Hoping to persuade the public that not all of Congress is broken all of the time, a nonprofit that works to make Capitol Hill run more smoothly recognized six lawmakers today for operating particularly noteworthy offices.
"Americans usually only hear about Congress when something goes wrong," Congressional Management Foundation President Bradford Fitch said in announcing the bipartisan roster of awardees, who were chosen by a panel of former members and staffers. "The Democracy Awards shines a light on Congress when it does something right."
For top-notch constituent service, the winners were GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California.
Awards for fostering a humane work-life balance and opportunities for professional development went to GOP Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Democratic Rep. Salud Carbajal of California.
And for official websites and other public communications distinguished by informational depth and clarity, rather than public relations puffery, the winners were Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of California.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."