Featured image

Dean DiChiaro, “In Oversight Role, House Democrats Aim for Both Check and Balance,” Roll Call:

“Partisan tensions in Washington already reached a fever pitch during Trump’s first two years in office. But with Democrats taking control of the House in the new Congress, the capital sits on the brink of political warfare.”

Jason Zengerle, “These Democrats Will Soon Have the Power to Investigate the White House. How Far Will They Go?” New York Times:

“The midterm results effectively brought an end to Trump’s legislative agenda, or at least the parts of it that Democrats find objectionable. But the victory gives Democrats little legislative power of their own. If by some miracle any Democrat-authored House bill makes it through the Republican-controlled Senate, Trump’s veto pen awaits.”

Dave Hopkins, “Get Ready for a #Hashtag Congress,” Honest Graft:

“The unprecedented interest of Democratic activists in what some observers might have assumed to be an inside-Washington debate over congressional leadership succession raises the question of whether social media users and other politically passionate citizens will continue to be closely attentive to congressional affairs once Pelosi claims the speaker’s gavel on January 3, and whether such attention will affect the behavior of Democratic members of Congress in consequential ways.”

George Will, “Some senators are aiming to claw back trade power from Trump,” Washington Post:

“The Constitution vests in Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” For decades, however, Congress has granted vast trade discretion to presidents, for reasons of sloth (setting policy is work), prudence (taking responsibility is risky) and ideology (executive discretion is modern; the separation of powers is an anachronistic impediment to energetic government).”

Tom Price, “Making Congress Relevant Again, One Budget at a Time,” Roll Call:

“With members of the 115th Congress rushing to tie up their legislative loose ends, one unresolved issue may have a more lasting impact than any other. It is the continued failure of congressional budgeting.”

Stuart M. Butler and Timothy Higashi, “How can we take partisanship out of the budget process? The lessons from this independent committee can help,” Brookings:

“What does this episode say about using special or independent bodies – such as commissions or select committees of Congress – as a model to pave the way for bipartisan budget reform legislation? Was the design of the JSC a failure?”

Peter Loge, “The logistics of changing the world: why new members of Congress should treat their offices like businesses,” Roll Call:

“All of these women and men came to Washington to advocate on behalf of their constituents and to make our world a better place. Before they can do that, they have to hire staff, rent computers and copiers, and take care of all of the rest of the logistics involved in starting a $1 million-plus operation from scratch.”

Robert Costa and Mike DeBonis, “‘He was the future of the party’: Ryan’s farewell triggers debate about his legacy,” Washington Post:

“But after two decades in the House and three years as speaker, the Wisconsin Republican’s long-term legacy is already a matter of fierce debate inside his own party.”

Colby Itkowitz, “To be fair, Congress actually managed to do its job a few times this year,” Washington Post:

“But the passage Tuesday night of criminal justice reform legislation, an almost decade-in-the-making bipartisan endeavor, caps a year of Congress actually working in tandem to get some significant laws passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.”

Tim Roemer, “Freshman lawmakers should use the rules package vote to make Congress more transparent, accountable,” The Hill:

“They need to act fast. Before the House casts its first vote on any legislation, Democrats will need to craft a rules package with instructions for the House as to how it conducts its daily business, where it places its priorities and how legislation comes to the floor.”

David Dayen, “Sen. Jeff Merekley Wants to Stop Congress Members from Insider Trading by Banning Them from Owning Stocks,” The Intercept:

“When compared to corporate insiders, members of Congress are exposed to a much broader array of insider information which implicates a wide range of companies. Given that members of Congress hold a unique position of public trust, Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, both potential Democratic presidential candidates, want to put a stop to all the trading.”

Ella Nilsen, “Senate Democrats join the push for sweeping anti-corruption legislation,” Vox:

“Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is planning to introduce a companion bill in the Senate early next year, he told senators on Tuesday in a Dear Colleague letter obtained by Vox. The bill text would likely be an update of an existing bill Udall introduced in 2017, tweaked to mirror the House legislation.”

Li Zhou, “Congress’s recently passed sexual harassment bill, explained,” Vox:

“The legislation reforms the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 by significantly improving the process for congressional employees to report allegations of sexual harassment, holding lawmakers financially liable for harassment settlements and increasing transparency around any settlements that lawmakers pay out for possible allegations.”

Filed Under:
Topics: Other
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...

Related Content