March 22, 2023

Making Congress Work in a Divided Nation

Congressional committees are essential to a functioning legislative process, but experts agree they aren’t being used to their full potential. The media paints a picture of a legislative body paralyzed by partisanship, and political scientists agree that our representatives are passing fewer bills. After the chaos that embroiled the current House over the race for speaker, is it any wonder that many Americans have lost faith in the effectiveness of their elected representatives?

The Brennan Center hosted a panel discussion about making Congress work with former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), political correspondent Daniel Strauss, and Brennan Center Elections and Government Program research fellow Dr. Maya Kornberg. Kinzinger is no stranger to calling out Congress for allowing partisanship to breed dysfunction, particularly as one of the two Republicans on the House January 6 committee. Strauss is a staff writer at the New Republic and has covered both Washington politics and political campaigns across the country. Kornberg is the author of the new book, Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process, which examines the legislative process beyond polarized voting patterns.

This important and timely in-person conversation was held in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. The event was moderated by Mike Spahn, a partner at Precision, one of the country’s leading strategic marketing agencies. The panel addressed questions including what the committee system teaches us about bipartisan collaboration, what must be done to bring Congress into the digital age, and how to make Congress more representative of the country as a whole.

The discussion was followed by a book signing for Inside Congressional Committees and a reception with drinks and light bites. This program was produced in partnership with the NYU John Brademas Center. This event complied with NYU’s Covid-19 safety precautions

The program will not be live streamedPlease note that seating is first come, first served. Registration does not guarantee admission to the auditorium in the case of a sold-out program.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law provides reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for events and services should be submitted at least two weeks if possible before the date of the accommodation need. Please email events@brennan.law.nyu.edu or call 646-292-8365 for assistance.

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