Archive | Legislative Politics

Ted Cruz Is Still Alienating Fellow Republicans

A few months ago, I wrote a couple pieces arguing that if Ted Cruz has presidential ambitions, he was doing himself no favors by taking on fellow Republicans.  I got a little pushback too.  So I thought this story was worth noting:

The staffer, whom two GOP sources identified as working for Representative John Culberson of Texas, went on to decry Cruz for holding events in Culberson’s district and telling his constituents that defunding Obamacare would be “easy”…
…A significant number in the room of about one hundred people applauded the woman’s remarks, but several GOP aides said it was not a standing ovation or an overwhelmingly positive response…
…On the other hand, it’s fair to say the staffer’s anger at Cruz carries a fairly broad base among House Republicans, many of whom view his Obamacare push as self-destructive to the party.

Just another data point.  We’ll see how relevant this becomes if Cruz runs in 2016.

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Battle for the CFL Championship

While the impending move to the Post will certainly improve The Monkey Cage’s sports coverage (go Sox!), the headline here is, naturally, a bait and switch. It does not refer to our Canadian footballing friends but to the venerable Constitution Fantasy League – where contestants receive points for the boldness of their own Constitutional fantasy (with a substantial bonus if they put it into practice and achieve what scholar Richard Pious called a “frontlash.”)

Those of you with Barack Obama on your CFL roster have been nervous ever since he went to Congress regarding the use of force in Syria and even noted that “it’s important for us to get out of the habit of just saying, well, we’ll let the President kind of stretch the boundaries of his authority as far as he can.”  It appeared that Rep. (and Pres.-wanna-be) Peter King was going to stretch his lead in this fall’s standings.

But Obama made a bold bid for a comeback in Sunday’s matchups, claiming that the House failing to exercise its legislative powers “changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely.”

The context was an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos which pivoted from Syria to the upcoming budget battle(s) – remember that fiscal year 2014 begins on October 1, and Congress has once again failed miserably to pass anything like a budget for the new year, having failed miserably to pass one for the present fiscal year now almost complete or most recent fiscal years for that matter. Obama was asked about the statutory debt limit, and the House Republicans’ threat to link an increased debt limit to Democratic concessions over spending levels overall and the roll-out of Obamacare. Obama said “ I will not negotiate…on the debt ceiling,” and continued:

“If we continue to set a precedent in which a president, any president, a Republican president– a Democratic president– where the opposing party controls the House of Representatives– if– if that president is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills– the other party can simply sit there and say, ‘Well, we’re not gonna put– pay the bills unless you give us what our– what we want,’ that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely.”

The problem is that the “power of the purse” is one of Congress’s crucial and inalienable powers. James Madison noted in Federalist 58 that it represents “the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.”  Even scholars such as past CFL champion John Yoo hold that the spending power is wholly legislative.

Now, defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States is an idiotic idea. I can’t promote it as a “just and salutary measure.” But there are many members of Congress who think that reducing overall federal spending, and/or repealing the Affordable Care Act, are exactly that. The legislative power generally, and the power of the purse specifically, provides Congress leverage to make those kinds of bargains, or try to.  And using constitutional leverage does not change the constitutional structure of this government, even in part.


PS – One could argue that the debt ceiling is a separate process from the appropriations process (which is, of course, part of the problem, since debt issuance is tied to spending already passed into law.)  But both provide statutory guidance over the level of government spending, so I find it hard to separate out the debt limit from the power of the purse. Either way, how is one chamber failing to legislate something that changes the system? Bad policy outcomes – even really bad policy outcomes - reflect the challenges of operating within a separated system of checks and balances, rather than changing that system.

PPS – A reminder of a different argument about presidential power vis-à-vis the debt limit, from 2011 – I suspect we’ll be seeing this debate resurrected soon.

