Congressional dysfunction

11 Cards

CURATED BY Ezra Klein

2014-08-05 12:43:36 -0400

  1. What is congressional dysfunction?
  2. Is Congress popular?
  3. Is Congress less productive than it used to be?
  4. What is political polarization?
  5. Have both parties polarized equally?
  6. What is the filibuster?
  7. Is money the problem?
  8. Didn't the Founding Fathers want Congress to be gridlocked?
  9. Why won't Obama lead?
  10. You didn't answer my question!
  11. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 11

    What is congressional dysfunction?

    Congress, in this case, refers to the legislative branch of the United States government. It's composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. And it is, by far, the most powerful branch of the US government.

    Congress is mentioned first in the Constitution, and its enumerated powers far exceed those of the Supreme Court or the presidency. The simplest way to see this is to envision a direct collision between Congress and the other branches: Congress can pass legislation into law over the president’s veto. The president, meanwhile, doesn’t even have a way to make Congress consider legislation, much less pass anything into law over congressional objections. Meanwhile, nominees to the Supreme Court must pass a vote in the Senate, and Congress retains the power to alter the composition of the Court (the Court has nine members currently because Congress decreed it would have nine members in the Judiciary Act of 1869).

    When people talk about congressional dysfunction they usually mean that Congress, despite its vast authority, seems paralyzed in the face of the nation's toughest problems. The paralysis usually stems from disagreements between the two parties, and is exacerbated by the unusual construction of the US Congress, which makes it possible for one party to control the House while the other controls (or at least exercises veto power) in the Senate. A secondary (and arguably related) problem people are sometimes referring to is the perception that the personal relationships between members of the two parties are angrier than they've been in the past.

  2. Card 2 of 11

    Is Congress popular?

  3. Card 3 of 11

    Is Congress less productive than it used to be?

  4. Card 4 of 11

    What is political polarization?

  5. Card 5 of 11

    Have both parties polarized equally?

  6. Card 6 of 11

    What is the filibuster?

  7. Card 7 of 11

    Is money the problem?

  8. Card 8 of 11

    Didn't the Founding Fathers want Congress to be gridlocked?

  9. Card 9 of 11

    Why won't Obama lead?

  10. Card 10 of 11

    You didn't answer my question!

  11. Card 11 of 11

    How have these cards changed?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Vox username and password

As part of the new Vox launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Vox going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Vox username and password

As part of the new Vox launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Vox going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_10934_tracker