Congress | Wilson Center


The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War

After more than fifteen years of research, historian Joanne Freeman - a leading authority on early American political culture - has uncovered roughly seventy physically violent incidents in the antebellum Congress, most of them long forgotten.  Fistfights, guns and knives, out-and-out brawls: essentially censored out of the period's equivalent of the Congressional Record

Brazil's Pension Reform

Congressional Reform: Don Wolfensberger Testifies Before the House Committee on the Modernization of Congress

Executive Summary

The Responsibilities of Congress in Maintaining the Rule of Law

The Wilson Center is partnering with the International Bar Association to present the fourth program of "Preserving a Free Society," a six-part series of bipartisan discussions on the rule of law that feature current and former senior government officials and other distinguished guests.

What's Happening with Pension Reform in Brazil?

This page will be regularly updated as the pension reform bill proposed by the Bolsonaro administration develops in Congress. 

Congressional Night Cap Session: The U.S. Congress and its Role in International Security Policy

Wilson Center Director and Member of the Munich Security Conference Advisory Council Jane Harman moderated a session with Elissa Slotkin, U.S. Representative, Member of the House Committee on Armed Services, Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Representative, Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Michael Turner, U.S. Representative, Member of the House Committee on Armed Services, and Chris Coons, U.S. Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Remembering John Dingell and His 'Last Words for America'

Like many Americans, I was deeply moved by the final op-ed from John Dingell (John Dingell: My last words for America) that appeared in The Washington Post the day after we lost Congress’s longest-serving member. The Post reports that he “dictated these reflections to his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), at their home in Dearborn, on Feb.

State of the Union Address Needs Rethinking

CANCELLED: The Evolution of Threats to U.S. Homeland Security – A Conversation with Chairman Michael McCaul

This event is cancelled but will be rescheduled. 

In the 17 years since 9/11, America has faced new threats from international terrorists, rogue states and rising powers, cyber criminals, human traffickers, transnational gangs, and natural disasters. There are few people in Congress who understand this evolving threat landscape more than current House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul.

The Evolving U.S. Congress: From 'Culture of Legislating' to 'Culture of Campaigning'

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW, we speak with Congressional Fellow Donald Wolfensberger about his latest book, “Changing Cultures in Congress: From Fair Play to Power Plays.” He explains the institutional dynamics behind the House of Representative’s transformation from an institution primarily focused on legislation and governance to one plagued by a culture of perpetual campaigning. He also offers thoughts on how the culture can change again and