Congress has become one of America’s most unpopular and disparaged institutions — but a practical reform could quickly change all of this to simultaneously benefit the American people and Congressional approval numbers.
Congress’s fall from grace came ironically from the success it helped to produce.
The R Street Institute has details on a recent House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing:
The House Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Operations and
Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules convened a hearing on the power of the purse on December 1, 2016. It is an important topic.
The power of the purse is a fundamental legislative authority. It is an authority that aims to limit executive power, encourage agency accountability to elected officials, and curb corruption.
For decades, scholars (and the public) have said that Congress has abdicated its oversight role and that the federal bureaucracy had too much discretion and was largely undeterred because legislative monitoring was so weak. At the end of the 20th century, scholars argued that Congress did not abdicate its oversight role but instead preferred to conduct oversight by responding to whistleblowers, interest groups, constituents and others who came forward with allegations of bureaucratic waste, fraud, or abuse rather than spend the time and energy to actively police each agency all the time. This distinction – between Congress responding to fire-alarms by whistleblowers versus actively police patrolling the bureaucracy – has largely been adopted by legal and political scholars. [Read More]
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, chaired by Lamar Smith, R-TX, recently issued subpoenas to several state attorneys general, seeking documents relating to state investigations initiated against scientists, non-profit organizations and businesses that have had the audacity to question climate change. The Committee is concerned that these state investigations are designed to chill the constitutional rights of free speech and association. After the state attorneys general refused to comply with the Committee's subpoenas, last week the Committee held a hearing to discuss what it should do in response to the states' refusal to comply. I was honored to have had the opportunity to testify and demonstrate that the Committee has ample power to enforce its subpoenas. [Read More]
The Federalist Society's Faculty Division will host a roundtable discussion, titled "Congress, Delegation, and the Administrative State," at the 2016 American Political Science Association's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on September 2nd. We invite anyone planning to attend the conference to join us for what promises to be an excellent discussion featuring:
Lee Drutman, New America Foundation & The Johns Hopkins University
Gordon Lloyd, Pepperdine University & Ashbrook Center
Daniel H. Lowenstein, UCLA School of Law
Neomi Rao, George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law
Moderator: Michael Uhlmann, Claremont Graduate University