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Government & Politics

Congressional Gridlock-Busting Plan Outlined by Author

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Washington's partisan political gridlock can be unlocked, according to one of the speakers at the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book.

"The good news is that it doesn't involve a Constitutional convention or a Mars invasion."

That's Jason Grumet, whose new book, City of Rivals, proposes some intuitive solutions, such as more time for Congress to hang out together. And some not-so-intuitive solutions, such as bringing back earmarks, which Congress banned five years ago.

Grumet explains that such supposedly "pork barrel" spending doesn't actually alter the federal budget but does reward the districts of politicians who willing to build coalitions to solve thorny national problems.

"Solving problems, big or small, is actually an exhilarating process that many many members of Congress haven't enjoyed in recent years."

Noted pundit Mike Allen says Grumet's ideas are worth checking out.

"People want a break in the gridlock, but nobody knows how to get it or how to do it. Jason has actual ideas about this, spends his life thinking about it, and now is unrolling an actual action plan."

Grumet will share some of that action plan Thursday afternoon along with historian Andrew Burstein at the CitySpace in Charlottesville.

More information is available here.

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