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tv   History of Congressional Staffing  CSPAN  October 17, 2018 11:00pm-11:55pm EDT

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in. >> watch afterwards sunday night at 9 pm eastern on c-span 2 book tv. that they look at the history of congressional staffing with kevin cozart from the legislative branch capacity working group which studies congress and makes recommendations for improving its performance. he talks about the rapid growth in staffing, the expansion of congressional duties, and attempt to address mismanagement and abuse by members of congress. this was hosted by the u.s. capital historical society. is just under one hour. >> [ applause ] good afternoon. it is miserable out there.
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i took a cab out, and i am still zero. we are going to talk about congressional staffing. i created a legislative -- our cheeky motto is make congress great again. there are those who will often ask me, when was it ever great? i say episodically, that is an important thing to remember, you can only expected to be episodically great, not listlessly great. humor aside, are undertaking is a serious one. the constitution establishes congress as the first branch of government, the institution that is supposed to most reflect the diversity of the country answer the wellspring for the laws that govern us. lee and i were concerned about the health of congress and the trouble that it seems to be increasingly struggling to find its footing in the 21st century
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and to adapt to the shifting demands. so we have monthly discussions on the hill to which you all are invited. we announce the dates and the topics on our site we have a book under review by university press. we try to encourage legislators to think about legislative branch reform. the whole point of what we are up to is trying to raise the awareness of the problem. to pull together individuals with a broad range of perspectives and expertise to help us grapple with the complex beast that the congress of today is, which is a tripartite system in the nation that is a global power. no easy thing. our approach has been to considered in terms of capacity. the congress has what it needs
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to do what is demanded by the constitution, the public, and the present reality of our world. now capacity has a whole lot of facets. when you think about an organization, what is capacity is. we broke it into a few large lumps. it includes internal structures, prophecies, resources, and the incentives that the institution and its actors have. one of the first topics we took up was legislative branch staffing, which was the subject of my talk today. the importance of staff on the hill began in earnest -- i came to washington, dc to work for a legislative branch support agency. i was struck by how important the staff are and how remarkably anonymous they are. i spent years reading through committee hearing transcript while riding my dissertation.
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i don't remember ever seeing staff mentioned. i saw that beneath the representatives and senators with an immense supporting staff , committee staff, support agency, auditors. this is to say nothing of the critically important folks who maintain the capital and all that. from answering emails to constituents and giving them tours of the capital to drafting landmark laws, writing speeches, organizing hearings and researching every topic under the sun, staff are there. congress could not action without them. so now let me turn to discuss three periods in the history of staffing. what i call the lightly staffed years, 1791 through 1899. then the rise of the professionally staffed
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legislature, 1900 through 1989. the subsequent diminution of legislative branch staffing, 1999 through present. while he stepped years. the house of representatives named john beckley as clerk of health on a first, 1789. he was the first employee of congress. the next month, the chamber appointed a sergeant at arms and chaplain. so to the senate. congress with a part-time body for most of the 19th century. they had little employed staff to help them do the work of governing. they did have help, frequently elected officials paid for the staff of the report. children were hired to serve as personal assistance. the house first employed pages in 1800 it seems. one representative describe the pages work thus, quote, we have a charming little boy about 12 years old to wait on the house.
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when a member rises to submit a revolution, the little fellow leaps around lightly and with the swiftness of a hero stands by his side. if anything is cemented -- if anything is submitted -- pages, who numbered only a handful until the 1830s, also filled the cups of legislators whose mouth grew drive from speaking. it was not always water that was poured. committees did not get staffers until the 1830s. those employees tended to be temporary. as my next slide indicates, congress was a very lean entity in the 19th century. mind you, these numbers include everybody who worked in the legislative branch between 1816 and 1891.
