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One Line Captures Everything Wrong With Congress

Other democracies have well-paid and qualified internal experts for their legislators, we outsource.

Rarely does one line in a small article capture so much of what is wrong with Congress. From Politico:

Senior House Republican leadership aides gave K Street lobbyists a peak at their September agenda, just days before lawmakers come back to Washington, according to several sources present.

The lobbyists were briefed the same day Republican lawmakers got a memo from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about the month’s agenda. In fact, the lobbyists got more information than the lawmakers did in their memo.

First, it is the prefect example of the corrupting role of our broken campaign financing system. The reason lobbyists are getting a sneak peak at this information is because members count on them to get them campaign donations, so they need to do favors for the lobbyists.

Second, it highlights the fact that the most knowledgeable people in Washington tend to be the lobbyists. Members of Congress are often spending too much time fundraising to really study the issues. They can end up spending half their day hustling for campaign money.

In addition, congressional staff are paid too little to create a class of top-notch advisers. The people charged with helping to write billion dollar legislation that will impact the entire world economy are often paid less than most acupuncturists, while needing to live in one of the world’s most expensive housing markets. That is why people with skills can be easily poached by lobbying firms.

While other democracies have well paid and qualified internal experts for their legislators, we have decided to effectively outsource it.

Photo by Guerric under Creative Commons license

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One Line Captures Everything Wrong With Congress

Other democracies have well-paid and qualified internal experts for their legislators, we outsource.

Rarely does one line in a small article capture so much of what is wrong with Congress. From Politico:

Senior House Republican leadership aides gave K Street lobbyists a peek at their September agenda, just days before lawmakers come back to Washington, according to several sources present.

The lobbyists were briefed the same day Republican lawmakers got a memo from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about the month’s agenda. In fact, the lobbyists got more information than the lawmakers did in their memo.

First, it is the perfect example of the corrupting role of our broken campaign financing system. The reason lobbyists are getting a sneak peek at this information is because members count on them to get them campaign donations, so they need to do favors for the lobbyists.

Second, it highlights the fact that the most knowledgeable people in Washington tend to be the lobbyists. Members of Congress are often spending too much time fundraising to really study the issues. They can end up spending half their day hustling for campaign money.

In addition, congressional staff are paid too little to create a class of top-notch advisers. The people charged with helping to write billion dollar legislation that will impact the entire world economy are often paid less than most acupuncturists, while needing to live in one of the world’s most expensive housing markets. That is why people with skills can be easily poached by lobbying firms.

While other democracies have well paid and qualified internal experts for their legislators, we have decided to effectively outsource it. (more…)

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com