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Summers’ Fall

Larry Summers to President Obama (2013):

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 11.08.41 PMThomas Jones to President Wilson (1914):

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 11.18.18 PMWe have to reach back nearly a century to find a case roughly analogous to the failed candidacy of Larry Summer to lead the Federal Reserve.  Then, Progressives turned on several of Woodrow Wilson’s picks to serve on the newly created Federal Reserve Board, including Thomas Jones (who as president of International Harvester drew Progressive ire for his company’s allegedly corrupt practices).   After the requisite exchange of letters between Wilson and Jones, Wilson promptly nominated a more acceptable business executive (Frederic Delano), who the Senate easily confirmed.

There’s been ample written already on Summer’s withdrawal, including Binyamin Appelbaum’s NYT piece and Neil Irwin’s Wonkblog coverage.  Some additional thoughts to put the Summers pseudo-nomination in perspective:

First, nearly three months have elapsed since the president suggested to Charlie Rose that he would not reappoint Ben Bernanke.  The extended flight of the Summers trial balloon lasted too long.  Some argue that the intervening Syria debacle emboldened the left and helped to throw a roadblock in Summer’s path to confirmation.  My hunch is that the Syria diversion mattered because it sucked all the wind out of White House efforts to recruit Senate support for Summers. More importantly, by never actually nominating Summers, the White House left his opponents in control of the confirmation contest.  Opposition groups on the left (and supportive, list-prone economists) organized their troops for battle against Summers and in defense of Janet Yellen.  The White House couldn’t publicly counter-lobby because they had no nominee to defend.   A new Catch-22: The White House refused to nominate until confirmation seemed plausible, but failure to nominate helped to put confirmation out of reach.

Second, Summers’ withdrawal helps us arbitrate between competing accounts of advice and consent. High rates of presidential success in securing confirmation of their executive branch appointees might suggest that senators (and the president’s partisans in particular) defer to presidential choices.  Alternatively, presidents might see their preferred candidates confirmed so regularly because they factor in the likelihood of confirmation before making their choices known.  (By leaking his preference for Summers so early in the game, Obama has saved future scholars trips to his archives to ferret out the short list.)  The Summers’ case obviously marshals against any semblance of senatorial deference to the president.

Third, the last blow to Summers came from Senator Jon Tester, a centrist red state Democrat from Montana, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee.  Two elements of Tester’s Friday afternoon statement opposing Summers are worth noting.  First, the opposition to Summers went beyond coastal liberals who disagreed with his past stance on deregulation; Tester’s opposition reminds us of historical tension between the Main Street and Wall Street wings of the Democratic Party.  Second, the close party ratio on the Banking panel places enormous leverage in the hands of its far left Democrats, including Senators Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren, and Sherrod Brown.  I suspect we’ll continue to hear from the liberal wing of the party, which remains committed to greater restraints on the financial sector.

Fourth, once the Fed has a newly confirmed chair, it’s an open question whether we’ll see such conflict every time a vacancy occurs.  Given Congress’s counter-cyclical attention to the Fed—rising as the economy sours, falling as it improves—the intensity over the fight about the Fed reflects in part a still recovering economy.  A robust economy in the future might return Congressional debate about the Fed to a much lower pitch.

What happens next?  Consider the aftermath of three failed (albeit each very different) confirmation battles: Reagan’s loss of Robert Bork for the Supreme Court in 1987, George W. Bush’s inability to get Harriet Miers confirmed in 2005, and Wilson’s failed Thomas Jones nomination in 1914.  In each case, the president turned next to a safe (i.e. easily confirmable) nominee, seemingly eager to cut his losses and regain lost ground.  For Obama, we might conclude that he will nominate Yellen (ending the yellin’ about the Fed and returning Washington’s focus to fiscal policy fights with the GOP).  Still, it’s possible that the calculations that led Obama to float Summers in the first place might still guide the president’s thinking.  Ultimately, whoever the president chooses will be compared not only to Summers but also to Yellen.  If he doesn’t break the glass ceiling by choosing Yellen, the president will still be asked the question: “Why not?”

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A “Hands-Tied Presidency”? Refer to the syllabus…

A piece in the Sunday review section of the New York Times, “The Hands-Tied Presidency,”  argues that President Obama has discovered “he holds office at a time when the presidency itself has ceded much of its power and authority to Congress.”

