Televising every moment of the Senate's proceedings is a wonderful monument to government transparency, one that brings corruption-scrubbing sunshine to the self-proclaimed world's greatest deliberative body. Right?
Perhaps, but it's more complicated than that. Newly published research concludes gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress has reduced substantive debate, heightened partisanship and increased the amount of time members spend on posturing and self-promotion.
The report is the second in recent days detailing what's underpinning the dysfunction of the Capitol, at a time when legislative branch weakness is widely viewed among the main threats to democracy. In the other, former members of Congress painted a dire picture of their former workplace, saying it is ill-equipped to rally even in emergencies such as the current coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse.
- Cameras as cash machines worrying Capitol Hill's reformers - The ... ›
- Can we all just get along? Now it is a question for Congress. - The ... ›
- Bipartisan town halls offer hope public can agree on facts - The ... ›
- Transparency is a weapon that is ruining Congress - The Fulcrum ›
Organizer: Association of Former Members of Congress
What are our challenges, how are we meeting them, and what needs to happen today nationwide to safeguard the integrity of our election on Nov. 3? This conversation, led by Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center, will feature two current members of Congress from states that conduct their elections using a vote-by-mail system: Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).
Frost is president of the Association of Former Members of Congress. A Democrat, he represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 2005.
Last month, I was honored to testify before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.
I represented the 24th District of Texas for 13 terms in the House, and for 26 years I was a member of the Rules Committee. I also served on the Budget and House Administration committees. I was Democratic Caucus chairman for four years and chaired the Caucus Rules Committee for 10.
Congress has been on my mind for much of my adult life.
FMC, the Association of Former Members of Congress is a bipartisan, nonprofit, voluntary alliance of former United States Senators and Representatives, standing for America's Constitutional system. FMC works to strengthen the Congress in the conduct of its Constitutional responsibility through promoting a collaborative approach to policy making. FMC seeks to deepen the understanding of our democratic system, domestically and internationally, and to engage the citizenry through civic education about Congress and public service. The United States Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) utilizes the unique skill sets of its 600 members to provide pro bono public service programs and initiatives both at home and abroad. Today, FMC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational, research and social organization with approximately 600 members who represented American citizens in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.