"Not enough time in the agenda..." is the most often touted excuse by our elected officials as to why they were unable to get anything done. Partisan bickering and infighting among members of congress seems to take up a lot of this time. If they wish to behave like children, I submit that we treat
them as such.
I propose that we change the rules around a bit so that there is a "Day Shift" and a "Night Shift" for each house of congress. Would this upset rank and file bullshit? Probably. Would scheduling be a real bitch? Yes. But this is a good thing.
As for the pragmatics of this arrangement, sessions would overlap for an hour or so, ensuring that the relief politician is abreast of the issues on the floor. There would also be time allotted each week for conferences between the representatives for each state.
We need to remove some of the glamour from the job, get our reps to be more in sync. Shift work sucks, and making congress into a shift-based entity would reflect the job culture that "the other half" (average American citizens) must endure. A little empathy for someone who clocks out at 6AM and then has to go and make sure that their kids are off to school on time might change a few world views. It would be like any other awful job - each shift would blame the other for the crap that didn't get done. Somebody would have to pick up the slack, lest they be reamed out at the end of the day by their boss (us). The good congressmen would work together for maximum efficiency, no matter the party politics or pet-project special interest items. Lobbyists influence would decrease, in that they would have to sell more than one person on an idea. The day shift person might introduce a bill, but the night shift guy doesn't push it through. Both wind up looking inept and ineffectual, unless they put their politics aside and work together. You'd see congressmen covering for one another, "Hey, can you pick up my shift?"
"Aww, I've already worked a double."
"Come on, my kid is graduating. Please?"
"Ok, fine, but I want your support on the HR-789 peyote de-criminalization bill."
"Sure. Fine. Whatever you need."
All in all, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise fetid sinkhole of hubris and ego.