ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

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Amber Phillips, “The Kavanaugh fight was historically ugly. Blame a Congress that was primed to bungle it,” Washington Post:

“The vast majority of senators on both sides were too entrenched to make sense of a last-minute FBI background check into Ford and one other accuser’s story. In the end, Kavanaugh was confirmed by a razor-thin margin. We don’t need polls to tell us that irrespective of whether you wanted him on the court or not, the nation feels deeply divided.”

Patricia Murphy, “After the Kavanaugh Trauma, the Senate Needs an MRI,” Roll Call:

“How does the institution go on after a mess like that? How do colleagues, especially on the Judiciary Committee, work together after the accusations, attacks and name-calling that went on? How can they fix a Senate that looks so broken right now?”

Todd S. Purdum, “When the Senate Was Civil and Bipartisan,” The Atlantic:

“It's pointless, of course, to mourn the loss of civility without mourning the loss of bi-partisanship that made progress possible. But it's at least instructive to note that there really was a time, within living memory of many Americans, when cooperation on the biggest, most contentious problems of the day was not only possible but—in the highest stakes moments—the norm.”

Parker Richards, “The People v. the U.S. Senate,” The Atlantic:

“Indeed, when Americans last voted for their senators (over a period of six years), Democrats won the popular vote by more than 8 percent. It’s that disproportionality—and the reality that a majority of the country’s population is represented by just 18 senators—that is driving concerns about the Senate’s ability to function as a representative body in a changing America.”

Jennifer Victor, “Lisa Murkowski’s unusual vote on Kavanaugh, explained,” Vox:

“Murkowski used a procedure that used to be more common in the Senate called “pairing.” Pairing occurs when two senators make an agreement to allow their votes to cancel each other out.”

Greg Weiner, “Avoiding the Next 50-48 Vote: Disempower the Court,” Law and Liberty:

“There is no answer but to return to Publius’ regime, one in which Congress makes law, the President executes it and the courts apply it to specific cases. Self-government supplies an adequate normative basis for such a return, but there are others.”

Nolan D. McCaskill annd John Bresnahan, “Hoyer eyes majority leader post in next Congress,” Politico:

“Hoyer — who came to Congress when Ronald Reagan was a brand-new president — is hoping that Democrats win on election night and return him to the No. 2 House job, a post he last held eight years ago.”

Lindsey McPherson, “Progressive Caucus Launches Center for Policy Development, Outreach,” Roll Call:

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday announced the launch of a center that will coordinate progressive policy development, messaging and outreach inside and outside Congress.”

Matt Glassman, “FIVE POINTS: The Kavanaugh Circus was Democracy in Action,” Five Points:

“I have a handful of Kavanaugh denouement  #hottakes. First, and perhaps most importantly, I don't think the Senate confirmation process is at all "broken." I'm honestly not even sure what that term is supposed to mean. As I wrote on Twitter last week, people kept describing the Kavanuagh confirmation as a "circus," but all I saw was democratic politics in action.”

Elise Viebeck and Gabriel Pogrund, “Amid Kavanaugh uproar, changes to Congress’s sexual harassment rules stall,” Washington Post:

“Long before Congress was consumed by the wrenching fight over sexual assault allegations against Brett M. Kavanaugh, lawmakers had promised to make the process fairer for those who accuse lawmakers or staffers of sexual misconduct. But nearly a year after the #MeToo era began, lawmakers have failed to deliver on that pledge — and it is not clear when they will.”

Alex Gangitano, “There’s Life Beyond the Hill but When Do You Explore It?,” Roll Call:

“Moving on is something that’s never far from the minds of Capitol Hill staffers, as they seek ways to parlay years of government experience into a higher-paying K Street job with more flexible work hours. But picking the right moment to leave can be tricky.”