Max Ehrenfreund writes:
"With so much work to do, even a veteran lawmaker steeped in the details of public policy could struggle to keep it all straight. For the heavy lifting of writing amendments and making bills, legislators have traditionally turned to their aides, who spend their work days burrowing into niche policy areas.
"But at a time when lawmakers are badly in need of advice from their staff, the typical lawmaker will have fewer of them to turn to. The average number of aides supporting a rank-and-file House member has been in decline for several years because of budget cuts.
"Meanwhile, Congress's independent research bodies — agencies once filled with lawyers, engineers, physicists and economists on call to answer technical questions about complicated bills — have long been short-staffed as lawmakers have looked for ways to save money...."