On February 2, NYU Law hosted a discussion between Senators Tom Daschle and Trent Lott. The event, organized by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, brought together the two former Senate leaders to discuss the partisan nature of the last two sessions of Congress.
Daschle and Lott touched on the loss of camaraderie in the Senate, the demands of fundraising, and the use of the filibuster. "Our country is so deeply divided, philosophically and politically, right now," Daschle said. "The Congress reflects that divide.... Unfortunately for both parties, control of Congress becomes the paramount goal, and there's a reluctance to cooperate, a reluctance to be as supportive."
Lott agreed that things have changed, even in the last decade, but said the dysfunction always existed. "The Senate was designed to be dysfunctional," said Lott. "It was designed to force consensus. The Senate was the place that was going to cool off the hot action of the House."
Watch the full discussion (1 hr 20 min):
Posted February 16, 2011