U.S. Politics Publications

Redefining U.S. Economic Rivalries in Asia

Nov 19, 2012
Promising to level the playing field with China has been a vote-winning mantra among Democrats and Republicans alike. Yet competition for new markets, natural resources, good jobs, and global talent is as likely to come from Japan and South Korea as from China. more

Policy Brief: Dealing with a Rising China

Nov 15, 2012
Washington and Beijing both consider good bilateral relations to be vital, but their growing strategic rivalry has the potential to evolve into mutual antagonism. In this new policy brief, published as the new leadership was announced in Beijing, China expert Stapleton Roy argues that the US should focus on regional engagement through multilateral organizations like ASEAN, as opposed to its military presence in the region. more

Fast-Track Funding Bills Always Hard to Derail

Oct 23, 2012
In a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress agreed in October to fund the government for six more months rather than suffer the political consequences of a government shutdown. While outrage over the killing of U.S. personnel in Libya threatened to derail the agreeement, pressures to adjourn for election campaigns prevailed. more

Policy Gridlock: Is It the New Regular Order?

Oct 09, 2012
Is the dysfunction and policy gridlock in government simply a product of our polarized country politically, or a deeper symptom of a changing culture in Congress aimed more at gaining and holding political power than in producing good public policy for the country. Don Wolfensberger sees more signs of the latter taking place. more

House Tax Overhaul Process Divides Parties

Sep 11, 2012
It’s unusual for Congress to plan in advance, but House Republicans have pushed through a bill to establish a process for considering comprehensive tax reform next year. Don Wolfensberger writes that the process is aimed more at blasting Senate obstruction and appealing to this fall’s electorate than to making a serious commitment to tax reform. more

Appropriations Process Wilts in the Sunshine

Jul 26, 2012
While the House and Senate appropriations committees were off to a good start this spring in reporting most of their 12 money bills, the process slowed down considerably this summer with a raft of floor amendments. This portends a repeat of last year with no bills enacted by the start of the fiscal year and an omnibus bill wrapping things up well past the deadline, writes Don Wolfensberger in his Procedural Politics column. more

Contempt Charges Are Not Partisan Fodder

Jul 16, 2012
While House Democrats charged Republicans with playing politics by forcing a contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, and some Republican Members seemed too anxious to punish the Attorney General by pushing Speaker John Boehner for an earlier vote, Wolfensberger points out that neither party nor branch of government stands to gain politically from what is a complex interbranch dispute over documents related to the government’s botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation in the southwest U.S. more

In Blaming Republicans, Authors Miss the Point

Jun 22, 2012
Two prominent political scientists claim Republicans are principally to blame for Washington’s dysfunction because they are more extreme and less inclined to compromise. In this article, Don Wolfensberger notes Congress has been just as dysfunctional under Democratic majorities and the fault lies in the increasing polarization between the parties and the imperatives of “the permanent campaign” to hold on to power by shaping legislation for political purposes rather than finding common ground in the national interest. more

Incivility May Be Down, but ‘Uncivility’ Persists

Jun 22, 2012
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. more

Congressional Staffers Play Quiet, Vital Role

Jun 22, 2012
Wolfensberger praises the Stennis Center’s Congressional Fellows Program that has trained some 240 senior staff over the last two decades, for personifying the extraordinary quality and character of the young people who assist House and Senate Members in carrying out their duties. 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.