3/11/2005

The death of deliberative democracy

"A Congressional Report on the Unprecedented Erosion of the Democratic Process in the 108th Congress"
The report states that in the 108th Congress, House Republicans became the most arrogant, unethical and corrupt majority in modern Congressional history. When they took control of the House after the 1994 elections, Republicans vowed they would be different than previous Congresses. They promised they would manage the House in a way that fostered what they called "deliberative democracy," which they defined as "the full and free airing of conflicting opinions through hearings, debates, and amendments for the purpose of developing and improving legislation deserving of the respect and support of the people." This report documents how, ten years after their "revolution," House Republicans have completely abandoned this standard of deliberative democracy they set for themselves. Furthermore, they have abandoned any other principle of procedural fairness or democratic accountability. In the opinion of many non-partisan observers of Congress, the 108th Congress not only matched the worst abuses of earlier Congresses; it set a whole new benchmark. The report examines in detail how, over the past two years, the Republican leadership ignored the House Rules and the basic standards of legislative fairness and regular order with an impunity that is unprecedented in the history of the House of Representatives.
Click on the title to read the report.

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