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Congressional Research Institute

For Founding Father John Adams, a representative body should resemble a 'portrait' of the people. They should "think, feel, reason, and act" like the people they represent. In other words, he believed that all representation should actually be inclusive. Since 2014, CRI has investigated ways to better accomplish his singular vision. Based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, CRI is an independently financed think tank focused exclusively on the problems of inclusive representation.

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The Framers recognized the need for secrecy during the Constitutional Convention to limit partisan anger, and they wrote a version into Article I, writes D'Angelo.

Transparency is a weapon that is ruining Congress

D'Angelo is founder of the Congressional Research Institute, which investigates legislatures and institutional reforms with an eye toward improving representation.

Rank-and-file members of Congress are unhappy. In both chambers, leadership cuts them out of the amending process via an array of parliamentary tricks like "closed rules" and "filling the tree."

Frustrated, the members readily direct their anger at the top brass. But this is a mistake. The real culprit is transparency – weaponized transparency that grew out of congressional sunshine reforms a half-century ago.

With enactment in 1970 of the Legislative Reorganization Act, Congress switched, almost overnight, from being one of the most secretive of institutions to one of the most transparent.

In the wake of these reforms there was an immediate uptick in partisanship, anger and a startling rise of chamber deliberations on hot-button issues.

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