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the legislators themselves, staffers, sergeant at arms, architects and capital employees in the folks at the library of congress. the first support agency. you might wonder what that's like in later years came from -- that spike. imparted was the construction workers. was also workers employed to deal with the aftermath of the fire in the library of congress. the long-term trend upwards was also driven by the fact that between 1851 in 1900, 15 new states were added to the union. we got more senators, more representatives, and a bit more staff. despite what we see here, congress remained very much a legislator operated entity. this slide, 1850.
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you see a lot of people stepped in there. you don't see many staff. here is one 1868. here we see staff. it is the office of the secretary of the senate where the impeachment summons for andrew johnson was being drafted as depicted here. this is a photo from 1874. these are senators at the start of a new congress. possibly the folks in the way back up at the top or staff. they are not identified is to. we just don't know. 1898. a depiction of the senate at work. a couple of clerk -type employees can be seen in the chamber up front. again, it is all legislators. they are the ones doing the work of governing.
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having shown these pictures, the doubting thomas in the audience might say, well, what you have shown us are images of the changes. staff are mostly forbidden from being there. that is true, other than clerks, stepper largely kept off the table for. let's also remember that this was an era before we had congressional office buildings, and most of the work that was being done when it came to hashing out legislation was being done on the floor. therefore, stepper not present and helping with it. -- staff were not present. these popular images no doubt reinforce when they showed up in her present other popular periodicals, the public's notion that congress was merely comprised of elected officials, but it was not a more complex piece with a diverse component. this is important as it is a notion that remains with us today. it colors the publics view of
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how we think about congressional staffing and how much of it we need. coming into the 19th century, the total number of house and city committee staff actually exceeded 100. that was an immense development. individual representatives and senators were allowed a single clerk to rather personal offices into deal with whatever mail visitors may come calling. if you are a chairman, you might have as many as two clerks. the cost of the growth in the staff is not hard to see. more states in the union. the government's responsibilities and spending have been expanded for various congressional -- congressional enactments. this is an important factor. it is one that fueled the subsequent growth in legislative branch staff. in short, the bigger government is, the more the public makes demands on congress about government programs, policies, and benefits. so do interest groups.
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appleby civil war and reconstruction, congress received untold missives from veterans and widows that had opinions or needed assistance. it was an enormous number of private bills being turned out through congress to do with individual circumstances, people who had petitioned them about one problem or another. let's move to the next era, which is the rise of the professionally staffed legislature, 1900 through 1989. 1900 congress could roughly apprehend the rudiments of the whole federal government. government which is not that big. there were eight departments and 230,000 employees. 135,000 of them worked for the post office department. when you look at congressional policymaking of the day, it mostly concentrated on appropriations, again private relief bills, infrastructures, and lands related issues.
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legislative branch staff and the need for them was relatively modest. wars and the growing scope of government in the 20 century would soon change all that. in the 50s, congress had expanded the capital. in 1908 in 1909, they opened the cannon building and what we know as the russell building. you can see the spurts of growth that occurred. come the 1970s, they also had to expand into a building that was not previously designed for congressional staff, the ford building. part of another building is off campus. the staff has spilled over despite the uptick in the number of buildings. as we all know, for government
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to grow, congress must authorize it to grow with and find it. that usually occurs in the executive branch. for most of the 20th century, we saw an interesting dynamic where congress will government through a whole bunch of enact wants an additional spending, and then to realize it needed to grow itself to better manage the executive branch and to direct it and deal with the growing crush of public and interest group demands. this group -- this growth of legislative branch, the two chambers grappled with shifting realities. health personal office staffing grew somewhat steadily over the century. -- house. you talk about once was a house personal office being a very small operation. almost like a little family. two clerks and a member of congress. then you find yourself not too many decades later, you have a
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small business. a local scientist in the late 70s wrote an article about looking at each representatives office as a startup business. you had to pull together a whole lot of folks who did not know each other very well, give them assignments, and they were supposed to operate, and meanwhile you were in a chaotic political environment. not easy. it proved as we will later see to be a bit of a management challenge. meanwhile, senate growth and personal staff is more erratic. we don't have great data, but what we have says there were two staffers per senator in 1910. three in 1914. five in 1940. by the 80s, it could be two or four dozen staff for each individual senator depending on state population or whether the person had chairmanships that other factors.
