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Politics in Question

113 EpisodesProduced by Julia Azari, Lee Drutman, and James WallnerWebsite

A podcast about how our political institutions are failing us and ideas for fixing them. Join hosts Lee Drutman, Julia Azari, and James Wallner, three lively experts on American political institutions and reform, as they imagine and argue over what American politics could look like if citizens quest… read more


Why can't Congress do its job?

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Kevin Kosar joins Lee and James to consider why Congress can’t do its job. Kosar is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies Congress, the administrative state, American politics, election reform, and the US Postal Service. Before joining AEI, Kosar served as the R Street Institute’s vice president of policy, vice president of research partnerships, and senior fellow and director of the Governance Project. He also cofounded the long-running Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group to help strengthen the legislative branch. Prior to this, Kosar spent more than a decade focusing on a wide range of public administration issues while working at the Congressional Research Service. Kosar has written numerous books and journal articles. Most recently, he co-edited Congress Overwhelmed: The Decline in Congressional Capacity and Prospects for Reform (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

What is Congress’s job? Is it a place where the peoples’ representatives interact with one another to make decisions on their behalf? Or is it a factory where workers clock-in each day to assemble products according to a blueprint that was designed elsewhere? Why can’t Congress do its job? What happens when Congress fails to do that job? And what reforms can its members adopt to avoid those consequences in the future? These are some of the questions that Kevin, Lee, and James discuss in this week’s episode.

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