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There's a better way to gauge Congress

Congressman Lee Hamilton is in search of a set of questions that meaningfully probe Congress’ performance:

“In a country as politically and demographically varied as ours, negotiation and compromise are key to crafting legislation that can enjoy broad political support. To gauge whether Congress is following sound process, you would want to know several things. Are its leaders capable of working hard to forge a consensus? If they can’t, do conflicts over legislation represent substantive differences or mere political game-playing? Does it balance careful deliberation with making decisions? Does it protect the rights of the minority and allow all points to be heard? Is it transparent — so that its members can be held accountable for their actions?…

Despite its obvious troubles, the picture is not entirely bleak. And I can’t help but believe that the more well-rounded our understanding of where Congress falls short and where it performs well, the better we can hold it to account.

Read the full op-ed here.

2012-01-11 00:00:00
Negotiation and compromise are key to crafting legislation that can enjoy broad political support

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