We in Telegram
Add news
March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010
August 2010
September 2010 October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April 2020 May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 October 2020 November 2020 December 2020 January 2021 February 2021 March 2021 April 2021 May 2021 June 2021 July 2021 August 2021 September 2021 October 2021 November 2021 December 2021 January 2022 February 2022 March 2022 April 2022 May 2022 June 2022 July 2022 August 2022 September 2022 October 2022 November 2022 December 2022 January 2023 February 2023 March 2023 April 2023 May 2023 June 2023 July 2023 August 2023 September 2023 October 2023 November 2023 December 2023 January 2024 February 2024
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
News Every Day |

How to Fix Congress in 8 Steps: A Guide for New Members

Congratulations on being elected to the 118th Congress. By now you are already in Washington for an “orientation” whose ostensible purpose is for you to meet your new colleagues and get advice on staffing, committee assignments, juggling work and family and — yes — the urgent need to start raising funds for the next election. Only later will you come to realize that what it’s really about is indoctrinating and socializing you into a set of norms and expectations that will strip you of most of your legislative purpose and power and ensure that the next Congress will be as partisan and dysfunctional as the last.

This is a legislative body, after all, that for more than a decade has been incapable of addressing, let alone resolving, most of the major issues facing the country — climate change, immigration, gun violence, the opioid crisis, excess concentration of corporate and financial power, large and growing budget deficits and the escalating inequality of income, and opportunity.

A Congress which, long before Covid, embraced the three-day work week (and, even then, for only for 35 weeks per year) while explaining that the reason more can’t be accomplished is that there simply isn’t enough time.

A Congress where committees have become irrelevant, with impossibly large memberships, hearings that are nothing more than political kabuki, chairs who have become pawns of party leaders and members who rubber stamp whatever their leaders decide.

A Congress where compromise is viewed as treason and good ideas are rejected simply because the other party is for them.

All of these things are now true, by the way, in both the House and the Senate, under both Republican majorities or Democratic.

It’s fair to say that nobody is happy with the result — least of all the members of Congress themselves, who increasingly dislike their jobs even as they have become more willing to do whatever it takes to keep them.

The narrative that drives and justifies this self-destructive behavior is the same in both parties: “It’s all their fault,” referring to the other party. “They started it. They are the ones who trashed political norms, who weaponized every issue, who refuse to compromise. They are the ones who are determined to shove a radical agenda down the throat of a country they do not represent, respect or understand.”

Once this became the controlling narrative within each party, the only logical strategy going forward is to forget about governing during the current session of Congress and focus on do whatever it takes to win a decisive victory in the next. Then, the theory goes, once our party gains the power to enact our agenda, it will prove so popular that the other party will be crushed once and for all, and American democracy will be saved.

But as this year’s results confirm, the country is too evenly divided, and too centrist, to accept total victory by either party. As a result, we are left with a stubborn and unsatisfying political stalemate, in which neither party can achieve total victory but neither is willing to compromise.

As members of the new freshman class, you now have a decision to make. You can either stick with your leaders and caucuses and become part of this gridlock and fantasy thinking, or you can refuse to participate in the blood feud and join with colleagues of both parties who possess the independence and courage to try to govern in a bipartisan manner.

Please don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can work within your caucus to make things less partisan and vitriolic. The few who have tried — including two Republican speakers forced into retirement — have failed miserably. The only way to break through the gridlock is to weaken the grip of leaders and caucuses, not reform them.

Here’s how:

1. Vote against all continuing resolutions. For 12 years running, Congress has been unable even to deliver on its most basic function — setting annual appropriations for the federal government — relying instead unending series of “continuing resolutions” rushed through with little notice or debate with a government shutdown looming. In a closely divided chamber, it would take only a few members of both parties to block continuing resolutions or other massive packages negotiated behind doors by a handful of party leaders. By announcing your intention now, you will shift responsibility for any government shutdown to party leaders and committee chairs who, at this point, don’t even pretend to go through the normal budget process.

2. Vote against all closed rules. Today’s members are rarely allowed to propose or vote on amendments, lest it empower members of the minority party or force members of the majority to take politically difficult votes. In the House, announce in advance that you will vote against all “closed rules” that do not allow members of both parties to offer a reasonable number of amendments to major legislation. In the Senate, announce you’re going to vote against all time agreements that don’t allow amendments. That won’t assure bipartisan compromise, but at least it will make it possible.

3. Refuse to support most filibusters. In the Senate, announce in advance that you not support filibusters except on a handful of major issues. That’s not eliminating the Senate filibuster — it’s preserving it. Filibustering every issue, as both parties now do whenever they are in the minority, doesn’t foster bipartisan compromise. It discourages it by intensifying the partisan blood feud.

4. Move your family to Washington. It’s now conventional wisdom in both parties that you risk losing reelection if you fail to return home every weekend. (So intense is this fear of being perceived as part of the Washington establishment that a former Republican speaker of the House actually slept on his office couch while in Washington.) Don’t believe it. If you’re not a good enough politician to demonstrate you are working hard at the job you were elected to do in Washington, you don’t deserve to be reelected — particularly when the undemanding Congressional calendar gives you at least one week in every four to return home for a “district work period.”

In fact, you could enhance your prospects of reelection if, rather than returning home for the four-day Congressional weekend, you and a few like-minded colleagues spent an hour each Monday and Friday on the deserted floor of the House or Senate debating the issues that Congress has been “too busy” to address. Some will call it a political stunt but — trust me on this — it will be noticed by millions of voters who have jobs that require them to work five days a week.

