin, “How FEC Babysitting Decision Could Pave Way for More Hill Diversity,” Roll Call:

“All that changed for McGrath and a handful of other candidates with young children in May, when the Federal Election Commission determined for the first time ever that child care was a legitimate campaign expense — on par with polling or campaign signs.”

Niels Lesniewski, “Delicate Negotiations Ahead Over Senate Committee Ratios, Seats,” Roll Call:

“In a one-seat majority chamber, Republicans have had a one-senator advantage on each standing committee. For McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York, adjusting some committees will be easier than others.”

Greg Martin and Steven Webster, “The Real Culprit Behind Geographic Polarization,” The Atlantic:

“Moving patterns, it seems, are not the culprit; there is no intentional big sort. So what explains the existence and recent growth of geographic polarization?”

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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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