Well… if received in my presidency course this thesis might receive the following kinds of comments:

(1) The idea that presidents have “ceded” power and authority to Congress? Surely most of it was Congress’s to begin with. Especially since the examples given in the paper—Newt Gingrich’s House, George W. Bush’s failure to win passage of his proposals for immigration or Social Security reform—are examples of legislators making legislative choices. Congress is, um, the legislative branch. It certainly is under no obligation to enact presidential requests into law. Indeed, it has a variety of powers even in national security areas.

The reading for the first day of class was the Constitution. Congress is Article I, and should be: its powers, when it chooses to use them, are immense. It was the framers’ first preoccupation. In Federalist 48 James Madison warned: “Where the legislative power is exercised by an assembly…it is against the enterprising ambition of this department that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions.” Thus, Congress was split into two chambers; and thus, in fact, was the rationale for a single executive in the first place, the better to have the strength to resist what Madison called the “impetuous vortex” of legislative power. Even so most presidential powers rely on Congress for activation, not the other way around. Continue Reading →

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Syria Authorization 2.0

News outlets including Roll Call’s #WGDB blog recently released the text of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee leadership’s draft authorizing military force in Syria. The draft, which will reportedly be marked up Wednesday, marks compromise language between Sens. Robert Menendez and Bob Corker. It begins with a long list of “whereas” clauses denouncing the ”abuses of the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” including “the brutal repression and war upon its own civilian population…. creating an unprecedented regional crisis and instability,” its “material breach of the laws of war” as well as the treaties and norms against chemical weapons declared by the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, and (for good measure) the Arab League.

Quick thoughts: The substance of the resolution is a collection of attempts to limit presidential discretion and at least one strange submission to it. Continue Reading →

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Congress and the use of force in Syria

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.04.05 AM The president’s decision to ask Congress’s permission to use force against Syria reminds us how fast the agenda can change in Washington.  For the next two weeks, the president’s battle to prevail on House and Senate votes will dominate coverage of Washington.  The central question will be whether Obama is able to muster majorities in both chambers or whether the votes will devolve into familiar partisan lines (producing a narrow win in the Senate but failing in the House): Will members of Congress treat a military attack differently?  (A secondary question will be whether presidents regularly stand with one foot on the Oval Office desk while dialing up the Speaker of the House.  But I digress.)

Here, I draw from recent studies of Congress and war to offer a little perspective on how to think about these upcoming votes.  (This isn’t an exhaustive review of the literature,  but instead just a small sampling of some recent and relevant work.)

First, few scholars still believe the adage that “partisan politics stops at water’s edge.”   As Howell and Pevehouse argue in their 2007 book (While Dangers Gather) and summarize in recent work,

The partisan composition of Congress has historically been the decisive factor in determining whether lawmakers will oppose or acquiesce in presidential calls for war. From Harry Truman to Bill Clinton, nearly every U.S. president has learned that members of Congress, and members of the opposition party in particular, are fully capable of interjecting their opinions about proposed and ongoing military ventures. When the opposition party holds a large number of seats or controls one or both chambers of Congress, members routinely challenge the president and step up oversight of foreign conflicts; when the legislative branch is dominated by the president’s party, it generally goes along with the White House.

Howell and Pevehouse’s focus on the partisan shape of congressional responses to presidential force requests helps to explain the partisan imbalance on House and Senate authorization votes in 1991 and 2002.  Even given the different contexts of the votes, Republicans nearly unanimously supported both authorizations, while a majority of Democrats opposed both (with the exception of Senate Democrats in 2002 who broke narrowly in favor).   The authors suggest that parties may define the national interest differently, and “issues of trust and access to information further fuel these partisan fires.”  Political parties will likely only unite in acute cases, such as the bipartisan rally in the wake of September 11th, 2001.  Especially in a polarized era, we might expect then that Obama will prevail in the Democratic Senate but face a much rockier road in the GOP House.  War politics in Congress might closely resemble domestic legislative battles.

