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Articles from the 'Comments On Congress' series

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  • Can We Bridge Division?

    Lee Hamilton, Center on Representative Government|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    Disagree Better. That's the name of an interesting initiative at the National Governors Association this year, spearheaded by the organization's current chair, Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox. The idea, in a nutshell, is to "reduce partisan animosity and foster healthy debate by modeling a more positive and optimistic way of working through policy problems," as the NGA puts it. It would be easy to scoff, of course. In this era of bitter political hostility, as we head into a...

  • You May Be Tempted to Tune Politics Out, But Here's Why You Shouldn't

    Lee Hamilton, Center on Representative Government|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    Back in January, the Pew Research Center released the results of an intriguing set of focus groups they carried out last year. Ordinarily, of course, survey research organizations test the sentiments of registered or likely voters to check in on their mood. But these groups were voters who, in Pew's words, "look at the nation's politics as a topic better avoided than embraced." What those voters had to say is a sign of these highly polarized, highly politicized times. They're...

  • Why Does the House Speaker Matter, Anyway?

    Lee Hamilton, Center on Representative Government|Updated Nov 6, 2023

    Wednesday, November 01, 2023 It would be a stretch to say that the US government came to a standstill after GOP members of the House unseated Kevin McCarthy as Speaker at the start of October. The Senate and the executive branch both kept working to move their priorities forward during the three weeks before the House finally found a replacement. Federal workers kept programs running and operations on an even keel. Yet the House's dysfunction had a clear cost: an inability to...