March 17, 2008 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
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
With the recent economic recession, increased unemployment, and plant closings and relocations abroad, trade is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in the nine-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination. How do the President and his trade representative interact with Congress on pending bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, and how will future trade agreements be affected by the new political mood in Congress and the nation? These are some some of the questions that were posed at this recent Congress Project seminar.
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.
January 16, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
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.