Friday, February 5, 2010

Is Congress Fundamentally Broken?

From the filibuster to special interest money to today's story about Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who has placed all of the President's nominations on hold until he gets federal funding for two projects in his home state, here are articles that raise the question of whether Congress is fundamentally broken and needs radical reform.

Update: The White House has blasted Senator Shelby's blanket hold on nominations:

"Roberts Gibbs, the White House press secretary, sharply criticized Mr. Shelby’s actions, calling it the best instance yet for how Washington is broken. 'I guess if you needed one example of what’s wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals to make government work better because he didn’t get his earmarks,' Mr. Gibbs told reporters today. 'If that’s not the poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works, I fear there won’t be a greater example of silliness throughout the entire year of 2010.'"

However, TalkingPointsMemo reports that several years ago, Sen. Harry Reid did something similar.

Update # 2: The AtlanticWire has a roundup of criticism of Shelby's conduct.

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