While there has been a lot of finger-pointing in Congress over who is to blame for the failure of the joint committee on deficit reduction, the American people are ultimately to blame for their ambivalence about increasing taxes and lowering government entitlement benefits. That mood is reflected in the stalemate among parties and Members over how to tackle the debt problem. Congress is a representative body and right now it is representing the reluctance of the people they represent to elevate deficit reduction over jobs and the economy. Read more from Don Wolfensberger's latest article from Roll Call's Procedural Politics column.
September 17, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
While House Democrats charged Republicans with playing politics by forcing a contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, and some Republican Members seemed too anxious to punish the Attorney General by pushing Speaker John Boehner for an earlier vote, Wolfensberger points out that neither party nor branch of government stands to gain politically from what is a complex interbranch dispute over documents related to the government’s botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation in the southwest U.S.
January 4, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Congress has undergone many changes since World War II, most of which have had to do with adapting to the complexities of modern society and the commensurate growth in the Executive Branch bureaucracy and powers of the presidency. The first major post War reform efforts begun in 1945 and 1965 were premised on the belief that any institutional changes should be bicameral and bipartisan. Consequently, joint committees of equal party and chamber representation were formed to conduct a comprehensive study of the organization and operations of Congress with a view to strengthening it...
In its August 2003 budget and economic update, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected a $401 billion deficit this year, and $480 billion next year, with no sign of a surplus reemerging until 2012. How will Congress deal with this new sea of red ink? Will mounting deficits be an issue in the 2004 presidential and congressional campaigns? These were some of the issues that were explored at this recent Congress Project seminar.