Two lawmakers, one from each party, try to fix broken Congress

WASHINGTON—Two lawmakers – a Chicago Democrat and a downstate Illinois Republican – are trying to fix what they call a broken Congress. Their vehicle: Study a total  overhaul of lawmakers’ committees, rules, procedures and constituent responsiveness.

The measure, introduced by Reps. Dan Lipinski (D) and Darin LaHood (R), would establish a joint congressional committee, modeled on ones solons set up in 1945, 1965 and 1992, to probe how Congress works, top to bottom, and recommend ways to fix it.

The panel, with 12 senators, 12 representatives and split evenly between the parties would analyze suggestions from experts and the public and then recommend “reforming congressional procedures so Congress could more effectively address major issues faced by our nation,” their joint statement says.

Lipinski and LaHood, both sons of former U.S. representatives from Illinois, are upset by the dysfunction, partisanship and avoidance of problems on Capitol Hill.

“When I was a (college) teacher, I taught about how Congress operates, but it doesn’t take a congressional scholar to understand the legislative branch is not working effectively for the American people,” said Lipinski. “Americans understand the legislative process is not working effectively when they see Congress failing to act to address major issues until faced with a crisis.”

“Problems won’t be solved if the institution doesn’t function. There is a plethora of reform ideas, but there is not an official mechanism to motivate Congress” to end the gridlock and restore constituent trust, LaHood added.

Source: PAI