Mila Atmos, “Podcast with Brad Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation,” FutureHindsight:

“Brad Fitch is the President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit organization that educates constituents on how Congress works, giving them a stronger voice in policy
outcomes. We discuss the power of in-person meetings, the necessary preparations for successful advocacy, and productive protest.”

Andrew Taylor, “Reforming the Appropriations Process,” National Affairs:

“Everybody knows the federal budget process is broken. Members of Congress, their staffs, executive officials, judges, policy experts, and citizens can all see it plainly. The procedures established nearly a half-century ago are technically still in place, requiring Congress to pass an annual budget resolution as well as appropriations and authorization bills for various areas of government spending. In practice, however, the process has become an artifact — frequently ignored, and rarely used as intended.”

Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson, “Tariff Threats Aside, the Senate is Where Action Goes to Die,” The New York Times:

“Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana reached into his seemingly bottomless well of folksy barbs on Tuesday and said, “There’s a reason that the American people think that members of Congress were born tired and raised lazy.”

The next day, the Senate left for D-Day celebrations after a three-day workweek in which nothing passed. Three minor administration posts were filled on Wednesday, and the Senate mustered four votes on motions to end debate. Meantime, the logjam of unaddressed legislation piled higher.”

Caitlin Emma, “House Democrats Propose $4,500 Pay Raise for Congress,” Politico:

“House spending leaders want to break a decade-long pay freeze and give members of Congress a cost-of-living bump that could pad their salaries with an extra $4,500 next year.

Congressional salaries have been frozen at about $174,000 since 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and decided to suspend automatic cost-of-living increases while heading into the 2010 election year.”

Jonathan H. Adler, “What’s Wrong with ‘Chevron’ Deference is Congress,” National Review:

“There are good reasons to be concerned with the scale and scope of the administrative state, and in particular the extent to which courts allow agencies to simultaneously articulate and enforce rules the rest of us must follow, but it is unclear that Chevron is the source of the infection and even less clear that removing this doctrine would provide much of a cure. Responsibility for reining in the administrative state is ultimately in the hands of Congress, not the courts.”

Yuval Levin, “What if Congress were in Charge, Not Trump?,” The New York Times:

“Whether driven by partisanship, misguided by perverse media and political incentives, or simply put off by the burdens of responsibility, members of both houses are now reluctant to really legislate. When they do enact statutes, they are frequently broad and vague, setting general goals and then letting the executive branch figure out how to pursue them and letting judges clean up the ensuing mess (as seen in health care, environmental policy, education and beyond). Meanwhile, the budget process is dysfunctional, and most members are rarely involved in significant legislative work.”

Chris Marquette, “HR 1 Provides Freshmen House Democrats a McConnell 101 Lesson,” Roll Call:

“While it is not quite an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, the metaphor is close enough: Freshman House Democrats who roared into the majority in January with ambitious legislative plans are increasingly facing the reality of a Senate majority leader who has little interest in what they want.

The latest reality check came on Wednesday when a substantial portion of first-year House Democrats — 62 members — urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on HR 1, a sweeping House-passed bill that seeks to fortify ethics rules for public officials, overhaul campaign finance and expand access to voting.”

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David Bahr
David Bahr works to connect R Street scholars with reporters, columnists, bloggers, editorial boards, and television and radio producers. He also has ...

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