Congress Publications

Is Negotiating Political Agreement a Lost Art?

Mar 11, 2014
A group of political scientists say Congress has forgotten the art of negotiating political agreements and needs to relearn it if our government is to continue to function as intended. Wolfensberger says in today's Congress, with all the distractions during shortened work weeks, simple deliberations are a difficult challenge for most members. more

Congress’ Budgeting Would Baffle a Martian

Feb 26, 2014
Congress passed its first budget in four years, but the twisted path it took to get there would baffle a Martian. more

McConnell’s Lament Stirs Fresh Breeze of Hope

Jan 29, 2014
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), in a floor speech January 8, lamented the sorry state of the Senate today, admitted that both parties are to blame for turning the chamber into a campaign studio, and promised to return to deliberative policy making body if Republicans regain majority control next year. more

Senate Leader Reid’s Rule Recalls House Czar Speaker Reed

Dec 23, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unilateral procedural maneuver to effectively change Senate filibuster rules on presidential nominations, resembled the actions of Republican House Speaker Thomas Reed in 1890 to eliminated minority party obstruction. Both moves met with heavy resistance from the minority party. more

Don’t Dismiss Bicameral Working Group Out of Hand

Oct 25, 2013
A House passed bill to create a ""Bipartisan Working group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth" could provide an opening for a larger deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. more

Procedural Maneuvers Go Nowhere in Twin Crises

Oct 25, 2013
The twin crises of a government shutdown and near debt default were prolonged by procedural moves and countermoves that went nowhere, with Congress eventually stumbling out the exit, kicking the can down the road once more. more

Going Beyond AGOA: Ideas for a Trans-Atlantic Partnership with Africa

Jun 27, 2013
This is an ambitious but realistic & practical way to enhance AGOA by not just ensuring prompt and seamless renewal of U.S. market access provisions for African imports, but also promoting a level playing field for U.S. investment in Africa and encouraging American participation in sub Saharan Africa’s regional infrastructural development. more

The Trans - Atlantic South Partnership: Positions on Building a Mutually Beneficial Partnership with Africa

May 21, 2013
It is very simple. Until the U.S. is as optimally invested, or doing business as briskly as the Chinese, the EU, Indians, Brazilians or Vietnamese; the world’s largest economy can neither expand its commercial footprint in Africa nor make a portentous impact on the lives of over a billion Africans. more

Congress Takes Recess From Pro Formas

Apr 22, 2013
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. more

Filibusters Sometimes Serve Purposes

Mar 27, 2013
Senate filibusters have long been a target of congressional reformers, though as much as the Senate might tweak the rules, they are unlikely to give up this valuable right of the minority to talk. And sometimes talking does build support for an issue. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.