Second, it’s worth pondering reports that these will be “votes of conscience,” with party leaders refusing to lobby their fellow partisans.  As Rep. Xavier Becerra, the chair of the Democratic Caucus argued yesterday, “Anytime you talk about the use of military force, I don’t believe that any member can be whipped into doing one thing or the other. It’s a vote of conscience and I think this is the supreme vote any member of Congress can take.”  If party leaders do not whip the votes, it will partially reflect calculation that their party’s brand name is not at stake.  Still, given past partisan patterns on authorization votes and the high stakes for President Obama, I suspect some Democratic party leaders will try to  smooth the way for rank and file to support the president—by amending the resolution to limit its scope, providing political cover with their own strong support and so on.  Politics and policy are always tightly intertwined when lawmakers decide their votes, leaving little room for votes of conscience.

Third, the impact of public opinion is worth pondering, as lawmakers start pointing to the unpopularity of punitive strikes against Syria to justify their opposition. Two findings from Adam Berinsky’s work (both in his book, In Time of War, and in a recent article) are relevant on this score.  First, as Berinsky shows, public opinion about war tends to be shaped by the same attitudes that mold views about domestic politics. Second, Berinsky shows the impact of elite views on the mass public’s views about war: “When political elites disagree as to the wisdom of intervention, the public divides as well. But when elites come to a common interpretation of a political reality, the public gives them great latitude to wage war.”  Two implications for  votes on Syria follow.  The battle of opinion in Washington will outweigh the importance of public opinion at large, but that battle will likely be infused with partisan overtones.   It would be reasonable to conclude from Berinsky’s work that lawmakers are unlikely to treat the issue of a military attack differently than other issues, reinforcing the difficulty Obama faces in securing House passage of a resolution.

The parallel between domestic and war politics is no doubt important.  But keep in mind that congressional divisions over intervention abroad today are not necessarily wholly partisan.  As Norm Ornstein notes, an ends against the middle coalition could emerge, with liberal anti-war Democrat making odd bedfellows with conservative, isolationist GOP.  Moreover, divisions within both parties are possible.  House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), for example, voiced strong support last June for intervening in the Syrian conflict; given the implications for Iran’s power in the region, other supporters of Israel might follow Cantor’s lead.  Voting on a punitive strike against Syria might ultimately reflect party calculations, but other motivations may yet be in play.

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A Win for the WPR? No, but…

obama war cabinet syriaPresident Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for the use of force in Syria seems to have taken the political world by surprise. After all, when Obama intervened in Libya in 2011, he creatively evaded such an action, citing such rationales as UN resolutions, the “non-kinetic” nature of logistical support to NATO, and the proposition that the Libya operation did not constitute “hostilities” as envisioned in the 1973 War Powers Resolution. (For further details see my series of posts at the time, linked here.)  This time around, he has provided a draft resolution that even mentions the WPR.

The reaction shows the extent to which presidents have claimed—and Congress has abdicated— authority in this area, as I posted earlier today. The WPR has only been invoked formally once by a president (Ford, back in 1975).  There are many reasons for this, ranging from presidents’ claim of inherent war powers to the drafting imprecisions of the WPR itself. (On the latter, see my earlier summary here, and a longer discussion in a book chapter, here – go to Ch. 6, p. 192.)  No president—starting with Nixon, in his overridden veto message—has accepted the WPR as binding.

And nor did Obama, with respect to Syria. Continue Reading →

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Presidential Power and Congressional Cower

A few years ago, I wrote a book called The New Imperial Presidency, in which I built on ongoing events and new scholarship to trace the growth of presidential power after Watergate. I argued that this increased authority was both taken (by presidents) and given (by Congress). In short, ”The fact is that we have had an invisible Congress as much as an imperial President.”

Today’s New York Times provides the lead quote for the next edition of the book, courtesy of Rep. Peter King (R-NY), member of Congress for more than 20 years and former chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. To wit: “I strongly believe that the commander in chief has the absolute right to take military action.”