5. Serve on only one major committee. Another bit of political fantasy is that you can enhance reelection prospects by serving on as many committees as you can get, allowing you to curry favor with, and raise campaign contributions from, a wider circle of special interest groups. In reality, the influence of individual members has declined as membership has expanded, resulting in committees that are too big and unwieldy to reach consensus. Instead, ask for only one major committee and focus on becoming its best informed, most thoughtful and respected member. There won’t be much competition.

6. Attend no more than one party caucus every two weeks. With the demise of the committee system, all power has flowed to the party caucuses that now meet at least once each week, and often more. These are the meetings at which members ostensibly debate what position the party will take on major issues, albeit through the distortive lens of what is best for the party, not the country. More often, however, these are occasions when members are given their marching orders and talking points, and when potential defectors are bullied into submission by their colleagues. The best way to demonstrate and maintain your independence is not to attend too many.

7. Vote only for party leaders who promise to fix the legislative plumbing. Your first big decision will come as early as this week, when members of the next Congress choose party leaders. Refuse to commit to any candidates who won’t promise — publicly — to restore power and initiative to committees, restore the five-day work week, allow genuine opportunity for floor amendments and provide political headroom for bipartisan compromise. In short, support only those candidates willing to give you back the power to do the job you were just elected to do. Don’t accept vague private assurances. If no reformer emerges, abstain — and let the voters back home know why.

8. Don’t do any of this by yourself. The only way this works is if you can find a dozen colleagues in the Senate, or three dozen in the House, to join you in this fight to save Congress from itself. With painfully narrow majorities in both houses, that’s all that would be needed to deny both caucuses the unity and parliamentary freedom they need to pursue the hyper-partisan strategies that have broken the legislative process. And at every turn, remind them — and the voters back home — that your purpose is to empower all 535 members of Congress to be legislators again rather than serving as props and puppets for party leaders and caucuses.

If last week’s election results contained any message, it was that the voters who decide swing elections crave a return to political normalcy. The coming session represents the last best chance to pull American politics back from the brink. The stark choice you now face is whether to sign up for more of the same and become part of the problem, or dare to break from the partisan pack and partisan routines and become part of the solution.


Покупка мебели для дома в онлайн магазине: плюсы и минусы сделки

Amsterdam Stunning Sunny Hour Winter 2024 Amsterdam Walking Tour 4K

Stunning Photo Collection of OLD MONEY - COLORIZED

1960s USA - Real Street Scenes of Vintage America - Colorized

Top 10 Mystery TV Series of 2023


Read also

Multiple fires in areas of the High Plains

Supreme Court evaluates First Amendment rights of social media giants

SoHo hotel murder suspect's arrest caught on police body-worn camera

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Stunning Photo Collection of OLD MONEY - COLORIZED

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Beautiful Outdoor Garden Furniture, Garden Library Interior, Hidden Book Nook Garden Design

Sports today

Новости тенниса

Калинская обыграла Свентек и вышла в финал турнира WTA-1000 в Дубае

Спорт в России и мире

МГППУ организовал на ГУМ-Катке адаптивный проект для детей с аутизмом

All sports news today

Sports in Russia today


МГППУ организовал на ГУМ-Катке адаптивный проект для детей с аутизмом

Новости России

Game News

Шапки женские зимние на Wildberries — скидки от 398 руб. (на новые оттенки)




Губернаторы России

Андрис Лиепа пообщался с учащимися БРХК

Собянин: число маршрутов речного транспорта к 2030 году увеличится до семи

Запад переиграл российских олигархов

Шапки женские зимние на Wildberries — скидки от 398 руб. (на новые оттенки)

Региональный материнский капитал: как получить и на что потратить

Концерт в выставочном зале имени Ю.В. Карапаева

Рэпер ST исполнил хит «Дай ему сил» на церемонии вручения премии «Знание»

Общественники намерены и дальше гнать с российской сцены Арбенину: “Надо бить ее по карману”

«Шевчук подрался с Расторгуевым из-за Цоя». Евгений Додолев раскрыл детали

Янчук: финал WTA 1000 в Дубае — успех для Калинской

Медведев признался, что легко пережил поражение от Синнера в финале Australian Open

Теннисистка Калинская поднялась на 16 строчек в обновленном рейтинге WTA

Хачанов обыграл чеха Меншика в финале турнира ATP в Дохе

Виртуальные склоны курорта «Роза Хутор» покорили болельщиков "Игр будущего"

Шапки женские зимние на Wildberries — скидки от 398 руб. (на новые оттенки)

От Арбата до дальних уголков России: Как Московский адвокат Петр Бражников меняет лицо юридической помощи


Андрис Лиепа пообщался с учащимися БРХК

Игорь Маковский и Светлана Хоркина дали старт мероприятиям Года физкультуры и спорта «Россети Центр» и «Россети Центр и Приволжье»

Совместный Дуэт с Певцом. Запись совместной Песни.

Путин своим указом воссоздал Московский и Ленинградский военные округа

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Запад негодует, узнав о невыплате Россией взносов в ОБСЕ

Проект Музея Победы стал лучшим в просветительской премии «Знание»

На свердловском рынке труда резко выросло число вакансий с зарплатой выше 100 тысяч

Объявлен VIII Международный фотоконкурс «Русская цивилизация»

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости Russian.city

Андрис Лиепа пообщался с учащимися БРХК

News Every Day

Stunning Photo Collection of OLD MONEY - COLORIZED

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости