Hopeful budget watchers predicted that Congress would have fairly smooth fiscal sailing now that statutory spending caps are in place. That obviously underestimates the ability of Members to whip up their own squalls.
The Wilson Center's Don Wolfensberger, former chief of staff of the House Rules Committee, reflects on the fate of well-intentioned congressional reforms.
The dispute this spring between the House and Senate over whether a congressional budget resolution is even necessary this year highlights difficulties down the road as the two houses weigh-in with widely divergent spending numbers writes Don Wolfensberger in Roll Call.
March 12, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Rather than rush before the TV cameras with sensational testimony, the Senate Intelligence Committee is quietly conducting the most responsible of the inquiries into government detention and interrogation practices, writes Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger in a Roll Call op-ed.
Sometimes Congress’s budget gimmicks snap back and sting. Sequestration (or across the board spending cuts) wasn’t supposed to happen, but something snapped, and everyone got stung.
June 19, 2006 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
A group of political scientists say Congress has forgotten the art of negotiating political agreements and needs to relearn it if our government is to continue to function as intended. Wolfensberger says in today's Congress, with all the distractions during shortened work weeks, simple deliberations are a difficult challenge for most members.