Want to learn about Senate procedure tomorrow?
One of my longstanding themes is that an enormous amount of American public policy is decided by the rules, quirks and composition of the Senate. But though a lot of people understand politics and a fair number of people understand policy, very few people understand congressional procedure. Those people know, however, that the best guidebooks tend to come from the Congressional Research Office. Take this one (pdf) on the budget reconciliation process, or this one (also pdf) on the filibuster.
The problem is that the Congressional Research Service doesn't release its reports publicly. They go to members of Congress, and have to then be acquired by members of the public. There's even an organization, Open CRS, that attempts to do this methodically. But in a welcome move, CRS is throwing open the doors on Friday (that is, tomorrow) morning and holding a seminar on Senate procedure. The event is co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden and Bob Bennett, the Senate Press Secretaries Association and the Regional Reporters Association, and bloggers, members of the media and other interested parties can attend by rsvp'ing to Jennifer_Hoelzer@wyden.senate.gov.
Why am I promoting this? Well, I think it's important for the media to dive into Senate procedure, but beyond that, I'm glad to see CRS, an extraordinary organization that produces incredibly high-quality research, opening its expertise to a wider audience. That's to be encouraged.
Posted by: rt42 | June 24, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse
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