March 3, 2008 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
President Obama is asking Congress to renew a fast-track government reorganization process that expired in 1984. He would first use the process to submit a plan to consolidate various trade-related agencies and functions in a newly name and reconfigured Commerce Department. Congress is leery of giving presidents carte blanch authority to get an up-or-down vote on their plans, especially under divided party government. There is nothing to prevent Congress from using the normal legislative process to deliberate and amend the president’s reorganization proposals.
June 4, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Congress has changed dramatically over the last half century, from a culture of legislating to a culture of campaigning, according to a new report prepared for the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Wilson Center by Donald Wolfensberger, who is a scholar at each organization. The report finds that this culture is not conducive to bipartisan compromise or serious problem solving and contains suggestions for changes the new Congress could implement to effect a returned focus to legislating.
September 25, 2006 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
The 109th Congress is once again attempting to forge a national energy policy after failing to do so in the last several Congresses. At this Congress Project seminar, a panel of Capitol Hill policymakers and observers discussed the prospects for enacting an energy bill in this Congress.
Ideological differences in Congress do not account for all of the hyperpartisanship. Sometimes parties draw the lines simply to advance their electoral interests.
Remarks of Don Wolfensberger before the Executive Council on Diplomacy Briefing of Foreign Diplomats on "The Washington Roadmap: How Congress Works." April 8, 2004