The group NoLabels.org has put forth a 12-point action plan to "make congress work."
Here we list the 12 points, along with a few comments about which ones we think are likely to work, based on what little evidence can be brought to bear. This blog entry starts off relatively empty on March 22, 2012, and we'll add to it as time goes on. This post will be jointly authored by many contributors.
–Norman Ornstein, a respected scholar of congress, weighs in here.
3. Filibuster Reform
4. Empower the Sensible Majority:
5: Make Members Come to Work:
–This one is about changing the legislative calendar to keep members in Washington 3 weeks out of each month. This would discourage them from spending most of their time in their districts, and would increase the possibility of informal social interaction in Washington, for example at social events on the weekends. Such positive informal social contact is likely to be beneficial. The decline of such contact since the 1990s is widely blamed for the recent declines in civiility.
Promoting Constructive Discussion
6. Question Time for the President:
7. Fiscal Report to Congress:
8. No Pledge but the Oath of Office:
–This one seems unenforceable, and is perhaps too strong a response to the "no new taxes" pledge used by Grover Norquist.
9. Monthly Bipartisan Gatherings:
10. Bipartisan Seating:
–This is perhaps the most modest of all 12 points. We like it. Almost anything that builds positive personal relationships across the aisle is likely to help.
11. Bipartisan Leadership Committee:
12. No Negative Campaigns by incumbents Against Incumbents From the Other Party:
–We are generally agreed that this point is unenforceable, given the difficulty of defining a negative campaign. It might also unfairly privilege incumbents.