KEEP POLITICS LOCAL Coleman calls on members of Congress to build bonds across parties by making their homes in Washington, D.C.

 Coleman calls on members of Congress to build bonds across parties by making their homes in Washington, D.C.

Records show that the U.S. Congress is even more polarized than it was in the wake of the Civil War. Writing in The Hill, Peter Coleman, Professor of Psychology & Education, traces the problem at least in part to 1995, when then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich changed the Congressional work week from five days to three, enabling his Republican colleagues to live in their home states in order to conduct more fundraising. That move effectively ended socializing across party lines. Coleman’s plea to political leaders: “Come back! Move your families back to Washington and get back to work on the unprecedented challenges facing our country today.”