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How divided government affects lobbyist influence in Congress

December 11, 2018  ·  Geoff Lorenz
As a result of November’s mid-term elections, the national government will transition from a unified government, in which members of the Republican Party control the House, Senate, and the White… Read More

“Why We Left Congress”: Excerpts of our conversation with Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)

December 10, 2018  ·  Marian Currinder
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) has represented Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District since January 2009. A former accountant who served six years as the treasurer of Kansas, Jenkins announced her decision to… Read More

ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

December 7, 2018  ·  Marian Currinder
John Dingell, “I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Here’s How to Fix It,” The Atlantic: “In my six decades in public service, I’ve seen many changes in our… Read More

Why we left Congress: How the legislative branch is broken and what we can do about it

December 6, 2018  ·  Marian Currinder, Michael Beckel
Systemic institutional dysfunction was a leading cause for more than 50 Republican and Democratic members of Congress who voluntarily did not seek re-election this year, according to a new joint… Read More

What the Democrats should do on trade

December 6, 2018  ·  Philip Wallach, Clark Packard
Reflecting on the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 six months after its passage, Senator Reed Smoot (R-Utah)  declared: “The improvement since passage of the act has been… Read More

Real purpose of the Senate: To check the actions of the House

December 6, 2018  ·  James Wallner
Niccolò Machiavelli was one of the principal architects of American constitutionalism. A heterodox thinker in his day, Machiavelli observed in his Discourses on Livy (1531): “Those who blame the quarrels of the Senate… Read More

LegBranch conversations: An interview with Jaime Harrison

December 5, 2018  ·  Marian Currinder
In this edition of LegBranch conversations, Marian Currinder interviews Jaime Harrison about his new book, Climbing the Hill, co-authored with Amos Snead. Harrison and Snead, longtime staff members… Read More

Making a better Senate: Reduce filibustering and vote on amendments

December 4, 2018  ·  Gregory Koger
Although some states are still counting votes, it is clear that the Democrats will be the majority party in the U.S. House while Republicans will continue to hold a majority… Read More

Getting back to governing

December 3, 2018  ·  Don Wolfensberger, Thomas J. Spulak
Last September, one of us (Spulak) co-authored an op-ed with George Crawford, another former Democratic staff director of the House Rules Committee, suggesting a simple, one-step way “to fix” Congress:… Read More

Arguments against 18 year term limits for the Supreme Court

December 3, 2018  ·  Anthony Marcum
After Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation, there were numerous cries among politicians and commentators for the need to lower the political temperature around Supreme Court nominations. Since then, one of… Read More