A lecture and discussion of The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, a new book by authors Norman J. Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute) and Thomas E. Mann (The Brookings Institution), will be held from 4:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M in room 914 of New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life (60 Washington Square South) next Thursday, September 7.

The event is sponsored by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and co-hosted by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, of which Ornstein, Mann and Brademas are Fellows.

The Broken Branch examines the causes of congressional decline in the U.S., highlighting specific instances where Congress has been used to serve presidential interests, leading to poorly crafted laws and an overall dysfunctional system. While Mann and Ornstein detail the failings of Congress, they also offer solutions and insight on how to repair the damage.

Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is also senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission, working to ensure that our institutions of government can be maintained in the event of a terrorist attack on Washington. He is a Director of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the Campaign Legal Center and a Trustee of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Ornstein has published many books including, both with Thomas Mann, The Permanent Campaign and Its Future and Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, as well as with John H. Makin, Debt and Taxes: How America Got Into Its Budget Mess and What to Do About It.

Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. Between 1987 and 1999, he was Director of Governmental Studies at Brookings. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association. Mann lectures frequently in the United States and abroad on American politics and public policy and has published numerous books, including; Unsafe at Any Margin: Interpreting Congressional Elections; Vital Statistics on Congress; The New Congress; A Question of Balance: The President, the Congress and Foreign Policy; and Media Polls in American Politics.

Journalists interested in attending the symposium should RSVP to Rob Polner, Office of Public Affairs, at robert.polner@nyu.edu or 212.998.2337. This event is open to the public; picture ID is required for entry. RSVP is also required. Please e-mail brademas.center@nyu.edu or call 212-998-2269.

  • WHAT: Book Presentation and Discussion: The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track
  • WHEN: Thursday, September 7 from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
  • WHERE: Kimmel Center for University Life (60 Washington Square South), Room 914

The John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University seeks to advance the understanding of Congress-it its powers, processes and political character-among scholars, students pursuing careers in public service, those working on Capitol Hill and the public. The Center achieves its mission through nonpartisan research, teaching and public outreach events-such as symposia and conferences-focused on the role of Congress in making national policy. Our Center programming aims to explore issues and problems of the legislative branch from new perspectives.

Before becoming President of NYU in 1981, John Brademas, President Emeritus, since 1992, represented Indiana’s Third District in Congress for 22 years (1959-1981). He served as Majority Whip, third-ranking member of the Democratic Leadership of the House of Representatives, for the last four of those years. In Congress Brademas was particularly active in writing legislation to assist schools, colleges and universities; libraries and museums; the arts and the humanities; and to support programs to assist children, the elderly, the disabled. During his service as President of New York University, he led its transition from a regional commuter institution to a national and international residential research university. www.nyu.edu/brademas

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs. The Academy promotes service and study through analysis of critical social and intellectual issues; fosters public engagement and the exchange of ideas; mentors a new generation of scholars and thinkers; and honors excellence by electing to membership men and women in a broad range of disciplines and professions. www.amacad.org.

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337