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Can the House Freedom Caucus revive the ...

Can the House Freedom Caucus revive the ‘People’s House’?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the Speaker in waiting, reportedly has promised to shift some power over policymaking back to committees. This is good to hear. The history of the House of Representatives over the past 50 years is a story of power flowing upward to the Speaker.  As Don Wolfensberger recently pointed out in this publication, for much of the […]

Democrats are fooling themselves about t...

Democrats are fooling themselves about the midterms

Recent Democratic rhetoric and the longer history of Congress and midterm elections remind us that parties on their way to losing congressional majorities often talk the following way about their legislative agendas: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York declared last week that the party-line passage of the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act… (Read more)

Does the House need so many rules?

Does the House need so many rules?

The other week I found myself testifying before the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Someone on the committee had seen my column grousing about the crazy process used to pass a half billion debt increase last autumn. I was asked to show up and discuss why I thought the People’s House was drowning in a surfeit of […]

Kosar testimony on the Excessively Compl...

Kosar testimony on the Excessively Complex Rules in the House of Representatives

How does a bill become a law? These days, it rarely is the “regular order” style described by School House Rock. On July 28, 2022, I testified on the prolixity of House rules for legislating and on the peculiar fact that they so often are waved.

Is 2022 the death knell for congressiona...

Is 2022 the death knell for congressional reform?

Those of us who have been working to goad Congress to reform itself got some bad news recently. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) lost in his primary, thanks to Illinois’ Democrats redistricting him. Davis is the ranking member of the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and also served on the Select Committee on the Modernization of […]

Why more Americans should visit the offi...

Why more Americans should visit the offices of members of Congress

Recently, I conducted an informal survey. I asked 10 friends and professional colleagues whether they had ever visited the office of their member of Congress. Not a single one of them had. I was not surprised: Until I went to work for Congress in my early 30s, I had not visited a legislator or his […]