WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest piece of the campaign agenda commissioned by House Speaker Paul Ryan is promising to reclaim powers ceded to the presidency, give stronger directions to federal bureaucrats, and reassert lawmakers' control over the federal purse strings.
The plan is a product of a task force studded with Republican conservatives. It promises a focus on the nuts-and-bolts work of Congress: updating federal programs; advancing individual appropriations bills; and overhauling Capitol Hill's remarkably arcane budget process.
In many ways, however, the plan reads like an indictment of Congress' inability to do its core functions. Most of its proposed solutions — such as a renewed focus on routine spending and agency policy bills — can only be enacted through a bipartisan approach that often alienates tea party Republicans.