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Tonic for a divisive Congress: Look to the ‘spirit of 96'

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, February 6, 2019

ROA Executive Director Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Phillips and Legislation and Military Policy Director Susan Lukas are published in The Hill as opinion contributors.

 

A month into its occupation of Capitol Hill, the 116th Congress already shows signs that its capacity for divisive infighting will rival, if not best, the impressive displays of its predecessor. Everyone, it seems — the headlines, TV talking heads, think tanks, taxi and Uber drivers, bartenders — is fixated on this newest incarnation of divided government.

 

Congress long has used caucuses to mitigate the divisive threat posed by “factions”; for example, it established the Democratic-Republican caucus in April 1796 to oppose a treaty with Great Britain that unfairly treated American sailors. The concept took hold: during the 115th Congress, the House list of registered caucuses ran 107 pages.

 

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