Congress has come under fire recently for criticizing the president's approach to curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions. But as Wilson Center congressional scholar Don Wolfensberger points out, the Founders intended for Congress to share in foreign policy making and serve as a check on executive powers.
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.
Congress passed its first budget in four years, but the twisted path it took to get there would baffle a Martian.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Trans - Atlantic South Partnership: Positions on Building a Mutually Beneficial Partnership with AfricaMay 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.
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.