Congress and the People: Deliberative Democracy on Trial
Will some form of direct democracy supplant representative, deliberative government in the twenty-first century United States? That question is at the heart of Donald R. Wolfensberger’s history of Congress and congressional reform, which runs back to the Constitution’s creation of a popularly elected House of Representatives and forward to the surreal ending of the 105th Congress, featuring barrels of pork, resignation of the speaker, and impeachment of the president.
The author’s expertise comes from twenty-eight years as a staff member in the House, culminating in service as chief of staff of the powerful House Rules Committee. He was a top parliamentary expert and a principal Republican procedural strategist. Sensitive to the power of process, Wolfensberger is an authoritative guide to reform efforts of earlier eras. And as a participant in reforms since the 1960s, he offers a unique perspective on forging the “1970s sunshine coalition,” televising House proceedings, debating term limits, and coping with democracy in an electronic age.
Donald R. Wolfensberger served as a staff member in Congress from 1969 to 1997, working for such House members as John B. Anderson, Trent Lott, and Lynn Martin. He is currently the director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
About the Author
Former Director, the Congress Project, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Staff Director, House Rules Committee
Donald R. Wolfensberger is director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a position he had held since June 1999.Read More