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The State of Reform
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Download Unite America's free report analyzing the impact of four key political reforms.
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Balance of Power
Balance of Power
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Congress needs to fix plenty of things, but not the Supreme Court

Rush is a professor of politics and law and director of the center for international education at Washington and Lee University.
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Congress
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Fixing the House means more staff pay and member budget sway, panel concludes

Its nickname has been the Fix Congress Committee, an unusually bipartisan effort by House members to make their workplace a bit more functional. On Thursday it wrapped up work by endorsing 40 more ideas — including on such politically dicey topics as Capitol Hill's spending on itself and lawmakers steering federal spending toward home.

The panel has been something of a pet project for good-government groups inside the Beltway, who engineered its creation two years ago, pelted it with ideas and prodded it toward consensus.

For these democracy reform advocates, the formula for quelling Washington gridlock and poisoned partisanship includes boosting a legislative branch that's fallen way behind in balance-of-power struggles — and that won't happen until Capitol Hill is a place where politicians and their aides actually want to work for more than a few years and have realistic hope of getting something done.

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Balance of Power
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The proposal unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seven committee leaders was assembled without any Republican input.

Democrats unveil plan to rein in the presidency once Trump's gone

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a democracy reform plan, focused on a rebalancing of power to bolster Congress at the expense of the presidency, signaling it will be an early priority if their party wins control of both the White House and the entire Capitol this fall.

The legislative outline was compiled without any input from Republicans, underscoring its purpose at least in the short term as a campaign messaging manifesto.

But the plan nonetheless makes clear that Democrats would seek to move swiftly in a Joe Biden administration to reverse many of what they see as a sweeping collection of checks-and-balances abuses by President Trump.

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