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with all of these new staff, legislators could better intermediate between their constituents demands and the various government agencies actions. it could take on a larger and larger workload. but congress, just adding personal staff was not enough. to professionalize the legislator further into further assert its control over the growing executive branch, congress also built of its committees and his legislative branch support agencies. robert la follette, the progressive, remarked in 1943, quote, terribly one of the great contribute factors to the ship of power to the executive branch in recent years is the fact that congress has the generous in providing expert and technical personnel for the executive agencies but not for itself. knowledge is power as the old saying goes. commerce took our -- congress
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took action. they do this by hiring smart people and they made it their job to advise legislators on particular subjects and aspects of the policymaking process. congress hired more staff to work for committees, and it expanded the legislative branch support agencies. the watershed moment for committee staff occurred in 1946 in the night -- and the early 1870s. congress redrew this jurisdiction of committees. congress created armed services committees in 1946 to oversee the military. the over -- then they merged into what we now call the department of defense. you created alignment between the workload and responsibility. , was hired for people to work
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on committees and gave them the job of overseeing the agencies. more committee manpower served as additional eyes and ears for legislators and magnify the power of the individual member, particularly the chairman. so for example, john dingell who chaired the house energy committee, he had more than 100 staff helping him poke and prod various agencies to turn over documents to justify their expenditures into more or less do what the chair and aspired -- the chairman aspired. agencies staffed by civil servants who would not turn over each time there was a change in a member of office or a change in the partisan balance of the chamber. it invested in the legislative branch support agencies. this table obscures an important truth. there have been many significant incidences of
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reform that have expanded the support agencies. take my old agency, crs, as an example. it was expanded in the 1940s. then it was expanded again in the 1970s. it was tucked in the jefferson building. it blossomed in the mid-1980s taking up a few floors of the madison building. similarly, gao has had its mission expanded repeatedly over the years. more work related to the legislating business. more work related to oversight. the development of the legislative branch, therefore, between 1919 89, was utterly transformational. we went from a part-time modestly sized legislature with you staff to a multithousand conglomerate with staff in dc
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and scattered about the country. let's move to the third era, the fall of congressional staffing. i think this era from 1990 three present. growth brings its own problems. not least was mismanagement. legislators who frequently were not trains to manage people, let alone to run some sort of quasi-small business type enterprise, suddenly were in charge of dozens of individuals . some congressmen were up to the challenge. others very clearly were not. there also arose the concerns that the proliferation of staff led to staff themselves becoming a power center, and that they, the tail, wagging
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the dog. senator allen system -- alan simpson said the quote -- the point is we are elected senators and we should try to do our business with ourselves and among ourselves and between ourselves. even though the staff is critically important, it is also critical burden upon us in many situations. i say that without gasping for the back of the chamber, but it is very soon -- very true. you cannot live with them, and you cannot live without them. michael melvin, a fellow back then, mostly developed his thesis about staff taking over the two chambers in a book published in 1980. it is titled, and elected representatives, congressional staff, and the future of representative government. he documented the ways in which the service have become the masters.
