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)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Similar posts
  • Why I like voting by mail It has been a few years since I queued up at a polling place, and I am the happier for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for the pageantry: citizen volunteers man polling places; activists outside hand out flyers in hopes of swinging votes; I get a little sticker to wear proudly [...]
  • Congressional reform is way overdue Critics often are quick to blame congressional passivity on partisanship. Many Republicans certainly are gun shy about attacking the de facto leader of their party. But congressional indulgence of the executive is not an aberration of the Trump presidency. Legislators have both grown the executive branch and permitted executives to act without authorization and with little fear [...]
  • Library plan to publish CRS reports f... Civil society, students, librarians, and the general public were elated when Congress decided to make the non-confidential non-partisan reports issued by the Congressional Research Service publicly available. These reports are often referred to as the gold standard for information concerning the issues before Congress. We have obtained the Library of Congress’s implementation plan to make [...]
  • The struggle between objectivity vs. ... Recently, leadership of the Congressional Research Service and the Library of Congress were presented with a memorandum. It expressed concern that the agencies’ analysts, attorneys, and reference experts were being muzzled a bit. “We are concerned that CRS risks falling short of its mission if it holds back the independent analysis that Congress has directed us [...]
  • Bring in the nerds: Reviving the Offi... Read it [...]