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Getting Back to Legislating, Remarks of Don Wolfensberger

Apr 22, 2013
Getting Back to Legislating, Remarks of Don Wolfensberger at Bradley University Conference on Returning Civility to Our Public Discourse Tuesday, April 16, 201

A Brief History of Congressional Reform Efforts

Apr 22, 2013
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...

Getting Back to Legislating: Reflections of a Congressional Working Group

Nov 26, 2012
Congress has changed dramatically over the last half century, from a culture of legislating to a culture of campaigning, according to a new report prepared for the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Wilson Center by Donald Wolfensberger, who is a scholar at each organization. The report finds that this culture is not conducive to bipartisan compromise or serious problem solving and contains suggestions for changes the new Congress could implement to effect a returned focus to legislating.

With Congress at Low Point, Time for Reform Is Now

Mar 14, 2012
Former House Rules Committee staffer and Wilson Center expert Don Wolfensberger lays out a step-by-step plan to restore Congress’ “culture of lawmaking.” Committees—not party leaders—should control legislative work, he says, and campaign finance reforms are needed to shift attention from 24-7 fundraising.
Don Wolfensberger

Congress, the Budget, and Us

May 05, 2011
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.

National Urban Policy: Is a New Day Dawning?

Jan 27, 2010
One of President Obama's first orders of business in office was to create a White House Office of Urban Affairs to coordinate the various agencies working on pieces of urban policies. Mercedes Marquez of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and experts outside the government takes stock of the efforts to date.

Members of Congress Catch 72-Hour Bug From Constituents

Oct 06, 2009
It's not a new strain of flu, but there is an infectious form of transparentitis that's sweeping the nation. And members are catching it from their constituents, writes Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger in a Roll Call op-ed.

There's a Better Way to Handle the Torture Controversy

Jun 09, 2009
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.

House Leaders Throw Blue Dogs a PAYGO Bone

May 27, 2009
Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger parses the arbitrary 100-day deadline for Congress's budget resolution and documents the last-minute negotiations that followed it there.

Gun Amendment: Poison Pill or Silver Bullet?

Mar 17, 2009
How will the D.C. voting rights bill be affected by the gun amendment? Just look at recent history, explains Congress Project Director Don Wolfensberger in his bimonthly column from Roll Call.

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