Congress Cybersecurity & Tech

ChinaTalk: Why Congress Can Save Us All

Jordan Schneider
Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

This episode of China Talk explores the past, present, and future of Congress with AEI's Philip Wallach. We get into:

Origins of representative government trace back to medieval England, when the king consulted regional advisors – leading to development of Parliament

Founders inspired by this model when establishing Congress, wanting representation for diverse parts of young U.S.

But competing visions emerged for how Congress should work:

Madison's view: embrace factional conflict and compromise

Wilson's view: stronger centralized leadership

These tensions played out through different eras of Congress:

Early years: backlash against Hamilton’s Treasury power leads to first political party

New Deal/WWII: Congress oversees executive branch while enabling key programs

Civil rights era: Senate leaders allow extended filibuster, focus national attention, build enduring coalition

1970s reforms decentralize Congress but decrease cooperation between members over time

Under 1994 Gingrich revolution, partisan centralization becomes norm – embraced by both parties

Potential futures discussed, including a fever dream of Philip's where an immigration crisis actually prompts real lawmaking.

Outtro music: Nixon's 1972 campaign song

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Jordan Schneider is the host of the ChinaTalk podcast and newsletter. He previously worked at Kwai, Bridgewater and the Eurasia Group. His Chinese landscape paintings "show promise."

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