At a Congress Project seminar, a panel of former White House aides, a journalist, and a congressional scholar agreed that Barack Obama's actions during the White House transition will help ensure him legislative success with Congress.
Over the last three decades majority parties in Congress have come to dominate the policy agenda, often at the expense of committees and deliberative lawmaking. In this article from Roll Call's Procedural Politics column, Wolfensberger finds evidence of this power shift in the growing prominence of leadership staff over committee staff and in the number of unreported bills given major status by the party leaders.
October 15, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
A recent study credits Congresses of the last decade as being more civil than their predecessors in the 1990s. However, the study is based on the narrow metric of how often House Members are called to order for uttering unparliamentary language questioning the character of a colleague. Wolfensberger maintains that such acts of incivility may be down but the “uncivility” of depersonalizing and ignoring Members of the other party is on the upswing.
January 16, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
So far this Congress has been spared the brief “pro forma” sessions used to block presidential recess appointments in previous Congresses. Both parties have done it to prevent a president of the other party from filling judicial or executive branch vacancies while Congress is away. A recent court decision however, may change all that.