Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Congress’ Tendency to Cannibalize Itself

US Capitol

Why is Congress loath to increase its staff, and sometimes eager to cut it? Anthony J. Madonna and Ian Ostrander take up this question in a recent conference paper, sardonically titled “A Congress of Cannibals: The Evolution of Professional Staff in Congress.”

The authors analyze history and data in an attempt to determine why, despite a one-third growth in the U.S. population and sevenfold increases in government spending since 1979, the numbers of committee staff, support staff and personal staff devoted to policy have fallen and staff wages have been cut. The staffing data, as published previously on R Street’s LegBranch.com site (here and here), are indisputable…. (Read more at LegBranch.com)

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