The Reclamation of the U.S. Congress, PRP 176

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Title: The Reclamation of the U.S. Congress, PRP 176
Author: Evans, Angela
Abstract: This report is the result of a ten-month effort undertaken by sixteen graduate students enrolled in a course entitled “The Reclamation of the U.S. Congress.” The course was offered at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs in the 2012–2013 academic year, and it had five primary objectives: 1) To provide recommendations to the Congress for ways to improve its governance and operations given the current congressional environment. 2) To create an integrated analysis of past formal congressional reform efforts, including the major reorganizations of the Congress in 1946, 1970, and 1994, as well as more recent attempts. 3) To investigate new and emerging challenges that place pressure on the operations of the Congress. 4) To teach students how to be engaged in, and contribute to, congressional deliberations through objective analyses. 5) To create a digital repository of research that focuses on congressional reforms for future use of congressional scholars, experts, and interested citizens. The students conducted the research for this report, developed reform options, and analyzed each reform. They dedicated significant time, energy, and care to ensure their research and analysis was objective, analytic, and authoritative. Unlike other recent formal calls for congressional reform that begin by indicting Members and the Congress as a whole, this report identifies the enduring tensions and forces intrinsic to the Congress, and attempts to mitigate these tensions through adjustments to institutional structures and processes. The research and analysis presented in this report is limited to issues arising from the procedures and governance structures that make up the working environment of the Congress. While more current reforms have included proposals related to campaign financing, redistricting, and primary structures and processes, the research for this project focus on the institution and what Members encounter once elected.
Description: The development and analysis of congressional reforms that address historical tensions within the structure, governance and processes of the U.S. Congress that weaken congressional powers.
Department: Public Affairs
Subject: Texas public affairs U.S. Congress congressional reform Joint Committees on the Organization of Congress executive-congressional relations budget and appropriations Budget and Appropriations congressional deliberations congressional agenda setting congressional staff historical congressional reforms congressional reforms United States Congress executive congressional relations
Date: 2013

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