Is Congress Overwhelmed?

Kevin R Kosar
Nov 11, 2023

In short, yes, institutionally it is not built to handle the demands put upon it

Diagnoses of the troubles of Congress usually focus on the three P’s: people, parties, and polarization.

Tim LaPira, Lee Drutman, and I add an additional framework: congressional capacity. In short, we say look at the institution itself: is it built to meet the demands placed upon it by the public and the U.S. Constitution? Are it slegislators incentivized to do the work expected? Doies it have the staff it needs? How about its internal work dtsructures and work processes — are they aligned with Congress’s duties?

You can find the asnwers to these questions and more in our book, Congress Overwhelmed (University of Chicago Press). We also chat about it in the video below.

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Kevin R Kosar

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC. My books: Congress Overwhelmed (2020) and… See http://kevinrkosar.com