Gloom Under the Dome

Despite Rostenkowski's alleged sins, Congress is trying to clean itself up. But is it getting any more effective?

Americans seem to be divided into two camps on the subject of the Congress of the United States: those who consider it an ethical swamp and those who regard that comparison as unfair to swamps. As the members return to work this week, they have an even worse public image to contemplate: not only sleazier but more paralyzed as well. Last week's indictment and demotion of Dan Rostenkowski, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was a double whammy. In a short time he has come to symbolize both Congress's lingering tawdriness and its desperate need for a dealmaker...

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