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legislators delegated so much of the study and day-to-day oversight of the agencies and policymaking that they little understood the subject matter. staff more. that meant that could manipulate , and staff themselves ended up brokering legislative deals. not too terribly long ago, i was talking with a staffer who was on the hill in the early 1980s. the stories he told me about the things that he was able to do for astonishing. they also mapped to some other things that i had recently read. in one instance, his member for whatever reason cannot show up to a closed-door meeting of the committee where they were marking up a bill. he went there and said what his member wanted, and then when they decided to officially agree, he voted on the half of his member. -- on behalf of his member. there was also the temptation to
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use and abuse them. there were too many instances of legislators training staff is personal service, forcing them to run to the drycleaner or wash the car. bobby baker, linda johnson's infamous aid, recounted many tales. for simple, he mentioned that a senator wants to ask him to direct to have a page run to the store to buy prophylactic because he was going to go back to his office and have a tryst with his secretary. sexual harassment and abuse of staff are not uncommon. the 1983 congressional page scandal exposed two representatives as having sexual relations with 17 years old. these youth were hired to work for congress but will preyed upon. with so much money for congressional staff, legislators abuse their hiring authorities. friends, the children's a friend, lovers were given jobs in congress. someone put his mistress on the
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payroll even though she could not type or file or answer the phone. that is elizabeth ray. even the legislative branch support agencies who are supposed to be nonpartisan were occasionally tainted by legislators. these agencies depend upon congress for their money. they take their direction from money. they have to do congress asks. what a powerful member would make a demand of them, what choice do they have? the first person appointed to leave the technology assessment was a former democratic house member. senator ted kennedy had a very large role in directing the research topics in the first few years that ota would take
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up. there were topics that he felt were important. ota was able to later fix itself, but there was an initial taint due to politicians using their authority. that was not the only incident. one legislative branch support agency, a congressman has is extra friend hired as a researcher. she did not have credentials. he directed it. it was done. another support agency hired the former congressional aide in political operative with no obvious expertise. she later married a representative who was in caught taking bribes. always diplomatic -- all was symptomatic. so it was not a backlash begin to form against the size of the legislative branch of the number of staff and staff behavior.
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when congress convened a joint committee on the organization of congress in the early 90s and issued its bipartisan report in 1993, it advocated a 12% cut in legislative branch staffing. congress had too many staff and had become remarkably a bipartisan opinion. one -- on the other end of the political spectrum, he agreed. he said i think we can do with less staff. against this backlash, the whole backlash against staffing part of a larger revolt against so-called congressional establishment. in the early 1990s was the an aged fatcat chairman lording
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over staff walked into unseemly iron triangles with agencies and industries that they were supposed to be regulating in a rampant legislative corruption. it was one thing after another. republicans particularly in the house used this to argue that congress needed to clean house. thus it was that legislators began doing things like voting against pay increases for themselves, voting against pay increases for staff. telling the public that they were not going to spend all the money that they have been allotted to spend on staff. instead return some of it to the treasury. it was this perspective that has led to the recent phenomenon of legislators sleeping in their offices to save taxpayer dollars. they are showing america they are being responsible. thus it was that the staff cuts began. they were significant.
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see the growth, and then the flattening in the personal staff. that the decline starts to occur. that is broken out by chambers. not surprisingly, the house tends to be more dramatic about everything it does. committees, big drops. legislative branch support agency staffing also large drops. in the early to mid 1990s, -- employees were just shown the door.
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so here we are at the start of the 21st century. congress has found itself in a peculiar place. it is not clear what the future of the legislative branch staffing is. on the bright side it is going to be more diverse. women and minorities hold more positions and higher positions than ever although there is more progress to be made. daily, from the sci-fi show, there are far fewer congressional staff than there used to be. -- from the slides i showed. they are district and state offices where they primarily deal with constituent issues, not oversight and policymaking. these trends exist despite the fact that federal spending in the scope of the federal government are increasing and policymaking is getting more and more complex. it seems you can't pass a piece of legislation these days without it being dozens and dozens of pages.
