About the Congress Project

The Congress Project fosters a dialogue between scholars who study Congress and policymakers who have experience with how Congress works. The project offers a series of seminars and forums featuring members of Congress and their staff, political scientists, historians, and Washington media representatives. more

The Latest from the Congress Project

Is Negotiating Political Agreement a Lost Art?

Publication //
Mar 11, 2014
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. more

Congress’ Budgeting Would Baffle a Martian

Publication //
Feb 26, 2014
Congress passed its first budget in four years, but the twisted path it took to get there would baffle a Martian. more

Can Senate De-Escalate Partisan Nuke Warfare?

Publication //
Feb 12, 2014
Senate majority party frustration over minority party obstruction could be taken to the extreme of shutting down minority participation and altering the character of the upper chamber. Some measured rules changes could help de-escalate current procedural warfare. more

McConnell’s Lament Stirs Fresh Breeze of Hope

Publication //
Jan 29, 2014
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), in a floor speech January 8, lamented the sorry state of the Senate today, admitted that both parties are to blame for turning the chamber into a campaign studio, and promised to return to deliberative policy making body if Republicans regain majority control next year. more

Czar Speaker Is Vindicated on Overthrow Ruling

Publication //
Jan 17, 2014
When the House of Representatives removed Speaker Joe Cannon as chairman of the Rules Committee in 1910, it did so by overturning his ruling that changing House rules from the floor is not a constitutional right. Before Cannon left office in 1911, the House reversed itself, perhaps in part because Democrats would be in the majority two months later. The tale is a cautionary one for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who recently changed Senate filibuster rules. more

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