The Founding Fathers understood that central to representative government is a legislative branch that shapes governance through debate and legislation, vigorously exercising its powers to tax, spend, and borrow as well as to make law.
Yet in recent years Congress has been all too willing to transfer its constitutional powers to an increasingly powerful executive branch. The result has been the rise of a regulatory state, an erosion in popular respect for Congress—and, arguably, a federal government that is as ineffective as it is debt-laden.
Could a Republican-led Congress restore constitutional balance between the legislative and executive branches? What steps are needed to revive the House and Senate’s authorities over taxation, spending, and regulation—and to reassert the principal of representative lawmaking? Would these steps help or hurt the Republicans’ policy and political ambitions?
At this session, Hudson Institute Distinguished Fellow Christopher DeMuth discussed his path-breaking article on this subject— A Constitutional Congress? —with a panel including former Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma. Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Arthur Herman moderated the discussion.