Casey Burgat

Crippled Congress = expanded executive powers

Congress is unquestionably polarized. Many of the nation’s most pressing issues are mired in gridlock. These facets of our politics are understood, but the consequences of our current …

Examining the Case for Biennial Budgeting

Biennial budgeting has been suggested for decades as a potential reform that would help alleviate many of the ills within the broken congressional budgeting process. This policy paper …

Five reasons to oppose congressional term limits

“Nothing renders government more unstable than a frequent change of the persons that administer it.” –Roger Sherman, open letter, 1788. Congressional term limits have long been argued to be an …

Quick hit: Trump actually is outsourcing policymaking to Congress

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fAzQGtVt_c …

Lobbying’s influence on the Republican tax bill shows why Congress needs more staff

For those of us who try to convince lawmakers and political observers that Congress desperately needs to invest in its own capacity, our arguments often sound a bit too …

Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate

Hoover's Director of Washington Programs, Michael G. Franc, interviews author Molly E. Reynolds on her latest book, Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the …

The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration is hemorrhaging staff. Why?

The following post was co-authored by R Street Vice President of Policy Kevin Kosar.  At the beginning of the 115th Congress, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., took over from Sen. …

Data show how bad turnover was in Rep. Tim Murphy’s office

The well-known impetus for the forced retirement from Congress later this month of U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., was the bombshell revelation that he urged his mistress to undergo an abortion, despite …

Congress’ vanishing budget: It’s not all polarization’s fault

The following op-ed was co-authored by Joshua Huder, senior fellow at Georgetown University's Government Affairs Institute. One rare point of consensus across the ideological spectrum is that the congressional budget …

New LegBranch.com Resource: How wealthy are our representatives?

The following blog post was co-authored by Charles Hunt, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland at College Park. It likely wouldn’t surprise anyone, much less a congressional scholar, …

From staff cuts to lagging technology, Congress has a capacity problem

Congress has convened for one of the busier sessions it has faced in decades. But can it do its job? A recently published report from the Congressional Management Foundation provides yet more support …

Make Congress great again

The following op-ed was co-authored by Kevin R. Kosar, vice president of policy at R Street Institute and co-director of the nonpartisan Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group. In …

Free ways for Congress to address its staffing problem

Many longtime political observers agree Congress does not have enough staff to do its work. Those it does have are paid too little, work too many hours and turn over at such fast …

Congress may be more bipartisan than you think

At the Library of Congress’ Congress and History conference, political scientists James Curry and Frances Lee presented their working paper “Non-Party Government: Bipartisan lawmaking and theories of party power in congress.” In the paper, the …

Are long weekends reducing Congress’ productivity?

The following op-ed was co-authored by Charles Hunt, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. As members of Congress look forward to a potentially delayed start to …

Are long weekends reducing Congress’ productivity?

The attached policy short was co-authored by Charles Hunt, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. A common complaint of congressional observers—both those inside and outside the Beltway—is …

Don’t Gut the CBO: Congress shouldn’t abandon its brain

The following op-ed was co-authored by R Street Governance Policy Fellow C. Jarrett Dieterle. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks from …

Problems with the ‘committee tax’ in Congress

Chairmen of the U.S. House’s most-coveted committees—the so-called “A” committees that include Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Rules, and Ways and Means—are each expected to raise at …

What’s in the FY2018 House legislative branch appropriation?

The House Appropriations Committee approved Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations via a June 29 voice vote. The bill calls for $3.58 billion of funding for House and joint-chamber operations (Senate-specific items are not …

Senate should seek to retain its ‘blue slip’ tradition for judicial nominees

The "blue slip" process for judicial nominations—one of the Senate’s most obscure customs in a body known for its arcane rules and esoteric parliamentary practices—soon may be destined …

The downsides of using executive agency detailees

In a previous post, I recounted the advantages of using executive detailees as a means to combat staffing shortages on Capitol Hill. In short, agency detailees can serve as …

Among House staff, women are well-represented. Just not in the senior positions.

Congress has a gender imbalance. Of 435 members of the House of Representatives, just 83, or 19.1 percent, are women, putting the United States at 101st in gender …

How executive ‘detailees’ could help ease Congress’ staffing problems

It is becoming more widely acknowledged that Congress has a staffing problem. While the executive branch employs more than 4 million people, the legislative branch has only about …

Eight good pieces of news about Congress

It is not breaking news that most Americans are pessimistic about Congress. This negativity is reflected in Congress’ dismal 20 percent approval rating and another equally telling statistic that 79 percent of …

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