ALEXANDRIA, VA – Irrespective of which party controls the majority, existing congressional practices will remain in place. Without significant change to those practices, they will produce the same old results. Those same old results have driven the country into a dire situation. It is time to correct for this. It is time — and it is possible — to turn things around. Congress needs to reform its own ways of doing business.
Joseph Gibson’s newest book, A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results, proposes a completely new approach to running Congress. Call it a radical return to basics. Radical? Yes, but doable. Gibson, a congressional insider, knows what can be accomplished. He also knows how to make it happen.
A few of his radical, yet workable ideas:
- Limit the number of bills members can introduce, limit the number of pages per bill, and require each member who votes to read the bill.
- Ban fundraising when Congress is in session.
- Make serving in Congress a part time job with the expectation that members would hold other full time jobs.
- Allow the minority party to control some part of the agenda.
In Gibson’s view, the reforms in his book would lessen the partisan divide, limit the time wasted on frivolous legislation, keep the members focused on wise policymaking rather than simply winning elections, and increase the pool of worthy candidates who will actually run for office.
Gibson has served as House Judiciary Committee chief minority counsel, chief legislative counsel, chief antitrust counsel, parliamentarian—and Chief of Staff to a prominent Texas Congressman. He is also the author of Persuading Congress: A Practical Guide to Parlaying an Understanding of Congressional Folkways and Dynamics into Successful Advocacy on Capitol Hill, published earlier this year by TheCapitol.Net.
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