Whither the Conference Committee?

March 20, 2017
Source: CSPAN3. Professors Hong Min Park, Steven S. Smith and Ryan J. Vander Wielen recently presented a monograph, “The Changing Politics of Conciliation: How Institutional… Read More

Should Congress Bring Back Pork?

February 23, 2017
The University of Chicago’s Adam Chan certainly thinks so. He writes: “Congress passed a bill banning earmarks in 2010 with a rare combination of bipartisan support and President Obama’s… Read More

Does Congress Need a Congressional Oversight Office?

January 31, 2017
Elaine Kamarck’s recent study, “A Congressional Oversight Office: A proposed early warning system for the United States Congress,” describes 1. Congress’ current abdication of its role as overseer… Read More

How Congress Has Advanced Civil Liberties

October 26, 2016
Which branch of government comes to mind when you think of your rights? Many, if not most, Americans will think first of the judiciary. They might reference the Obergefell… Read More

A Case for Stronger Congressional Committees

August 3, 2016
With congressional partisanship at record highs and congressional approval ratings at record lows, the First Branch should consider reform. Two recent white papers (one analyzing the House, the… Read More

The Congressional Tendency to Cannibalize Itself

July 19, 2016
Source: Profs. Tim LaPira and Herschel Thomas Why is Congress loath to increase its staff, and sometimes eager to cut it? Professors Anthony J. Madonna and Ian Ostrander… Read More

Is the House of Representatives Deinstitutionalizing?

July 5, 2016
The 114th Congress in the House chamber. Source: Wikipedia Jeffery A. Jenkins’ and Charles Stewart III’s recently presented an important paper, “The Deinstitutionalization (?) of the… Read More

James Wallner’s “Unprecedented: Informal Rules and Leader Power in the United States Senate”

June 30, 2016
James Wallner’s white paper, “Unprecedented: Informal Rules and Leader Power in the United States Senate,” analyzes how Senate majority leadership uses amendment proposal precedents to control Senate deliberation. Read More

Notes from the June 20, 2016 Meeting on the Topic of Congressional Staff

June 28, 2016
More than 50 persons attended the meeting in the Capitol Visitors Center. The meeting’s topic was congressional staff, and Daniel Schuman of DemandProgress presented data that showed reductions in… Read More

New Survey: Americans Divided Over Why They Dislike Congress

June 21, 2016
Source: Congressional Institute. The public’s approval of Congress has fallen in the past decade, but the reasons for this decline are nuanced and varied. The Congressional Institute, a… Read More