congress

  Our government is failing us. From health care to immigration, from the tax code to climate change, our political institutions cannot deal effectively with the challenges of modern society. Why the dysfunction? Contemporary reformers single out the usual suspects, including polarization and the rise in campaign spending. But what if the roots go much deeper, to the nation’s founding?

In Relic, William Howell and Terry Moe point to the Constitution as the main culprit. The framers designed the Constitution some 225 years ago for a simple agrarian society. But the form of government they settled upon, a separation of powers system with a parochial Congress at its center, is entirely ill-equipped to address the serious social problems that arise in a complex, post-industrial nation. We are prisoners of the past, burdened with an antiquated government that cannot make effective policy, and often cannot do anything at all.

The solution is to update the Constitution for modern times.

 It was an historic day in Washington.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about hearing Pope Francis’ speech in person. 

 Tomorrow is the big day.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he’s looking forward to Pope Francis’ address to Congress. 

  Democrats have a long way to go if they want to retake the House.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about his work recruiting candidates to run for Congress.

Paul Elisha: On Traitors and Treason

Jul 28, 2015

  To update, modernize and paraphrase an ages-old dictum: Those who live by the gun, will surely die by the gun… in a not-too-distant but certain future.  According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, we remain the only developed nation where 89 men, women and children are killed with guns every day.  Brady’s mission, to create a safer America, through a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries, by keeping guns out of the wrong hands is only made more difficult, when co-conspirators of the so-called “Military-Industrial Complex” that former President and Army General Dwight Eisenhower wisely warned us to shun, lard legislators with dirty money they deliberately mislabel as “vital for defense.”  It’s time to call this what panderers and pols know in their cold-blooded hearts.  It’s treason!

  Partisanship is at an all-time high in Washington.

But in today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that on energy efficiency, Congress is ready to cooperate.

What’s the life of a Congressperson like?

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Nita Lowey tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about her schedule.

4/15/15 Panel

Apr 15, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Professor, Rosemary Armao, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Scheduled topics include Cuba off terrorism list; Congress allowed in on Iran; Atlanta educators sentenced; Retiree savings changes; EU Google anti-trust.

The framework agreement with Iran: historic diplomacy or grave mistake?

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Congress is taking a close look.

Bill Owens: A DHS Shutdown

Feb 25, 2015

The recent threat to shut down the Department of Homeland Security for those of us in the North Country, given our proximity to the US/Canadian border and our dependence upon it, is truly troubling.

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