U.S. Politics Publications

Congress Takes Recess From Pro Formas

Apr 22, 2013
So far this Congress has been spared the brief “pro forma” sessions used to block presidential recess appointments in previous Congresses. Both parties have done it to prevent a president of the other party from filling judicial or executive branch vacancies while Congress is away. A recent court decision however, may change all that. more

Filibusters Sometimes Serve Purposes

Mar 27, 2013
Senate filibusters have long been a target of congressional reformers, though as much as the Senate might tweak the rules, they are unlikely to give up this valuable right of the minority to talk. And sometimes talking does build support for an issue. more

Rubber-Band Politics' Snapback Sting

Mar 12, 2013
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. more

Setting Priorities for U.S. Policy in Latin America

Mar 05, 2013
The Obama administration will need to establish clear priorities for U.S.–Latin American relations that advance U.S. interests in remarkably changed circumstances. No single approach to the region can guide U.S. policy, nor can policy be successful if it does not recognize the changes in the region over the past decade that are reflected in the hemisphere’s economic and political vitality. more

Educating for Democracy: The Taube Discussion Series on Teaching American Values

Mar 05, 2013
What are core American values, and how should they be taught in the nation's classrooms? Four lectures on the subject were presented by the Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor, Dr. Donna E. Shalala, Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, and Prof. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. The lightly edited version of their talks provides thoughts about both basic values and the approaches most likely to be successful with K-12 students. more

U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico: The Relationship Through Their Eyes

Feb 26, 2013
What emerges in this publication is a nuanced portrait of the individuals who have been tasked with serving as the key link of the U.S. government with Mexico. Dolia Estévez's effort to bring their memories and their perspectives to light helps illuminate a little known part of the political relationship between the two countries. It also chronicles a changing relationship between these countries from "distant neighbors" to "intimate strangers," who are deeply dependent on one another and yet are only still getting to know one another well enough to manage the relationship. more

Getting Back to Legislating: Reflections of a Congressional Working Group

Feb 19, 2013
A group of former Members of Congress, staff and scholars has urged Congress to return to a culture of legislating and abandon the election centered culture that has produced hyper-partisanship and gridlock. The experts suggest the transformation will not require major changes in rules and procedures, but rather leadership-led encouragement of a more deliberative legislative process in committees and on the floor. more

How Should America Respond to Economic Opportunities in Africa?

Feb 07, 2013
U.S. policy toward Africa has been on autopilot for much of the past four years, following a laundry list of good intentions that established priorities for Africa’s well-being and U.S. security interests. However, a truly sustainable and forward-looking U.S. policy toward Africa should refocus attention on Africa’s opportunity as an economic powerhouse of the future, a strategy that combines both domestic self-interest and an opportunity to help Africa move forward. more

Information on the 113th Congress

Jan 25, 2013
The 113th Congress has nearly the same partian makeup, but with over 80 new House members and 12 freshman senators it's bound to produce some different results. Information on the new Congress and data on previous ones still point to increasing partisanship. more

Process Gimmicks Can't Replace Policymaking

Jan 24, 2013
It is often said that process is policy; that he who makes the rules controls policy outcomes. But in recent years, process has often been used to avoid tough policy choices, especially when it comes to getting government spending under control, writes Don Wolfensberger. more

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Dialogue

The Future of Higher Education

Mar 26, 2014Apr 02, 2014

Jeff Abernathy and Richard Morrill discuss how colleges and universities are dealing with rapidly rising costs and how the United States can still compete for students in a globalized environment.