Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts tagged LegBranch.com

Escaping the foreign policy dile...

Escaping the foreign policy dilemma

One of the reasons we have elections is for the sake of better synchronizing political leaders with the wishes of the public. Yet, in the realm of foreign policy it is anything but clear that going to the polls produces a great deal of policy agreement. This is understandable on low salience, high complexity issues. […]

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 […]

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment ra...

GAO versus the ghost of OTA: Who will win the science and technology assessment race?

Hardly anyone would argue that Congress is well equipped to make technology policy. Very few members are techies, and let’s face it, innovation is hurtling forward at a mind-blowing pace. Nor is Congress and its basic modus operandi — serving as a bargaining arena for diverse interests — particularly congenial to the use of data […]

A truckload of watermelons: Five OMG’s from John Lawrence’s “The Class of ‘...

A truckload of watermelons: Five OMG’s from John Lawrence’s “The Class of ‘74”

John Lawrence has some tales to tell. He served nearly four decades in the House, culminating as the chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi during her stint as speaker from 2007-2011. Lawrence’s book, The Class of ‘74: Congress After Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship (Johns Hopkins), was released earlier this year, and is a heady, political […]

Congressional reform is way over...

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 […]

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