When Democrats regained control of the majority in 110th Congress, they promised to return to regular order, engage in vigorous oversight of the executive, end the culture of corruption and increase legislative productivity. On January 8, Brookings released a report examining whether they achieved these objectives and how the 111th Congress might strengthen the institution.
Brookings Senior Fellows Sarah Binder and Thomas E. Mann, with American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Norman Ornstein, examined the 110th Congress’s legislative activity, achievements and process, with particular attention to its responses to the financial and mortgage crises. Mann and Ornstein are co-authors of The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press, revised second edition 2008).
The Mending the Broken Branch Project examines policy-making and oversight activity in the 110th Congress as well as action on key issues to provide a complete picture of the legislative branch’s efforts to mend itself. The project issues regular reports as it monitors Congress’s performance under its new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.
After a presentation of the report, the speakers took audience questions.