The Congress: Effort toward Efficiency

Like the weather, the ponderous machinery of the U.S. Congress is a subject for lots of talk and little action. The last time that anyone did anything about it was in 1945, when the late Senator Robert M. LaFollette Jr. Progressive from Wisconsin, and Representative Mike Monroney, Oklahoma Democrat, headed a committee that investigated congressional procedures. Out of that investigation came a legislative reorganization act that, among other things, cut the number of standing congressional committees from 81 to 34, and required Capitol Hill lobbyists to register.

Last fall, 20 years later, Monroney, now a Senator, decided that congressional procedures...

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