Book Review by Jim Harper in WashingtonWatch — “A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results”

If you’re looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer for the Congress-watcher in your life (or for yourself), look no further than A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results.

The book is written by a congressional insider who knows how the system works—and how people work within the system. Author Joseph Gibson served as a top staffer on the House Judiciary Committee (disclosure: we were colleagues for a time), in the personal office of a prominent member of Congress, and in the U.S. Department of Justice.

A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results: A Modest Proposal - Citizen's Guide to Legislative Reform

One of the more interesting and bold is the idea of creating a new Committee on Repeals in the House and Senate. Right now, Congress operates as a one-way ratchet, constantly creating new programs without reviewing or terminating old ones. Committees pushing for repeal could chock up desired “achievements” for members of Congress without adding to the already massive size and scope of the federal government. Gibson’s thinking here is sophisticated, and his familiarity with congressional procedure shines through, as he describes the way secondary referral of bills to repeal programs might be handled.

Book Review — A Better Congress: Change the Rules, Change the Results” by Jim Harper,

Echoes this suggestion from a reader:

“Makes a great gift for your representatives in Congress!”



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