THE CONGRESS: The Struggle to Reform the House

For all of their complaints about the shift of power from Capitol Hill to the White House, most Congressmen realize that the nature of Congress itself, which sometimes resembles a collection of medieval fiefdoms, is largely to blame. Major legislation is frequently blocked by intramural squabbling between competing committees of the House, and some Congressmen hold too many important committee assignments to be effective in any of them. Far more than the Constitution intended, the President initiates—and the Congress, hampered by its unwieldy machinery, merely reacts.

Last year, in an effort to modernize its structure and procedures for the first...

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