With the recent economic recession, increased unemployment, and plant closings and relocations abroad, trade is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in the nine-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination. How do the President and his trade representative interact with Congress on pending bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, and how will future trade agreements be affected by the new political mood in Congress and the nation? These are some some of the questions that were posed at this recent Congress Project seminar.
One of President Obama's first orders of business in office was to create a White House Office of Urban Affairs to coordinate the various agencies working on pieces of urban policies. Mercedes Marquez of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and experts outside the government takes stock of the efforts to date.
The House of Representatives is considering a spurt of budget process reform bills this month. While it has been pegged by House Republican leaders to the Democratic Senate’s failure to produce a budget resolution over the last three years, it is also a useful exercise in better educating Members on the process—even if the pieces don’t all fit together at this point.
July 16, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Is the dysfunction and policy gridlock in government simply a product of our polarized country politically, or a deeper symptom of a changing culture in Congress aimed more at gaining and holding political power than in producing good public policy for the country. Don Wolfensberger sees more signs of the latter taking place.