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this is not even to speak of the fact that there are thousands of pages of regulations which are effectively many laws being produced every year. in the past couple of legislative branch appropriation bill, we have seen some modest increases in spending on the support agencies. this will bring some new hires. we might see a little bit of an uptick. the house has also offered a tiny increase to the funds it gets to each office on staff. it may make staffers salaries a little less cheap. but then again, members decide they're going to make a show of returning the money to the treasury, it won't happen. the senate for its part recently set aside some funds to pay interns who had long had expected to work in this high rent district for free. i see nothing in the current tea leaves that would indicate
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we will see any new congressional buildings anytime soon. this is disappointing news to the staff. my own former agency is in the madison building, which was not designed to hold human beings. it was designed to hold expert very little sunlight gets in there. all the doors are tight and metal. it is not a great place to be a staffer. that is what we had. despite congresses pennypinching, many still think congress is over staff. we have a survey data that shows that. elected officials be the notion , the rather quaint notion of the citizen legislator who needs only horse sense, not a
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bunch of staff, to govern wisely. so yes, the mindset endures despite the fact that the amount of money congress on staff is generally a rounding error. it is less than what the lobbyists spent to influence progress. what is the flood -- where does the power lie? what congress? legislative staffing is no small matter. commerce needs staff to carry out its duties and to respond to public demands. congress needs staff who are as smart as the executive branch officials, interest group representatives who have their own ideas as to what policies should be made. this me for help however has to be balanced against the value
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of representative governments. for national legislature -- staffing to serve the members and not imagine themselves as unelected representative who should direct policy. they are not the ones that have to face the voters. they can be collateral damage, but they don't have a direct connection. how do we strike the golden mean between having the staff you need but to maintain the representativeness. i and the various staff and scholars who participate will continue to grapple with it. we would love it if you would join us in this work. thank you. >> [ applause ]
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>> [ inaudible question ]. >> not as of yet. a lot of the data is kept by brookings and edited and managed by molly reynolds. i just generated those charts off the excel spreadsheet that molly put up there. i will get them up. >> do you think some of the cutting back [ inaudible question ] to allow the staffing, organizations like the democratic study group, certain caucuses, the budgets for all those were cut dramatically. what that did was it disarmed a lot of the gingrich's enemies.
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what you think about that? >> yeah, i am not sure that these changes have well served a conservative agenda per se. but they certainly, as you commented, served to help consolidate power in the speakership. by taking away resources that others had. one of the things i did not put up in the presentation is that when it comes to legislative branch staffing, the number of folks that work in the speaker's office have gone up, up, up. that is not for nothing. they are doing work. they are making policy. that, i think, has led to the kind of right that you hear many quarters, left right and center, on capitol hill is that there is been a concentration of authority and resources and
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leadership and too much policy is being forced down on members. the senate for its part did not to many of the things that gingrich did. it is just a different beach. -- base. the things that newton wanted to get, he did not get a lot of them. a lot of bills were moved and died in the senate. some got through, but a lot died. >> [ inaudible question ] do we see an increase in the use of interns when we see the decrease in staff or did they must go down together? what you think about the idea of the senate paying interns now?? i unpaid intern. >> interns, it is hard to say when interns first started arriving.
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they are informal relationships. hey, senator, we have been (. can you take my son in heaven file papers? that is been around forever. congress did create in the house and intern program in the late 60s early 70s. there was something more official instruction. that program, the official program by defended. still individual members are free to bring on interns as they like. i don't have the data to prove it, but i would suggest that the number of interns that were taken on probably ticked up after congress, particularly the house, said they were going to cut the number of staff because there's always more constituent stuff coming in. when you look at the 19 80s, 1990s, 2000, communications rocketing up her. somebody has to do that.
