ICYMI: Round-up of good reads on Congress

So many powers. Source: Archives.gov.

So many powers. Source: Archives.gov.

Daniel Stid, "The Hidden powers of the people’s branch: Passing legislation isn’t the only way Congress can check an unruly president," Washington Monthly

Excerpt:

"An additional soft power that Congress must exercise to restore its institutional heft is to fully fund the staff capacity and expertise it needs, in member offices, committees, and nonpartisan legislative support organizations like the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service. Chafetz notes that legislative reorganization acts passed by Congress in 1946 and 1970 bulked up this capacity, in part to provide for more systematic oversight and investigations of the executive branch. But when the GOP gained its dual congressional majorities in the mid-1990s, they shrank House committee staffs by one-third, disbanded the Office of Technology Assessment, and cut the budgets of the GAO and CRS. In effect, they lobotomized the institution they had fought so long to win control of at the very moment they should have been optimizing its capacity. Congress’s budgets and staff horsepower have never recovered. Until Congress allows itself—and pays for—the quantity and quality of staff and expertise it needs, its members cannot begin to oversee the executive branch adequately and will continue their overreliance on lobbyists for policy advice."

Read more at https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/novemberdecember-2017/the-hidden-powers-of-the-peoples-branch/

Also see:

Oversight:

Wendy Ginsberg, The Federal Vacancies Act: FAQs, Partnership for Public Service

Wendy Ginsberg, The Forward-Looking Inspector General, Partnership for Public Service

Other:

Kathy Goldschmidt and Lorelei Kelly, "Congress just doesn’t know enough to do its job well. Here’s why," Washington Post

Kristin Nicholson and Travis Moore, "Capitol Hill has a sexual harassment problem," Washington Post

Quorum, "Amidst tax reform debate, House also passes 13 Bills," Quorum.us

James Wallner, "The GOP is in a civil war, and Mitch McConnell is making it worse," Washington Examiner

James Wallner, "Putting individual mandate repeal in the tax reform bill only complicates the GOP's efforts," Washington Examiner