FixGov’s 2nd birthday & the prospect of another government shutdown

Two years ago this week, the Center for Effective Public Management launched FixGov—“a blog focused on mending broken government and heralding smart governance solutions.” The blog has been a rewarding platform to feature the work of scholars across Brookings and outside the institution, practitioners, and others who seek to engage some of the biggest, most important topics of the day.

FixGov has cast a wide net discussing everyday politics in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches and in the states. We have engaged a broad array of issues including public management, health care, transportation, infrastructure, energy, budgeting, campaign finance, marijuana, elections, immigration, transparency, the environment, financial regulation, labor, LGBT rights, and more. In a system facing so many policy needs, our mission to examine problems and offer solutions is quite broad.

Some of our proposals have made their way into legislation, elected officials’ rhetoric, media coverage of policy and politics, and ongoing work inside and outside of Brookings. At the same time, much work remains. As we launched FixGov, Congress was at war over whether to fund the government. Less than a week after our inaugural post, the government shut down for seventeen days. In 2013, the sticking point in the funding legislation was whether to fund the Affordable Care Act.

Past is, of course, prologue, as the saying goes. As we pop corks to celebrate our blog’s second birthday, we also shake our heads, as our Congress once again barrels toward another shutdown—once again over healthcare-related funding, but this time involving Planned Parenthood of America. Political grandstanding, heated up by election season politics, has left us with the prospect of a legislative branch unwilling to let the executive branch keep the lights on.

And so, we continue our work, indebted to the 108 individuals who have authored or co-authored blog posts for us and the hundreds of thousands of people who have clicked on our pages more than 1.2 million times. Even if the government shuts down, the lights stay on at the Brookings Institution, and we’ll continue to deliver content on a variety of topics.

As always, we thank you for your readership, and welcome any and all feedback at [email protected].