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the development in the senate that you reference was really something. earlier this year, i got word that there is a new very small not-for-profit that was trying to get into the appropriations a requirement that the money be set aside for interns. it surprised me, and honestly i was not quite sure it would get there. this was new. this was a group that was young, very small. the possibility of actually persuading appropriators to do something fundamentally different. and then there is the whole who gets how much money and that sort of thing which often scuttles new enact its. it happened. it is a small amount of money. when you do the math and tried to figure out how many interns are going to get something, it is not clear that it is going to provide them a -- enough capacitor -- enough per capita
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funds. if you come to enter here, you either have friends that you can sleep on the couch, or you better have parents who can bankroll you. but i would anticipate that because we are only talking about a small, small amount of money, we might actually see that quantity it raised -- get raised in coming years because i think honestly it is becoming less accepted as an okay practice to bring people in and make them work for nothing. >> [ inaudible question ] what is the big california one for the students? >> yeah, they're all sorts of
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things aiming to replace to some degree or supplement the staff who were let off in the early 1990s. we have tech congress with its tech policy fellows and other not-for-profit who are trying to hook people up in congress for gigs. it is helpful. it is good. i think it will continue happening. it also is one of those things where i don't think they get treated truly as full-time equal staff. they tend to be time-limited. if congress is not willing to increase the amount of money and give itself extra positions, then somebody comes, works real hard for a year, does a great job, and they get settled the door. that is a structural issue. i think it will and door. one of the things we are trying to do is network disparate
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expertise. people all over the place -- our basic contention is it needs help. >> it is hard to think about staff without also thinking about lobbyists. so many lobbyists are former staff themselves. i was wondering first of all, do we have any sense of how widespread the revolving door is ? i certainly have gotten a lot of anecdotal reports from former veteran hill staff that people leave the hill earlier now and are less likely to make it a career. they are more likely to move because they can get paid more for doing less work. secondly, you have the issue of expertise migrating to the
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private sector, that people may have developed possibly -- policy expertise working on the hill, but there are fewer policy jobs and are used to be. at a certain point, they do move to the lobbying world. there they continue to be a source of expertise for members, but expertise that is being ultimately underwritten by some corporation or trade association. i was wondering if you had any thoughts on those two issues. >> i would say that there is empirical evidence that people are leaving the hill for better paid jobs in trade and lobbying, even in the executive branch. congress has held its pay scale , while cpi has gone up, particularly in dc. it has been keeping salary at certain levels. people who are chief of staff 15 years ago or more than a
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cheetah staff would today. economics matters. i think a professor at james madison university who had a book on revolving door lobbying is a good source on that. the second question was? >> the expertise to k street and members relying on that. >> yes. there is a market for it. there is just a market for it. one of the things that he shows in his book is that members of congress realize there is a market for it. the numbers of members of congress in the last 40 years, the percentage you after leaving congress become lobbyists has gone way up. >> i appreciate you putting me in the professional peer in.
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that is what i worked in the senate for 10 years. your story, the anecdote about the member who cast -- the staffer that cast a vote for his or her member brought to mind what happened to me early on in my senate career. my member was chairing a subcommittee. it went on for hours and hours and hours. towards the end of the day, like at 5 pm, he was the only member left. the witness was testifying. he gave the gavel over to me and said howard, chair the hearing. he left. it was me, the witness, the clerk, whoever was doing the transcript, and me and like one of the person. even his staff to this day does not 10 what happened. i'm not going to mention who the member was. it happens. here is my question.
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office of technology assessment did great stuff for us. consistently. these were scientists, engineers , and they really helped in -- inform policy. what happened? why did it go away? >> it was defunded. when republicans to congress. 1994. for the statute is still on the books. in perry, congress could appropriate funds and ota would come back. it has not happened, but it could. ota got off on the wrong foot. the fact that you had the former house member, a certain democrat went over from congress to become the first head of ota. when ted kennedy was doing what he did, which was direct so
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many of the early activities and stiff arm republicans who might wanted other things to be studied, that -- that got swept up in congress is too big. there was a book written -- i am plaguing on his name -- -- blanking on his name. it is called that city. -- that city. one of the chapters is devoted to ota. why are you doing the same things as other agencies do. there were also complaints of members of congress and son -- and some staff that the work was to scholarly. too difficult three. they did not have time to read all that stuff. it was an easy sacrificial lamb.
