Jeffery A. Jenkins’ and Charles Stewart III’s recently presented an important paper, “The Deinstitutionalization (?) of the House of Representatives.” It re-evaluates Nelson Polsby’s classic analysis that concluded the U.S. House of Representatives was becoming more “institutionalized.” Jenkins (University of Virginia) and Stewart (MIT) argue that some of the trends that Polsby observed have since reversed themselves, suggesting a possible deinstitutionalization of the House. It is a timely study, what with the recent concern expressed by Jonathan Rauch and others over legislative dysfunction….(Read more at LegBranch.com)
Is the House of Representatives Deinstitutionalizing?
- 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 [...]
- The Russia Investigation: Why the Ove... — What’s going on with the Russia investigation? For most of us, the answer likely is, “Beats me.” It seems every week or two there’s a media report about Congress holding a hearing or some member of Team Trump or other person being called in to testify: James Comey, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. The facts [...]
- CRS Should Stop Fighting Access to It... — The Congressional Research Service plays an essential role in policymaking and oversight. It makes Congress smarter about issues and teaches new legislators how to legislate. I would not have spent 11 years working at CRS if I did not think very highly of the institution. But there is one topic on which the widely esteemed [...]
- Six Quick Takes On President Trump... — #1 Thank you for making your speech short. Really, the days when folks enjoyed hearing long orations have passed. #2 I am glad you thanked the Obamas for being “magnificent” to you during the transition. Offering “gracious aid” to an incoming president is part of the orderly transfer of government. I hope you’ll be as helpful when [...]