ICYMI: Top reads on Congress
Don Wolfensberger, “House subpoena fights imperil interbranch comity,” The Hill:
Never before has a president signaled that his administration will resist all subpoenas issued by one house of Congress because it is under the control of the opposition party. If the art of the deal now means “no deal” unless on my terms, then our constitutional system of shared powers and checks and balances is in grave peril.
Ken Hughes, “Will Trump’s use of executive privilege help him avoid congressional oversight? It didn’t help Richard Nixon,” The Conversation:
“To block current and former White House aides from testifying before Congress, Nixon claimed that “executive privilege” shielded presidential conversations from congressional oversight. And just as Trump claimed on Wednesday that executive privilege allows him to withhold the complete, unredacted Mueller report from Congress, Nixon claimed it allowed him to withhold executive branch documents.”
Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia, “Trump oversight fight raises new alarms about shattered precedents,” Politico:
“President Donald Trump’s increasingly bitter clashes with Congress aren’t just infuriating Democrats and sparking talk of impeachment. They are setting precedents for the exercise of presidential power and authority that could change Washington for years to come.”
Katherine Tully-McManus, “House spending panel advances measure boosting congressional funding,” Roll Call:
“The House Appropriations Committee advanced a $3.97 billion fiscal 2020 Legislative Branch spending measure Thursday, following tension over total funding levels and the absence of a final budget agreement.”
Josh Huder, “The new majority and historic interbranch conflict: New members may drag their feet,” The Government Affairs Institute:
Many recent “insecure” majorities worry about their tenuous hold on the majority, a concern that prompts a variety of electorally-minded activities, like posturing and messaging rather than crafting difficult compromises necessary for policy success. Vulnerable members foment this anxiety.
Jessica Anderson, “For Whom Does the Majority Rule?” Real Clear Policy:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has repeatedly exercised her power in ways that deny Republican members the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Americans they represent. However, just as the Bill of Rights assures certain rights for all Americans, so the rules of the House assure a few basic rights to the minority party.”
Jennifer Steinhauer, “These female veterans reached Congress. Now they want to recruit others,” The Washington Post:
Marrying the growing political muscle of women and veterans in American politics, a group of female freshmen lawmakers who served in the military and intelligence agencies are helping recruit more like them to run for office. Their new group, the Service First Women’s Victory Fund, will raise money for new female Democratic candidates with national security backgrounds and create a series of policy forums to help elevate the profiles of those already in office.
Katherine Tully-McManus, “Lawmakers explore House-wide paid family leave policy,” Roll Call:
House lawmakers are interested in what a chamber-wide paid family leave policy would look like and how much it would cost. And staffers are likely curious, too. Currently, paid maternity and paternity leave for congressional staff remains entirely at the whim of individual members.
Clyde McGrady, “Former congressional pages: Bring back scandal-plagued program,” Roll Call:
At least one current congressman is hoping to change that. Rep. Bobby Rush introduced a measure this month that would reinstate the House page program, which he considers vital because it “fosters bipartisan civic engagement and creates a new generation of leaders,” according to a statement. In the meantime, the Senate program continues, going strong since the 19th century. And veteran pages are remembering the past.