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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

Why are members leaving Congress?

December 3, 2018  ·  Nick Penniman, Marian Currinder
The 116th Congress will have the largest, most diverse incoming freshman class in a generation. But this milestone wasn’t achieved just because a bunch of incumbents lost. Well before November 6, more… Read More

ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

November 30, 2018  ·  Marian Currinder
Paul Kane, “Want Congress to look more like the people it serves? Provide member housing, pay staff more,” Washington Post: “Two of those possibilities should be considered next year… Read More

Can Pelosi flip enough votes? Probably not without conceding her job.

November 28, 2018  ·  Joshua Huder
The attempted Pelosi ouster is crumbling. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) heads into today’s Democratic Caucus leadership elections unopposed in the race for Speaker. However, her quest for the… Read More

A truckload of watermelons: Five OMG’s from John Lawrence’s “The Class of ‘74”

November 28, 2018  ·  Kevin Kosar
John Lawrence has some tales to tell. He served nearly four decades in the House, culminating as the chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi during her stint as… Read More