In its August 2003 budget and economic update, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected a $401 billion deficit this year, and $480 billion next year, with no sign of a surplus reemerging until 2012. How will Congress deal with this new sea of red ink? Will mounting deficits be an issue in the 2004 presidential and congressional campaigns? These were some of the issues that were explored at this recent Congress Project seminar.
A group of former Members of Congress, staff and scholars has urged Congress to return to a culture of legislating and abandon the election centered culture that has produced hyper-partisanship and gridlock. The experts suggest the transformation will not require major changes in rules and procedures, but rather leadership-led encouragement of a more deliberative legislative process in committees and on the floor.
July 3, 2006 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
It's not a new strain of flu, but there is an infectious form of transparentitis that's sweeping the nation. And members are catching it from their constituents, writes Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger in a Roll Call op-ed.
Congress passed its first budget in four years, but the twisted path it took to get there would baffle a Martian.