Restoring the First Branch


25-day shutdown exemplifies changing norms in America’s governing institutions
Aubrey Neal

AIN Update

Jan. 15, 2019, marks day 25 of the U.S. government’s partial shutdown that began on Dec. 22. Not terribly long ago, spending bills were enacted before the end of the fiscal year….

, Law and Liberty
Congress Has Forgotten How to Fight
James Wallner

The problem with the Congress today is that its members are unwilling to take a punch for a cause in which they believe, much less throw one themselves.

On one level, this problem is actually a…

, Houston Chronicle
Cruz term-limits bill aims at career politicians, but current terms don’t count
Media Coverage

From the Houston Chronicle:
Casey Burgat, a governance analyst for R Street, a free market think tank in Washington, has argued that a Congress of novice lawmakers would lend itself to more…

“I can do it if I want” – President Trump threatens use of emergency powers to build border wall
Aubrey Neal


“I can do it if I want” 

On Jan. 4, day 13 of the United States government’s partial shutdown over border wall funding, President Trump threatened to declare a national…

Back in the Saddle
Media Coverage

From U.S. News and World Report:

Meanwhile, the Democrats acquire the power of the subpoena, arguably as impactful as the speaker’s gavel. Since only the majority party can compel testimony or…

, FixGov
Congress in 2019: The 2nd most educated and least politically experienced House freshman class
Casey Burgat

As we outlined in an earlier article, the 116th Congress is going to look a lot different than its predecessors thanks to a younger, more female, less white new cohort of Democrats. And weeks before…

, Roll Call
Pelosi, McConnell Have Plenty of Reasons to End Shutdown
Media Coverage

From Roll Call:
Moving from unified Republican control to a divided Congress could give Republicans the political cover they need to advance spending legislation that they might have had trouble…

Human capital and institutional decline in congressional appropriations committees
Casey Burgat

Members and experts alike often call for a return to regular order in the appropriations process. But Congress is fast approaching a point where very few current members or staffers were around the…

, Federal Times
Money Congress can’t touch almost doubles
Media Coverage

From Federal Times:
“The definition of offsetting collections, they are essentially fines, fees, penalties and settlements that agencies are authorized by law to collect and spend without…

, Federal New Network
‘Autopilot’ government spending nearly doubled over last 20 years. But should Congress pump the brakes?
Media Coverage

From Federal News Network:
James Wallner, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, told lawmakers that the Palmer bill would bring offsetting collections out into the open.

“The vast majority…