Assuming King meant just that, his strong beliefs are contrary to those who designed the American constitutional framework. For example, James Wilson—one of the key architects of Article II and “unity” (not unitary-ness…) in the executive—told the Pennsylvania ratifying convention on December 11, 1787, that “This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large: this declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives…”

James Madison, writing as “Helvidius” in a series of letters attacking the Washington administration, piled on. “The received and the fundamental doctrine of the constitution,” he argued, is “that the power to declare war including the power of judging of the causes of war is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature: that the executive has no right, in any case to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.” (Emphasis in the original.) Indeed, “in no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”

A few years later, in a 1798 letter to Thomas Jefferson, Madison reiterated that “The constitution supposes, what the History of all Govts. demonstrates, that the Ex. is the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legisl.”  A few years later, in turn, Jefferson told that Legisl in a December 1805 special message that “considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.”

Now, the story is of course not so simple – we can argue about the definition of “war,” to start with, and President Jefferson himself was not always so considerate of legislative sensibilities and authorities. On the other hand, the Helvidius letters were prompted by Washington’s proclamation of American neutrality in the interminable Anglo-French conflicts - so about a decision not to go to war! even this, Madison argued, needed congressional sanction. (Which, in the end, was given.)

The point is that those framing this process as a presidential gift to be given have it backwards— even leaving aside the niceties of the law (the topic of my next post, stay tuned). A Congress with institutional pride (with ambition aiming to counteract ambition, in Madison’s famous turn of phrase in Federalist #51) would have acted on its own. Indeed, legislators who signed on to letters to Obama demanding that he reconvene Congress and ask for authorization were given credit for being assertive. Yet why were those letters written to Obama in the first place, and not to the House and Senate leadership?  If Obama’s decision yesterday made Congress slightly more visible, little credit for that appears to go to Congress itself.

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Beyond the Horse Race to Lead the Fed

fedboardMaybe I spend too much time in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Catalog.  But this is a nice one.  In an undated photograph taken before 1945, we get a good glimpse of the nation’s central bankers, presumably hard at work in Washington.

Now that’s a lot of gravitas.

As the horse race for Fed chair continues, I thought I’d take a second stab at trying to put the campaign for the Fed into perspective.  I offered a few thoughts the other day; here are a few more observations.

First, keep in mind that advice and consent for the chair of the Fed is a relatively new phenomenon.  The now familiar four-year term for the chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors dates to reform of the Federal Reserve Act in 1935.  But requiring Senate confirmation of the president’s nominee for service as chair is a product of Democratic-led reforms of the Fed in 1977, which included the imposition of the Fed’s dual mandate (directing the Fed to maximize both employment and price stability).  Requiring confirmation of the chair provided an avenue for the Senate to try to indirectly influence the course of monetary policy.   But given the newness of the requirement and given multiple terms for recent Fed chairs, there are relatively few chair “contests” against which to judge this open contest: there have been just four chairs since the reform in 1977.  And of course, even if there were more cases, it would be tough to compare the selections over time given the expansion and change in the Fed’s responsibilities over the past three plus decades—let alone the rise in political conflict over the Fed’s unconventional policies.  (As I suggested the other day, though, the public nature of the “campaign” is unprecedented.)

Second, although we have just a limited number of previous confirmation cases, I think it’s important to put the appointments into the broader context of presidential track records in securing confirmation for non-judicial appointments.  The long-term story here is that the president typically gets his man.  (Woman? Susan Rice would beg to differ.)   It’s hard to know though whether the Senate ultimately confirms most nominees because senators tend to defer to the president or because presidents anticipate potential objections and select their nominees to avoid a Senate contest.  It’s hard to distinguish between these accounts of course because they are observationally equivalent: High confirmation rates either way.  This does suggest that despite the strong support for Janet Yellen’s nomination in the Democratic Caucus, Larry Summers might readily secure sixty votes on the road to confirmation (barring a GOP insurrection challenge). That at least is what Senate majority leader Harry Reid suggested this week after the president’s visit with Senate Democrats: “Whoever the president selects, this caucus will be for that person, no matter who it is.”

