Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts tagged LegBranch.com

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 […]

Library plan to publish CRS reports falls short of the law, and is unduly expens...

Library plan to publish CRS reports falls short of the law, and is unduly expensive

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. 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 […]

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