A new report, Getting Back to Legislating, by Don Wolfensberger, is posted on the Woodrow Wilson Center website. It was prepared for the Wilson Center and the Bipartisan Policy Center, both groups the Baker Center and Sen. Baker have worked with. Wolfensberger, a scholar at both centers makes the following recommendations for “fixing Congress.”
Highlighted Proposals for Positive Change:
- Leaders should commit to five-day workweeks, with three weeks on and one week off.
- Congress should adopt biennial budget resolutions and spin-off the discretionary spending and debt ceilings in the resolutions into a bill for enactment.
- Leadership should commit to fully restoring the authorization process to committees.
- Committee chairs should commit to full minority party participation in markups.
- Appropriations committees should refrain from authorizing in appropriations bills.
- A more open amendment process on the floor of each house should be allowed by limiting restrictive amendment rules in the House and avoiding “filling the amendment tree” in the Senate.
- Motions to proceed to consideration of legislation or nominations, and motions relating to going to conference in the Senate, should not be subject to filibuster.
- Leaders should commit to restoring the use of House-Senate conference committees.
- Leadership PACs should be abolished.
- Members should be encouraged to deliver annual State of the Congress addresses to constituents to better educate the public about the workings of the institution.
You can read the entire report here. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/getting-back-to-legislating-reflections-congressional-working-group