By Ray Smock
Each year political scientists, historians, and other Congress watchers participate in “grading” Congress in a number of key areas. This survey is conducted by the Center on Congress at Indiana University, under the directorship of the distinguished former Congressman and congressional scholar Lee Hamilton. It will not surprise readers to learn that Congress’s grades are pretty low. But this study goes into institutional differences between the House and Senate and also includes a grade for “we the people,” the citizens who elect Congress. Overall the public does not fare much better in the grading. Perhaps we do get the Congress we deserve and we will only get a better House and Senate if more citizens engage in the process of voting and understanding in basic ways just what Congress is and does in our system of government.
Welcome to the Byrd Center Blog! We share content here including research from our archival collections, articles from our director, and information on upcoming events.