As a result of the 1994 midterm election, the Republicans took control of both houses of Congress and divided government returned to Washington. Now, as the budget battles of 1995 clearly demonstrate, conflict between the parties is sending the government back to gridlock.
In this sequel to Beyond Gridlock?—a study published at the beginning of the Clinton administration, when government was in the hands of one political party—the contributors address this dilemma.
They begin by evaluating the effectiveness of the U.S. governmental system during the first two years of the Clinton administration, when both branches were controlled by a single party. They then move to a wider debate about the state of affairs in the American political system: what are the consequences of the Republican takeover of Congress, and will fundamental changes be required to make our system work effectively? Looking to the future, they outline the prospects for governance in the months and years to come.
In addition to the editor, the contributors are Howard H. Baker, Jr., Harold R. Bruno, Jr., Becky Cain, Lloyd N. Cutler, Thomas J. Downey, Kenneth M. Duberstein, Bill Frenzel, Charles O. Jones, Thomas E. Mann, Patricia McGinnis, Milton D. Morris, Kevin P. Phillips, Robert D. Reischauer, Donald L. Robinson, Robin Toner, and Vin Weber.
Copublished with the Committee on the Constitutional System
James L. Sundquist is senior fellow emeritus in the Governmental Studies program at Brookings and the author of numerous books, including Constitutional Reform and Effective Government (Brookings, rev. ed., 1992). Hedrick Smith, a television producer since 1986, was a longtime reporter, editor, and bureau chief for The New York Times, and is the author of The Power Game: How Washington Works (Random House, 1988).