Policy Studies Regulatory Reform

Why I left the Congressional Research Service

The attached piece originally appeared in the January/February 20 edition of Washington Monthly.

If there’s one event that epitomizes why I quit my job last October as a researcher at the Congressional Research Service, Congress’ in-house think tank, it’s a phone call I got some weeks before making my decision to leave. The call was from a smart congressional staffer with a law degree. Confessing some embarrassment, he asked if, as the CRS’ resident expert on the U.S. Postal Service, I could help him and his congressman boss respond to a constituent. The constituent wanted to know why the USPS was “stockpiling ammunition.” The staffer forwarded the constituent’s email, which had links to various blogs warning that the USPS was arming itself to the teeth, perhaps preparing for an assault on America…

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