Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts tagged LegBranch.com

The struggle between objectivity vs. neutrality continues at the Congressional Research Serv...

The struggle between objectivity vs. neutrality continues at the Congressional Research Service

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 […]

A Case for Stronger Congressional Committ...

A Case for Stronger Congressional Committees

With congressional partisanship at record highs and congressional approval ratings at record lows, the First Branch should consider reform. Two recent white papers (one analyzing the House, the other the Senate) cast light on the nature of the problem. Together they suggest that much power has shifted to the chambers’ leaders, and the legislature has […]

Is the 114th Congress Getting Things Do...

Is the 114th Congress Getting Things Done?

Yes, writes Marci Harris and her team at PopVox…. (Read more at LegBranch.com)

Congress’ Tendency to Cannibalize Its...

Congress’ Tendency to Cannibalize Itself

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 […]

Is the House of Representatives Deinstitutionalizi...

Is the House of Representatives Deinstitutionalizing?

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 […]

House Spending Data Show Where the Staff ...

House Spending Data Show Where the Staff Are

As DemandProgress’ Daniel Schuman reports, the House just began publishing its spending reports online as data. The House’s “Statements of Disbursement,” which show who how much money Congress spends on its operations, have been online in PDF format since 2009. Now the statements are available as CSV files, which one can open with Excel or […]

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