Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts by Kevin R. Kosar

William Barr and Congress’ broken contempt po...

William Barr and Congress’ broken contempt power

Last month, the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that the House hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. The 24-16 decision was made along partisan lines. The vote came 19 days after Congress demanded Barr deliver to members an unredacted copy of the Mueller report — which he refused to do. That the committee’s Democrats held […]

Today: Oversight hearing on the Congressional Research Serv...

Today: Oversight hearing on the Congressional Research Service

The House Committee on Administration is holding a hearing on the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at 10am today. The hearing may be viewed online. The CRS is critical to the functioning of Congress. Its analysts and information specialists help congressional staff make policy and oversee the executive and judicial branches. Its importance cannot be understated, and the […]

Permanent appropriations: Might they improve the budget proce...

Permanent appropriations: Might they improve the budget process?

If you have not read Prof. Andrew Taylor’s article in the latest copy of National Affairs, you should. It is titled, “Reforming the Appropriations Process.” and is interesting and provocative. Certainly it made me think. He argues for making appropriations permanent. Doing so would stabilize spending and avoid the high dramas of government shutdowns, continuing resolutions, and all the […]

Why members of Congress should get a raise, whether they deserve it or ...

Why members of Congress should get a raise, whether they deserve it or not

You’ve surely heard the old line, “The best Congress money can buy.” Typically, it’s said sardonically. In the classic formulation, it’s not your money doing the buying. It’s special interests and lobbyists forking over the dough. In exchange, they get the best Congress they can buy – for them. But what if it were your money? How […]

Want to shrink government? Invest in making Congress smar...

Want to shrink government? Invest in making Congress smarter

Barely one in five Americans approve of the way Congress is operating. It is overwhelmingly clear that Congress needs to do a better job of understanding complex policy issues, being responsive to communications from the American people, and overseeing the 170-some agencies of the executive branch. Thankfully, after decades of institutional decline, Congress is finally taking steps to revitalize itself. In January, the […]

Congress’ tech policy knowledge ...

Congress’ tech policy knowledge gap

“Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain once quipped, “and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” Like Twain, libertarians tend not to think highly of elected officials. We view them as corrupt, in cahoots with interest groups, and obsessed with politicking instead of governing. And, as Twain quipped, dumb. Oh, so, […]

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