Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger urges House to emulate past bipartisan ethics task forces to overcome partisanship and strengthen the institution.
In the recent contretemps over funding the federal government this year, the Wilson Center found itself in the same position as scores of other government departments and agencies in our neighborhood. Congress Project Don Wolfensberger shares his perspective.
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.
October 15, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Two prominent political scientists claim Republicans are principally to blame for Washington’s dysfunction because they are more extreme and less inclined to compromise. In this article, Don Wolfensberger notes Congress has been just as dysfunctional under Democratic majorities and the fault lies in the increasing polarization between the parties and the imperatives of “the permanent campaign” to hold on to power by shaping legislation for political purposes rather than finding common ground in the national interest.
January 16, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer