ICYMI: Top Reads on Congress
Zach Graves, Kevin R. Kosar, “What to shrink government? Invest in making Congress smarter,” Real Clear Policy:
“The Constitution established Congress as the first branch of government. Its decisions are supposed to guide government action and serve “We the People.” Our national Legislature cannot do either of these things unless it has the brains and capacity to decide wisely…. Republicans must overcome their anti-government impulse and realize that investing in Congress is a necessary step to creating a leaner and more accountable government.”
Hearing: “Keeping Congress Accountable: Term Limits in the United States,” Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Written testimonies of five witnesses included.
Chris Marquette, “Public to get rare look inside the Congressional Research Service, with attrition, morale point of contention,” Roll Call:
“Thursday’s House Administration Committee oversight hearing into the Congressional Research Service is the first in more than a decade — and is long overdue, according to former employees who say the agency is mismanaged, stifles expert research and results in a lesser work product.”
Patricia Murphy, “Want a more diverse Congress? Bite the bullet and raise their pay,” Roll Call:
“…A closer look at what it takes to work in Congress today, along with who can afford to do it and the results those people have produced, would convince almost anyone that paying your congressman more than your plumber might make more than a little sense in the future.”
Washington Post Editorial Board, “How can we expect Congress to deal with its issues if it can’t even give itself a raise?” Washington Post:
“The breakdown in a deal over congressional pay is a case study in dysfunction.”
Kevin R. Kosar, “Today: Oversight hearing on the Congressional Research Service,” LegBranch.org:
“That people are choosing to leave the CRS—a place where a wonk can rise to the GS-15 pay level and earn more than $160,000 a year—is not a healthy sign….”
Lee Drutman, Kevin R. Kosar, “Why members of Congress should get a raise, whether they deserve it or not,” The Fulcrum:
“For many talented individuals out in the country, the personal costs of serving in Congress are extremely high – the strain on family life paramount among them….But it’s now been 10 years since members have given themselves a raise — a stalemate likely driven by the bitter partisan gamesmanship, with any pay boost a campaign issue waiting to happen.”
C-SPAN Washington Journal Series: “Casey Burgat and Nick Tomboulides on Congressional Term Limits.”
Hosted by John McArdle, Casey Burgat and Nick Tomboulides participate in this hour-long discussion about the history of the term limit debate, the Senate subcommittee hearing this week and the two sides of the congressional term limit argument.
Ella Nilsen, “Capitol Hill’s revolving door, in one chart,” Vox:
“Out of 44 members of Congress who either retired or lost their seats in the midterms and went to work in the private sector, 26 — or nearly two-thirds — went on to get jobs at lobbying firms.”
Jay Cost, “Restoring Congress: The Parties are a solution,” National Review:
“I think the problem is that Congress as a constitutional entity is too parochial to govern for the national interest. If this analysis is correct, then what we need to do is find ways to nationalize Congress….What we need, rather, is to find centripetal countermeasures to the centrifugal nature of our Congress.”
Alvin Chang, “How the filibuster broke the US Senate,” Vox:
“The way we got here was kind of an accident…And in recent decades, it has caused the Senate to become completely gridlocked, which is why it’s become an issue in the 2020 presidential election.”