Third, the remarkable change in the Fed’s responsibilities since the financial crisis (stemming from Dodd-Frank, the Fed’s pursuit of unconventional monetary policies, and Congress’s stalemate over fiscal policy) should encourage us to think about the Fed chair appointment in a new light.  Ezra Klein, for example, makes the important point that “There just isn’t a perfect candidate to be both the nation’s top central banker and the top financial regulator.”  Some additional implications worth considering:

—The expansion in the Fed’s formal and informal roles might increase the president’s leverage in the confirmation process: The Fed’s broader role allows the president to define the position in a way that justifies his preferred nominee.  By reportedly seeking someone who has the “ability to manage complexity and crisis,” Obama sets the stage for nominating a Summers over a Yellen (and thus to rationalize missing the opportunity to break the glass ceiling in Fed leadership).   We’re talking about an N of 1 here.  Still, I think the power of the president to frame how we think about the responsibilities of the post D0dd-Frank Fed probably increases his leverage in securing his nominee’s confirmation.

—The debate over who would be best suited to lead the Fed presages a potentially more complicated relationship between Congress and the Fed, whoever the president nominates.  In theory, Congress is far more likely to grant the Fed autonomy in conducting monetary policy than in carrying out its regulatory responsibilities.  But my hunch is that it will be increasingly difficult to divorce the two realms (looking out for both the stability of prices and the stability of financial markets) as Dodd-Frank is implemented and as the Fed grows into its twin roles. As Bernanke noted last month in reviewing the first century of the Fed, “The complementarities among regulatory and supervisory policies…lender-of-last resort policy, and standard monetary policy are increasingly evident.”  The more intertwined the Fed’s roles, the harder it will likely be for the Fed to protect its autonomy in setting monetary policy.

Finally, the political challenges the Fed faces in unwinding its unconventional monetary policies will be tough, regardless of who Obama taps as chair.  Those challenges will play out both within the Fed’s open market committee, in the Fed’s communications with the markets, and on Capitol Hill when the Fed encounters congressional push back on the pace of its exit strategy (undoubtedly too slow for the GOP, too fast for the Democrats).   That’s not to say that the president pick doesn’t matter. But the start to the Fed’s second century will be interesting regardless who takes Bernanke’s chair.

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435 Separate Cuts; or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

house recess 2013 coverThe House of Representatives’ Republican Conference has released instructions to its members on how to spend their summer vacations. It doesn’t involve much frivolity, unless one’s idea of holiday heaven involves writing (or at least cutting-and-pasting) op-eds, pumping gas, holding meetings with angry people and, most broadly, hating on Washington.

Kicking off the 31 colorful pages of  “Fighting Washington for All Americans”, GOP Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (of Washington, as it happens) writes that “We should be proud of the work we’ve accomplished together so far in the 113th Congress…. The work we have accomplished in Congress is invaluable to those back in our districts.”  (Alas, only 12% of the public seems to realize this.)

The bulk of Fighting Washington consists of a long and detailed to-do list for the summer “district work period.” It gives members a sample op-ed to place in local papers, provides details on how to hold town hall meetings (hint: you should “reserve a space that is large enough to accommodate the expected number of attendees…” and “take many photographs and videos”), and suggests a list of issues members might hammer home at home: the economy, the excesses of Obamacare, the IRS.  (All the while remembering that “Fighting Washington isn’t about creating more partisan gridlock, heated rhetoric, or Republicans versus Democrats.”  Also that: “While touring, help constituents pump gas and bag their groceries where possible.”)

Now, here’s the thing. None of this is necessarily bad advice. But the people receiving it are incumbents and their staffs. Are they in fact people who need to be told to reserve a hall when holding a meeting? Congress scholars, help out here – is this level of instructional specificity new to the current crop of proud amateurs in the GOP caucus, or did the 1970s waves of newcomers (mostly Democratic then) receive similar orientation?

In the end the document serves as true homage to Richard Fenno and his 1978 book Home Style, in which he famously concluded that “members run for Congress, by running against Congress…”  But I wonder if we – and the House leadership – might do well to remember where he takes the thought: “Yet the institution bleeds from 435 separate cuts…”


PS According to Roll Call, Democrats too plan to spend the summer bashing Washington. So it is indeed 435 cuts, not 234…



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