Why Congress

Oxford Univ. May 2023. 328p. ISBN 9780197657874. $29.95. POL SCI
American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Wallach asserts that the U.S. Congress has three options moving forward. The first is decrepitude, wherein divisiveness will get to a level where Congress struggles with its most basic tasks and fails to uphold its fundamental responsibilities. The second outcome is rubber stamp, during which legislators would encourage remote participation and push through big legislative changes, such as ending the filibuster. Wallach contends that this type of outcome, while appearing to foster change and growth, would create a legislature prone to cheap talk and likens it to rulers in authoritarian regimes. The final proposed outcome is renewal, and in this outcome, members of Congress would recommit to their roles and work toward addressing issues facing the country, or else they may be doomed to scenarios wherein constitutional systems decay. The book ends with a letter to Congressional members. It encourages them to disrupt the status quo and make these changes.
VERDICT With its historical analysis of Congress and insight into its potential future, this book will appeal to political science and public policy majors. A recommended purchase for academic libraries.
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