Various reports indicate that congressional Democrats intend to bring back earmarks. Politico quoted Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as saying they will return, and that House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro “is working through the details of a reformed process.” This news is not a bolt out of the blue. Last week, an AEI report by Professor Zachary Courser of Claremont McKenna College and I noted that talk of reviving earmarks has been percolating for years. Many legislators lamented losing the ability to fix crumbling roads and renovate public parks in their home districts. Our study found legislative gridlock rose after the earmark moratorium….(Read more)
Various reports indicate that congressional Democrats intend to bring back earmarks. Politico quoted Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as saying they will return — and that House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro “is working through the details of a reformed process.”
This news is not a bolt out of the blue. Last week, an AEI report by Professor Zachary Courser of Claremont McKenna College and I noted that talk of reviving earmarks has been percolating for years. Many legislators lamented losing the ability to fix crumbling roads and renovate public parks in their home districts. …
Last month, the 117th Congress arrived in Washington with plenty of fresh faces and new ideas for governing. More than five dozen new members entered the House and Senate. Only a handful of them, such as Wyoming Republican Rep. Cynthia Lummis, have previous experience in Congress.
These new-to-Capitol Hill officeholders made plenty of promises on the campaign trail, and they are eager to show voters that they can get things done. They want to write legislation, engage in oversight at hearings, and debate matters important to their constituents back home.
Unfortunately, their dreams of getting things done will soon be…
What is next for Donald Trump? There are reports that the former president is intending to play a role in the 2022 election. One report says his hit list includes Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC).
Note: All of these individuals are Republicans. Rather than support opponents in the general elections against the Democrats who harried him, the former president wants to use the 2022 primaries to get back at legislators who were insufficiently obedient.
Was the 2020 election a wipeout for the Republican Party? At first blush, yes. The party lost control of the presidency and the Senate — two years after losing the House of Representatives. Things have not been this bad since Herbert Hoover’s presidency. He too was a one-term president whose party lost control over the first and second branches with breathtaking speed.
But that’s not the whole story, and a closer look reveals many positives for the GOP. They actually gained seats in the House and turned back the much predicted blue wave. In the Senate, they had to defend…
Conservatives have a love-hate relationship with the Republican Party. The reason is straightforward: the Grand Old Party (GOP) frequently disappoints them. The media regularly complains that Republicans have been radicalized and are governing from the far right; conservatives not so much. When they look to Washington they perceive lots of righties selling out. Sure, they talk a tough game — but when’s the last time they actually cut the size of government?
This is why various conservative parties have cropped up in states at various moments in America. Perhaps most famous was the conservative party of New York State, which…
However well-intentioned, the earmark moratorium has had real shortcomings. As various observers
have noted, forbidding earmarks has shifted spending authority to the executive branch agencies, which are not directly accountable to the public. The moratorium also has not reduced federal spending, as some advocates anticipated. Troublingly, the earmark moratorium encouraged legislators to attempt to direct spending through the less-transparent practice of lettermarking. Perhaps most critically, this report’s analysis shows how the earmark moratorium weakened
the House of Representatives’ capacity to coalesce majorities to enact legislation, a constitutional duty of the chamber….(Read more)
Something surprising happened on the floor of the House this week. Representative Don Young, a Republican from Alaska, was supposed to rise and swear in Nancy Pelosi to be leader of the chamber, and then sit down. Instead, the longest serving member of the House chose another course of action. The reader would be forgiven for fearing that Young, who has a reputation for unruly behavior, would create a heated partisan moment for the cameras…(Read more)
AEI and I launched a new, monthly podcast: Understanding Congress. It features short discussions explaining how the First Branch works — and doesn’t. Check it out at https://www.aei.org/tag/understanding-congress-podcast/.
Here are some of the initial episodes:
For the past 15 years, public disapproval of the performance of Congress has averaged around 70 percent. Typically, when people look at Washington, as former Speaker Paul Ryan once observed, “It looks like chaos” — not leadership or governance, regardless of which party is in control.
What’s wrong with Congress? Most frequently the problem is framed as a people problem. Congress has bad people in it. There are clowns, cranks and crooks, and we should throw those bums out. Others point to Capitol Hill having too many rabid partisans. Best to send them packing, too, in favor of new legislators…