Mike Gallagher, “How to Salvage Congress,” The Atlantic:

“I have come to believe that the problem is not the people. The problem is a defective process and a power structure that, whichever party is in charge, funnels all power to leadership and stifles debate and initiative within the ranks. Your average member of Congress, far from being drunk on power, actually has very little of it outside a cable-news studio.”

Norm Ornstein, “The Republicans Broke Congress. Democrats Can Fix It,” New Republic:

“House Democrats are no strangers to governance; even with the influx of newcomers, they have a veteran group who have been in the majority before, many under both divided and united government. But the question of what do we do now is still a pressing one, since the dynamic in today’s Washington is unlike any they—and the country—have ever seen.”

Carl Levin and Richard Lugar, “Democrats Can’t Check the White House Alone. Neither Can Republicans,” Roll Call:

“Congress has been at its best when members of both parties donned their institutional role and jointly engaged in meaningful, fact-based, bipartisan oversight of all components of the federal government. That is what millions of Americans voted for on Tuesday, and we urge the leadership in both houses to make it happen.”

Matthew Green and Douglas Harris, “Election Day is over. Now who will lead Congress?” Vox:

“Each of this year’s contested leadership elections features different candidates, issues, and campaign tactics. But despite these differences, our research suggests a few common rules of thumb for gaming the outcome.”

Jonathan Bernstein, “Don’t Dump Nancy Pelosi,” Bloomberg:

“Congressional leaders are rarely popular – Paul Ryan, the current speaker, certainly isn’t – and Republicans will inevitably demonize whoever Democrats wind up choosing as speaker. However poorly Pelosi fares in nationwide polls, moreover, Democrats have fresh evidence that she isn’t electoral poison: They just won the House with her as minority leader, after all.”

James Hohmann, “The Daily 202: Liberals look for leverage in House leadership elections,” Washington Post:

“Democrats will probably end up with a majority of between 13 to 16 seats, which leaves little margin for error and thus gives liberals immense bargaining power if they stick together. Thirteen current members of the Progressive Caucus are poised to become committee chairs, and another 30 are slated to lead subcommittees.”

John Bresnahan, Rachel Bade, and Kyle Cheney, “Pelosi cranks up campaign to win over freshmen,” Politico:

“Nancy Pelosi’s wooing of the incoming Democratic freshmen is in full force, with private meetings, deployment of Democratic bigwigs and lavish dinners with members-elect and their spouses.”

Jack Crowe, “Upstart Dems ‘100 Percent’ Confident They Can Block Pelosi’s Bid for Speaker,” National Review:

“Despite the numerous senior Democrats who have already publicly thrown their support behind Pelosi, Democratic representatives Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Filemon Vela of Texas claim there is sufficient opposition to prevent Pelosi’s rise to speaker.”

Robert Costa, “Democratic Rep. Fudge says she’s ‘overwhelmed’ by support as she weighs speaker bid,” Washington Post:

“Rep. Marcia L. Fudge said on Thursday that she has been “overwhelmed” by the support from many of her colleagues for her possible entry into the race for House speaker, becoming the first Democrat to publicly acknowledge a challenge to longtime party leader Nancy Pelosi.”

Nolan D. McCaskill and John Bresnahan, “155 Democrats back Hoyer’s bid for majority leader,” Politico:

“House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has locked up the votes to become majority leader in the next Congress. Despite calls for new leadership, Hoyer has faced the least resistance among House Democrats’ big three. He has the support of at least two-thirds of the incoming Democratic Caucus, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Kevin McCarthy Elected House Minority Leader Over Jim Jordan,” Roll Call:

“McCarthy has vowed to lead Republicans back into the majority over the next two years. If he succeeds, the chances of him being elected speaker would be significantly higher than had Republicans held the majority this year.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Why So Few House Republican Leadership Races Are Contested,” Roll Call:

“House Republicans on Wednesday are poised to elect their leadership team for the 116th Congress with little drama. Only the top and bottom slots of their seven elected positions are being contested despite the party losing more than 30 seats and its majority in the midterms.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Most House Democrats Will Be in Majority for First Time Ever,” Roll Call:

“Most House Democrats in the next Congress will be new to the majority and an overwhelming majority of Republicans will be new to the minority — a dynamic that could create a steep learning curve for members as they grapple with party strategy and messaging changes under the new power structure.”

Lindsey McPherson, “House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms,” Roll Call:

“The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.”

Colby Itkowitz, “The House Democratic majority risks the same dysfunction as the Republicans. But do Americans care?” Washington Post:

“But the House majority was won for Democrats where it so often is: in the swing districts where voters are less ideological and more concerned with Washington functioning. A number of new members hail from suburbs in purple states where a Republican either retired or lost last week. Of the more than 30 seats Democrats flipped, most of the winning candidates were endorsed by the moderate New Democrat Coalition caucus.”

Alexander Bolton, “Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle,” The Hill:

“Senate Republicans are preparing for a shuffling of committee chairmen and some changes in the upper ranks of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership team.”

Burgess Everett, “Ernst joins GOP Senate leadership,” Politico:

“Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa on Wednesday beat Nebraska’s Deb Fischer to win the Republican Senate conference vice chair, the only contested leadership race, according to Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). It marks the first time in eight years a woman has joined the Senate GOP leadership.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, “New Members of Congress Hit the Books in DC,” Roll Call:

“Lunches, tours and briefings will pack the agenda, and winners from around the country will mix and mingle like freshmen on a college campus. It will be their first taste of life as a member of Congress, from interacting with media to forging relationships with their future colleagues.”

