Congress, Lee Druckman, Institution Of Congress discussed on C-SPAN Programming
Just type the author's name in the search bar at the top of the page. Double UCSB from Washington. Coming up next on book TV from earlier this month and event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. The three editors of the book Congress overwhelmed questions whether or not Congress has the ability to meet the issues of the day. Hello, everyone. I'm you've all of in I'm director of Social, cultural and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute. And it's my great pleasure to welcome you to this discussion of Congress overwhelmed the new book, edited by Kevin Costar, Lea Druckman and Timothy Lip era Congress stands at the heart of our constitutional system. It is the first branch in more ways than one or at least it's supposed to be. In our time, Congress often seems dysfunctional, broken down, even irresponsible. Some observers point to partisanship or polarization as a cause. Other people talk about the temptations of populism or performative politics, scholars might point to historical or institutional causes. This new volume points to a crucial and underappreciated additional reason why Congress is struggling so much. It doesn't have the internal capacity to do what we demand of it is essays Chronicle the institutional decline of Congress and the decades long failure to invest in the knowledge and expertise necessary for it to perform as a first rate legislature. Lack of staff of experience and of resource is too often leaves Congress at the mercy of lobbyists and of the executive bureaucracy. We'll hear from the book's editors about why that has happened and what might be done about it. Our format is very simple. I will introduce our two or three Panelists they leave speak for a bit about an element of the argument advanced in the book. And then the four of us will take up a discussion and at the end, there also be an opportunity for all of you to engage with the panel in Q and a. There are two ways that you can ask a question by email or through Twitter. You can email your question to Alain Alain, whose email is Elaine e l a. Y and Z that Alan a. L. L E. M at a Iittle Gourgue. Or you can tweet them at us with the hashtag Ai Congress overwhelmed. The editors of the volume of three great scholars of Congress sent American government. Kevin Co star is a resident scholar here Day I study in Congress, the separation of powers, political reform and related issues. He's worked at the Arch Street Institute and that the Congressional Research Service And his writings have appeared in many publications. Both academic and general Lee Druckman is a senior fellow in the political reform program at New America. He is the author, most recently of breaking the two party Doom Loop, which I very highly recommend to you, and he writes widely on the challenges facing American democracy. And Timothy LaPierre, A is a professor of political science at James Madison University in Virginia, who studies Congress. Interest groups and lobbying is the author most recently of revolving door lobbying, and he served as Thea Merican Political Science Association Public Service fellow at the House Select Committee on the Modernization of the Congress, the three of them Ring, enormous experience and expertise to the table and the book they've ended. It is a wonderful new resource for students of Congress will hear about different facets of it from from each of them, and we'll start with Kevin costar. So, Kevin, the floor is yours. You've all live in a I something his moderator. Right. Well, thank you. You going? Thank you. Thank you. To all of you who are in the audience. I'm delighted that we're here to celebrate the release of this. New book, which has chapters written by top scholars from Congress. It's been a long time coming lead him and I put in a ton of work, Tonto get this book together. But we couldn't have done it without the help of the roughly two dozen contributors to the volume, so thank you to them, too. Before I go further, I wouldn't give you a simple road map of what I'm gonna talk about in brief and what Lian Temple address and their remarks. My comments are going to focus on the origins of this book. Why do we put this thing together? Please don't talk about the overarching conceptual framework, which is congressional capacity than Tim is going to discuss the survey of congressional staff and the great trove of information and data that we put together that was drawn upon by many of the scholars who contributed to this volume. So let me get to the Why. Why? Why? Another book on Congress? Well, uh, the origin of this book goes back five years to a coffee I had with Lee Druckman, who is at that time a stranger to me. We had of all things interacted on Twitter. I had been writing out there about the Congressional Review Act and how Congress could use it's all making authority to strike down regulations. Lee tweeted in response to me and asked whether it was a good thing for Congressman do if it was being goaded to overturn regulations by entrenched political interest with deep pockets. It's a fair question. Rather debated over social media. We decided to get coffee together. It was one of the best decisions I've made in recent years. What emerged from that coffee chat was that motherly? Looks at things from the left, and I look at things from the right. We both share the same perspective that Congress as an institution was struggling, and when we both agree that part of the failure is due to the individuals in it, and that identified factors like polarization. We're You're playing a role in it. We also had the same perspective that there seemed to be Failure caused by the structure of the institution itself put most broadly, the world around the institution of Congress has changed. The institution itself has not been reorganizing, upgraded so that it can have a real chance to respond to the demands being placed upon it and to meet the public's expectations. And this Could've met a problem. This big, overarching problem. We turned congressional capacity and he's gonna tell you but more about that, Shortly. Now way Both felt that this was a real problem for represented democracy. You just don't have a represent democracy if you don't have a well functioning legislature. Founders wrote the Constitution. They very much expected Legislature to be the heart of the federal governing apparatus, but to anybody who looks a planet that's just doesn't appear to be the case. Um, whole separation of power system is out of balance, with more and more power flowing to the other branches in Congress looking increasingly irrelevant. Now, Lee and I, you know, discuss the fact that in the past when Congress had sort of slid into dysfunction and weakness, it would reorganize itself would strengthen itself. Visa be the executive branch by changing its internal structures and processes would add new staff..