Lee Drutman for Vox:
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted this week to keep senators and their staff dependent on the expertise and information that lobbyists provide.
Okay, let me be fair. The committee didn’t do this explicitly. But by ignoring the need for a long-overdue increase in staff salaries and instead “holding the line” on the legislative branch spending bill, the senators effectively voted to further empower private lobbyists.Keeping staff budgets at their low levels pretty much ensures that staff turnover will remain high, and that the staffers who inform and advise the senators on policy will remain younger and more inexperienced than private lobbyists, and will be stretched far too thin to do much of their own research.