The constitutional role of the House of Representatives to police its Members for misconduct has been been non-functional for most of the last two years due to partisan in-fighting. Putting the system back on track for the good of the House and nation will require a commitment by leaders of both parties. Exactly what procedural changes are necessary may still be a matter of contention.
President Barack Obama made a controversial move in early January by making four recess appointments to fill vacancies in top government positions, even though Congress was intentionally avoiding long recesses to block such a move. While the recess ploy may score political points by highlighting Senate delays in approving nominations, it is straining constitutional bounds and inter-branch relations.
July 2, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
In a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress agreed in October to fund the government for six more months rather than suffer the political consequences of a government shutdown. While outrage over the killing of U.S. personnel in Libya threatened to derail the agreeement, pressures to adjourn for election campaigns prevailed.
October 24, 2006 By Don WolfensbergerRoll Call Contributing Writer
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.