Program

Events

Weak Committees Empower the Partisans

Over the last three decades majority parties in Congress have come to dominate the policy agenda, often at the expense of committees and deliberative lawmaking. In this article from Roll Call's Procedural Politics column, Wolfensberger finds evidence of this power shift in the growing prominence of leadership staff over committee staff and in the number of unreported bills given major status by the party leaders.

Congress Should Not Censor Citizen Speech

October 15, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer

Point of View: Congress and Change

The Wilson Center's Don Wolfensberger, former chief of staff of the House Rules Committee, reflects on the fate of well-intentioned congressional reforms.

Incivility May Be Down, but ‘Uncivility’ Persists

A recent study credits Congresses of the last decade as being more civil than their predecessors in the 1990s. However, the study is based on the narrow metric of how often House Members are called to order for uttering unparliamentary language questioning the character of a colleague. Wolfensberger maintains that such acts of incivility may be down but the “uncivility” of depersonalizing and ignoring Members of the other party is on the upswing.

Select Panels Offer Speakers Additional Powers and Pitfalls

January 29, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer

House Leaders Throw Blue Dogs a PAYGO Bone

Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger parses the arbitrary 100-day deadline for Congress's budget resolution and documents the last-minute negotiations that followed it there.

Upon Further Review, Senate Censure Makes No Sense, Sir

May 15, 2006 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer

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