Ideas + Practice

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Madison Initiative

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Q&A with Stuart Butler: What does it take to turn ideas into government action? 

Stuart Butler, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, is no stranger to working across the political spectrum on complex issues. Previously, he spent 35 years at the Heritage Foundation as director of the Center for Policy Innovation and vice president for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies. He has worked with lawmakers and…

In a polarized era, efforts to boost bipartisanship in Congress 

Dysfunctional. Hyper-partisan. Unproductive. Those are among the words now most commonly used to describe Congress. What was once considered a revered branch of the federal government has become a place of enormous bitterness and friction. Public approval of Congress now hovers just above 10 percent, a huge drop from nearly 50 percent less than 20…

How Do We Know How Congress is Doing? 

Our work at the Madison Initiative remains squarely focused on improving conditions for dialogue, negotiation, and compromise in Congress. But one question we continue to wrestle with is this: How do we know how Congress is doing? Some Congressional observers have looked at metrics around “legislative productivity,” bemoaning recent Congresses as the “least productive” ever. ...

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