Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I want to offer some ideas for improving the way the House debates and deliberates, based on my five decades of observing Congress from the inside and
outside, working on reforms with many of your colleagues past and present and writing about the institution and its functions. My first recommendation is one I have pushed for three decades at least,
going back to the 1980s; one example is in the Yale and Policy Review in 1993.
The idea is to have regular prime-time Oxford-style debates on the House floor. Ideally, what I would like to see is a weekly debate on a significant issue facing the nation on which Congress has to, or
should, grapple. There should be two or three members on each side to offer contrasting views and ideas for policy, with rebuttals, in a classic debate format. And the issues, chosen perhaps by a
bipartisan leadership panel, should not all break down on party lines—there will be many important issues where one can imagine both Democrats and Republicans on either side of the debate.