Jason Dick, “What Really Happens During Congress’ Freshman Orientation,” Roll Call Podcast:

“What’s my Representational Allowance? Why can’t I take pictures on the House floor? Where are the bathrooms? Newly elected lawmakers are participating in freshman orientation this week, and while it has a first day of school vibe, they should pay attention. It could save them some embarrassment, and maybe even avoid getting into hot water with the Ethics Committee or even federal authorities. Roll Call Staff Writer Katherine Tully-McManus runs down what the members-to-be are doing during freshman orientation, and why it matters.”

Susan Chira, “There’s No Nice Lady Caucus in Congress,” New York Times:

“The 116th Congress will have a record number of women. So that means more women will bring their vaunted ability to compromise and work across the aisle. Right? No, as it turns out, women are no more immune to the forces intensifying partisanship than men. That’s what political scientists have found.”

Kelly Dittmar, “A record number of women were elected in the midterm, but we’re nowhere near gender parity in Congress,” Los Angeles Times:

“But there will still be three men for every woman serving in Congress in 2019. And women still represented less than 25% of congressional candidates this year.”

Melissa Deckman, “There was no wave for Republican women this year,” Gender Watch 2018:

“While many news outlets rightly trump these historic developments, less noted is the fact that one group of women did not enjoy much success: Republican women.  As of this writing, only 13 of the women elected to the U.S. House this fall are Republicans. That means that there will actually be fewer Republican women serving in Congress com January.”

Richie Zweigenhaft, “The 116th Congress has more women and people of color than ever – but there’s still room to improve,” The Conversation:

“The elections for the 116th Congress led to meaningful increases in diversity, especially among women, Latinos and African-Americans. The media have made a great deal of the gains in diversity – for example, this election saw the first two Native American women elected to Congress, as well as the first two Muslim women.”

Rebecca Best and Jeremy M. Teigen, “An unprecedented number of female military veterans ran as Democrats this year. Here’s why they were unusually successful,” Washington Post:

“But in the 116th Congress, the number of female veterans in Congress will rise from four to at least five — and could go as high as six, depending on the final results in the race of former Air Force captain Gina Ortiz Jones, a Democrat running for the House in Texas’s 23rd District.”

Mike DeBonis, “Democrats would slow down floor votes, require committee action under proposed House rules,” Washington Post:

“Among other things, the proposed reforms would potentially slow down the process for bringing legislation to a floor vote, make it easier to call up a bill that has bipartisan support but is opposed by the majority party’s leadership, and give committees a stronger role in drafting legislation.”

Lindsey McPherson, “House Republicans to Consider Changing the Way They Select Committee Leaders,” Roll Call:

“House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders.”

Quint Forgey, “New GOP House rules would strip indicted lawmakers of committee spots, leadership roles,” Politico:

“House Republicans are proposing new party rules for the chamber that would force indicted members of Congress to relinquish their committee assignments and leadership positions.”

What’s the Future for the House GOP in the Minority?” TWS Podcast:

“On today’s Daily Standard Podcast, reporter Haley Byrd and deputy online editor Jim Swift join host Charlie Sykes to discuss the lame duck session of Congress, the forthcoming leadership elections, Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis’s “Blame McCain” op-ed, and Steve King’s challenge to reporting by The Weekly Standard.”

Emma Dumain, “The 2019 Congress will have more Southern Democrats. But they won’t have much clout,” McClatchy:

“The next Congress will feature more Southern Democrats, but there’s a catch: The region’s clout on Capitol Hill will actually be diminished. With Democrats capturing control of the House in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the Republicans who overwhelmingly represent southern districts — and currently hold several key committee chairmanships — will shrink in both size and influence.”

Elaine Godfrey, “House Progressives Celebrate a ‘New Kind of Centrism,’” The Atlantic:

“Even as pundits begin to muse about the presidential prospects of more moderate Democrats like Sherrod Brown of Ohio or Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, progressives are declaring victory in the midterms—and doubling down on their agenda.”

Jordain Carney, “Congress braces for high-drama lame duck,” The Hill:

“Lawmakers will be forced to juggle several crucial deadlines on must-pass pieces of legislation and unravel thorny policy fights, while also navigating political battles over leadership and a potential Cabinet shakeup.”

Elisabeth Buchwald, “What to expect in the lame-duck session of Congress,” Market Watch:

“Now that the tumultuous election cycle has come to a close, lawmakers are now focusing their efforts on passing measures to avoid a government shutdown during what is known as the lame-duck session.”

Matt Glassman, “How much would it cost to expand the size of the House?” Matt Glassman:

“What I want to take up here is a much more narrow concern: how much would this cost? In essence, what would be the price tag, per new seat, of increasing the size of the House?”

Jonathan S. Tobin, “A Bigger House Won’t Heal Congress,” National Review:

“Indeed, there are arguments to be made for this scheme. But it takes a special sort of faith in government to believe that more politicians and a more cumbersome method for electing them is the prescription for what ails Washington.”

Marina Fang, “Former Capitol Hill Staffers To Congress: Pass Sexual Misconduct Bill By End Of The Year,” Huffington Post:

“As Congress returned to Washington on Tuesday for a lame-duck session to close out the year, a group of former staffers who spoke out against sexual misconduct urged lawmakers to pass a long-promised set of reforms.”

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Marian Currinder
Marian Currinder is a permanent staffer of the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress as of December 2019. ...

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