From PacificStandard:

To understand how, consider the fact that, over the last 30 years, Congress has eliminated thousands of staff positions. This, in turn, has hurt its ability to analyze policy and has overburdened and overstretched its staff, who’ve increasingly scrambled to do their jobs effectively. As a result, Congress now outsources a lot of its work to lobbyists and the executive branch. As Paul Glastris, the editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthlywrote for the magazine in 2014, the slashing of congressional staffing positions “reduced the ‘legislative support staff'” at agencies like the General Accounting Office (renamed the Government Accountability Office in 2004) “by a third and killed the Office of Technology Assessment entirely.” And while the Founding Fathers had always intended for the legislative branch to be the most powerful and robust of the three, today, “Congress clearly has been eclipsed by the executive branch. The executive branch comprises 180 agencies, 4.1 million civilian and active military employees and a budget of $3.9 trillion per year,” Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute wrote in 2016. “The legislative branch consists of a handful of agencies, has 30,000 employees and is funded at $4.5 billion per year.”

Featured Publications