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when it wanted it gone, it was gone. -- when new -- newt want to be gone, he was gone. >> this is link to the drop off in staff more pronounced on the house side then set aside. how problematic do you see this late to the power structure of the house -- link to the power structure the house for getting more congressional staff. you think there are other ways around this? is the answer just to get more policy staff into the speaker's office? is it to get one really smart staffer in each individual office? it seems like this is a multifaceted problem. >> yes. we went from the excesses of
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committee chairman being the barons to now the situation where committee chairs are cropping that they can't do anything. -- grousing that they can't do anything. staff pays a role in it. i have this hypothesis that we are going into a strange era where congress is teetering for control back and forth. francis lee at the university of maryland has written about this. that changes the assented. maybe you are not going to be in control anymore. that has suckered them into saying we need leadership, and we need leadership to create basically a platform for us, and we all have to do our best to line up behind it. that does not work. we saw that the green ridge when he unveiled -- newt gingrich when he unveiled the
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sign under new management. it did not move a lot of those bills. for all the action, not a lot changed. guess what. republicans got voted out. and democrats come in and they are like our speaker is going to lead us. here is our platform. it is going to be wonderful. we are going to be -- we are going to ram it through. you end up with a situation where there are factions within your own party. we have seen the cycle repeat, repeat, repeat. only episodic real policy procedure. like obamacare. that was rammed through on a partyline vote. for the most part, i am waiting to get to the next era of congressional organization where there is a rethinking of the apportionment of the power. are we going to have something where folks rise up in the congress and basically do what was done to joe cannon, take
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away power. maybe. >> do you think that congress in its infinite wisdom takes advantage of the fact that young people will work in a glamorous job in a great city a little cheaper than they would in another profession to pad the resume? >> indubitably. members no staff are getting bionic -- getting by on the cheek. there is a market out there for their talents. collectively, they have been very low to do something -- below the -- democrats have
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been tagged as the party of tax- and-spend. the era were things went bad with the democratic era. they lorded over both chambers of congress. they were the ones spending money on the zillions of staff. each side is not seeing the incentive for doing it, even though it hurts them. >> do we know how many staffers are there between the districts back home, here, the agencies? is it smaller than the coast guard? >> total legislative branch tapping and support agencies, district staff, based staff, ms. chambers, i think -- both chambers, it is about 19,000. >> is this including staffers for the individual 541 offices?
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>> yes. >> plus 1 back home is over 1000 offices right there. >> we have on and aggregate figure that shows over the last 30 or so years from the total number of legbranch employees is. i can show that to you afterwards. >> it is wonderful to end the series on this note. it also occurs to me for the historical society, we have so many people alive and present in this room that have experienced some of the stuff you were talking about. there is a larger than usual number of staff.
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think or -- thanks for addressing their interest us. thanks for joining us. >> [ applause ] with the midterm elections less than three weeks away, c- span is your primary source for campaign 2018. on friday, we will have the first debate between massachusetts democratic senator elizabeth warren antirepublican opponent just deal. at the same time on c-span 2, we are live from wisconsin where scott walker bases off against tony evers. then later that night, the u.s. senate race in nevada includes a debate in las vegas between republican senator dean heller and democratic congress woman jackie rosen. live on c-span and ipm eastern. -- at 9 pm eastern. the student cam video
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competition is in full swing. this year's question is what is it mean to be american? students and teachers have taken to social media. one ap government teacher -- we work on her what does it mean to be american c-span student cam documentary. don sweeney, special thanks to our middle school showcasing their student cam.
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we are warning $100,000 in total cash prizes, including $5000 for a grand prize. on september 18, 1793, freemasons, including president george washington, placed the cornerstone for the u.s. capitol building in a masonic ritual that included corn, oil, and wine. next, the u.s. capital historical society hosts a ceremonial reenactment for the 225th anniversary. this is about 50 minutes. ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the presentation of the colors by the united states armed forces colorguard and the performance of our national anthem by the united states army brass quintet.


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