Gallagher’s two years in Washington have reshaped his old hypothesis that Congress members were the source of the dysfunction. It is the institution itself that is dysfunctional. No matter how brilliant and hardworking members are, this bad system prevents Congress from effectively doing its job, a job that includes oversight of the executive branch, fulfilling constitutionally mandatory responsibilities, and being a deliberative body to legislatively solve problems.
Gallagher suggests three reforms. The first is to change the congressional calendar. Congress members waste time and taxpayer dollars traveling to their districts on weekends and back to Washington D.C. for the work week….
Gallagher’s second reform is changing the committee chair selection process. Because committee assignments are dictated by the steering committee, ambitious Congress members have an incentive to gain the steering committee’s approval by voting in line with leadership and spending money. There is no test to determine if you know about the issues on that committee and are an effective legislator…
Gallagher’s third reform is streamlining committee jurisdiction. Gallagher sees the division between appropriations committees and authorizing committees at the source of Congress’ dysfunction.
To read more, visit the Hoover Institution.