What kind of war power does the Constitution grant the President and Congress? What limitations apply to each branch concerning the power to declare war and the use of military force? Over time, how has the Framers’ understanding been followed and in what ways has it been ignored? Do the founding principles regarding these topics still have application to our modern era? Former Congressman Mickey Edwards and National Review Institute Senior Fellow Andrew C. McCarthy joined us for an insightful discussion of these and other topics.
This event was held on July 7, 2017, at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
Hon. Mickey Edwards, Former Congressman, Vice President and Program Director, Rodel Fellowships In Public Leadership, Aspen Institute
Andrew C. McCarthy, Senior Fellow, National Review Institute
Moderator: Nate Kaczmarek, Deputy Director, Article I Initiative, The Federalist Society
A properly functioning legislature is imperative to maintaining a democratic republic, and it almost goes without saying that the modern Congress is dysfunctional. The public regard for the institution has never been lower, factionalism has created a toxic public atmosphere, and Congress seems unable or unwilling to act and address the major challenges facing the nation.
The Article I Initiative was started to do the work necessary to restore Congress to its rightful place in the Constitutional order, and to create a body of scholarship that will help legislators become effective leaders and lawmakers in the 21st Century.
This Initiative is self-consciously non-partisan; both left and right should work together to ensure that the Constitutional balance leans heavily towards the institution which holds the people’s representatives.
In Professor David Schoenbrod’s new book DC CONFIDENTIAL: Inside the Five Tricks of Washington, he asserts that in the 1960s, elected officials in Congress and the White House figured out a system for enacting laws and spending programs—one that lets them take the credit for promising good news while avoiding the blame for producing bad results. He argues that with five key tricks, politicians of both parties now avoid accounting to the people for what the government does. The result is a vicious cycle of grand promises and budget gimmicks by elected officials, failed policies, blame-shifting by politicians, and spiraling distrust of a government too dysfunctional and unaccountable to solve major problems. The book contends that the ground rules of government must change so that elected officials will once again shoulder responsibility for results. Schoenbrod also offers a practical action plan for reform including a legislative solution—the "Honest Deal Act"—which would change incentives and fundamentally reform government procedures.
This program was held at the Rayburn House Office Building on April 19, 2017.
Honorable Martin Frost, Former Congressman, Vice-President, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress
Professor David Schoenbrod, Trustee Professor of Law, New York Law School
Professor Adam White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
Modern statutes and executive orders are intended to ensure that new regulations do more good than harm—that is, to produce more benefits than costs. Despite these nominal protections, some say the accumulation of regulations threaten the nation’s economic growth and well-being. As a result, the 114th Congress is considering various regulatory reform proposals designed to help ensure that new regulations make Americans better off and that existing regulations are evaluated and modified as necessary. Some of the proposals would enhance economic analysis of regulations, while others seek structural reform including stronger legislative control and judicial review of the administrative rulemaking. While none of these bills has been enacted, several of them have bipartisan support and some have passed one house. Which proposals are best, and why? Are there proposals yet to be made that would be better yet?
This panel was presented during the Fourth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference on May 17, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
Welcome & Address:
Hon. Heidi Heitkamp, United States Senate, North Dakota
Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society
Hon. Susan E. Dudley, Director of the Regulatory Studies Center, The George Washington University
Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Senior Counsel and Head of Regulatory Advocacy, General Electric Company
Hon. Jeffrey A. Rosen, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Moderator: Mr. Adam White, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution