ICYMI: Top reads on Congress
Frank O. Bowman, III, “White House Letter Distorts Both Law and History on Impeachment,” JustSecurity.org, October 9, 2019.
“The White House letter of October 8 refusing all executive branch cooperation with the ongoing House impeachment inquiry is, simply put, a public relations exercise. The legal arguments it intersperses between insults to members of the House Democratic leadership and appeals to the President’s base voters are without foundation. The errors and mischaracterizations are so numerous that they cannot all be addressed in this space. Instead, I will consider only the fundamental misconceptions at the heart of the White House argument, as well as a single illustrative historical incident – the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson.”
Robert Doar, “Five lessons from the Nixon impeachment inquiry,” AEI.org, October 3, 2019.
“[O]n questions of presidential misconduct, in order to know the right answer, you have to apply yourself to mastering all of the facts to determine whether the president’s actions constituted an impeachable offense. Based on what I have seen so far, I do not know if President’s Trump behavior has amounted to impeachable conduct, but there is a right way to go about making that determination.”
Joshua Huder, “Impeachment politics requires a different vote calculator,” Government Affairs Institute, October 9, 2019.
“[S]ome wonder why Speaker Pelosi is hesitating to pass a resolution—which only requires approval of the House— to formally begin an impeachment inquiry, particularly after the White House announced its refusal to cooperate until a formal inquiry is voted upon. With 226 Democrats in support, she has more than enough to pass the House. But she’s hesitating for good reason. Impeachment math is more complicated than simply getting to 218. This is because they combine the legislative politics of lawmaking with the politics of messaging bills.”
Paul M. Krawzak, “Democrats: Budget rule change undercuts Congress’ authority,” RollCall.com, October 4, 2019.
“Democratic appropriations leaders wrote to the Office of Management and Budget Friday objecting to a decision to limit agencies’ reporting of alleged budget violations, which they said is an attempt to weaken congressional oversight.”
Molly Reynolds, “The truth that White House letter just laid bare,” New York Times, October 9, 2019.
“The defiant letter sent from the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the heads of three House committees adds another large brick to the wall of obstruction against efforts by the House to investigate President Trump. It is largely cloaked in procedural language and includes wide-ranging criticisms of the House’s approach — many of them with substantive shortcomings. It is also troubling for what it signals about the White House’s view of congressional authority. But its fundamental purpose is much broader. The letter is aimed at reshaping the terms of the political debate between the White House and the House of Representatives, providing a frame for Republicans in Congress and beyond to push back against the inquiry.”
Jennifer Victor, “A step-by-step guide to fixing Congress,” Medium.com, October 4, 2019.
“A lot of mundane things on Capitol Hill are segregated by party, but they don’t have to be. When new members of Congress come for training sessions at the beginning of their terms, they should be in bipartisan groups, not separated by party. The Democratic and Republican staffers who lead the work on legislative Committees could also work together to produce the Committee’s agenda, rather than separately. Members of Congress can go on short trips to one another’s congressional districts, to help emphasize the similarities between their respective districts.”