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What Your Congressperson Does All Day

by Stuart Shapiro

Ryan Grim and Sabirna Siddiqui got a hold of a presentation given to new Democratic members of Congress explaining how they should be spending their days

Kevin Drum makes the best point:A PowerPoint presentation to incoming freshmen by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, obtained by The Huffington Post, lays out the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers. The daily schedule prescribed by the Democratic leadership contemplates a nine or 10-hour day while in Washington. Of that, four hours are to be spent in “call time” and another hour is blocked off for “strategic outreach,” which includes fundraisers and press work.

What’s also no surprise, I suppose, is the number of hours they expect new members to engage in studying up on the issues. That number would be zero.

I don’t really blame the members of Congress here (though you know I want to).  They want to get re-elected, the same thing nearly every member has wanted since the founding of the Republic.  The problem is that the system has evolved to the point where the best way to get re-elected is to raise a lot of money.  That’s what needs to change.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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