Imagining a better future for Congress

Members of the 115th Congress mingle on the House floor on January 3, 2017, the opening day of the new session.

Members of the 115th Congress mingle on the House floor on January 3, 2017, the opening day of the new session.

Imagining a better future for Congress

Friday, March 01, 2024
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
Event Details

As we head toward the 2024 election, partisan dysfunction threatens to fracture the United States Congress, one of the pillars of our American constitutional system. When did Congress work better, and why? How could it function well again?

Sidney Milkis, the Miller Center's White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs, moderates a conversation about the past, present, and future of Congress with William Galston, Molly Reynolds, and Philip Wallach, whose new book, Why Congress, was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best political books of 2023.


Friday, March 01, 2024
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
The Miller Center
2201 Old Ivy Rd
Charlottesville, VA
William Galston headshot

William Galston

William A. Galston holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s governance studies program, where he serves as a senior fellow. He was previously the Saul Stern Professor and acting dean at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, founding director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), and executive director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. He served from 1993 to 1995 as deputy assistant to President Clinton for domestic policy and was later interviewed for the Miller Center's Bill Clinton Oral History Project. Galston has published widely and makes regular media appearances. He holds a BA from Cornell and an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.

Molly Reynolds headshot

Molly Reynolds

Molly Reynolds is a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. She studies Congress, with an emphasis on how congressional rules and procedure affect domestic policy outcomes. Her current research projects include work on congressional reform and the congressional budget process. She is the author of Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate and supervises the maintenance of "Vital Statistics on Congress," Brookings’s long-running resource on the first branch of government. Reynolds received a BA in government from Smith College and a PhD in political science and public policy from the University of Michigan.

Philip Wallach headshot

Philip Wallach

Philip Wallach is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies America’s separation of powers, with a focus on regulatory policy issues and the relationship between Congress and the administrative state. Before joining AEI, Wallach was a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and was later affiliated with the R Street Institute and served as a fellow with the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in 2019. He received an MA and PhD in politics from Princeton University and a BA from Wesleyan University’s College of Social Studies.

Sid Milkis headshot

Sidney Milkis (moderator)

Sidney M. Milkis is the Miller Center’s White Burkett Miller Professor of Governance and Foreign Affairs, Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor, and UVA professor of politics. His research focuses on the American presidency, political parties and elections, social movements, and American political development. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he regularly gives public lectures on American politics and participates in programs for international scholars and high school teachers that probe the deep historical roots of contemporary developments in the United States. His many books include the recently published Rivalry and Reform: Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics.

Bill Antholis headshot

William Antholis (introduction)

William J. Antholis has served as director and CEO of UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs since January 2015. In that time, the Miller Center has strengthened its position as the leading nonpartisan research institution on the American presidency and worked with scholars across the University of Virginia to deliver vital research to policymakers and the public. Before coming to the Miller Center, Antholis served as managing director at the Brookings Institution from 2004 to 2014, working directly with Brookings's president and vice presidents. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global (2013) and co-author (with Strobe Talbott) of Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming (2010). He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade.