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Courtesy James Liska

Congressional interns meet with then-Rep. Gwen Graham.

A corps of future public servants, just waiting to be treated right on the Hill

Liska is a government affairs consultant and former head of the congressional engagement program at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

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Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

As worker bees like Republican Sen. Rob Portman head for the exits, it will become even harder for Congress to pass legislation.

After the attack, government's 'first branch' struggles to keep from breaking

To bemoan the trials faced by members of Congress these days may seem naïve, even perverse.

The lawmakers on Capitol Hill represent one of the most hated classes in American public life. If service in Congress has become polarized, fruitless and even dangerous, anti-government rhetoric from Capitol Hill ideologues is at least partly to blame. Public approval for Congress stands at just 25 percent — up a few points from last month, but still well below most public institutions.

Yet it is fair to say that House members and senators are in the throes of an existential, electoral and institutional crisis.

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Rep. Rodney Davis said the Modernization Committee has been "the first opportunity in over a decade to take a deep, internal look at how the House functions."

Why the 'Fix Congress' committee should be allowed to keep at it

Tudor is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for reducing executive power as part of its efforts to combat authoritarianism in American government.
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Congress Overwhelmed: The Decline in Congressional Capacity and Prospects for Reform

Organizer: R Street Institute

"Congress Overwhelmed," an important new book edited by Timothy M. Lapira, Lee Drutman and Kevin R. Kosar, presents the provocative thesis that a decline in congressional capacity is responsible for much of our contemporary political dysfunction. The book's essays explore topics such as the role of congressional pay in developing expertise and why the efficacy of the legislature has lagged behind other branches of government. Perhaps most importantly, Congress Overwhelmed highlights the many ways in which our political outcomes could be improved by fundamental structural reforms.

Please join Bettina Poirier, adjunct professor of law at American University, as she sits down with Lapira, Drutman and Kosar to discuss their ideas for fixing the problems that currently ail Congress.

Location: Webinar

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