Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

An uncomfortable reality… Congress needs more staff

Mark Twain famously remarked, “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

Although famously crotchety, he did touch upon a basic truth: our elected officials are amateurs. They arrive in Washington, DC with only an inkling of how government works. How could it be otherwise?

Few legislators have any previous federal policy experience. Many have made their careers in business or law. Others worked as doctors, teachers, farmers, law-enforcement officers, and ministers. Members of Congress are we the people, not an aristocratic caste of policy elites trained since birth to govern.

And there is the flip side of the coin: our federal government is immense…. (Read more)

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