Legal Memorandum posted July 24, 2014
Boehner v. Obama: Can the House of Representatives Force the President to Comply with the Law?
Article I of the Constitution vests “All legislative powers herein granted” in Congress, while Article II, section 3 requires that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But what happens when the President fails to execute the law?
Time and again, President Barack Obama has pushed the limits of this duty, acting unilaterally to change or…
Lecture posted May 22, 2014
Congress and the New Administrative State
The administrative state begins with Congress. As the Supreme Court has observed, “an agency literally has no power to act…unless and until Congress confers power upon it.” So let me offer a few words about what previous Congresses have done to create the new administrative state and what Congress can do, today and tomorrow, to restore some limits.
Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted April 11, 2014
An Analysis of Selected Budget Process Reforms
Since adoption of the congressional budget process in 1974, the procedure has rarely unfolded precisely on schedule or as planned. Conflicts large and small have been common, deadlines have been breached, and rules have been stretched to meet the demands of the moment. Customarily, Congress has found a way back to something resembling the “regular order” intended by the…
Issue Brief posted January 31, 2014
Top Homeland Security Priorities for Congress in 2014
The world today is more dangerous than it was on September 10, 2001. Threats to the homeland have increased as the President’s leadership has caused the U.S. to lose respect and influence on every front. After at least 61 thwarted terrorist attacks in the U.S., those who are committed to destroying America’s way of life cannot be ignored. Protection of the homeland…
Backgrounder posted August 15, 2013
House Water Resources Development Act: Ditch Senate Bill Blunders, Reform the Army Corps
For the first time since 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) will soon propose a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Traditionally, WRDA bills authorize the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to study and construct water infrastructure projects as part of its Civil Works…
Backgrounder posted August 2, 2013
Congress in the Obamacare Trap: No Easy Escape
High anxiety is gripping Capitol Hill. The reason: On January 1, 2014, Members of Congress and their staff will lose their current employment-based health insurance and will instead be offered coverage in the health insurance exchanges established under the new health care law.
In April, Politico reported that “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in…
Legal Memorandum posted July 18, 2013
Congress Doesn’t Know Its Own Mind— And That Makes You a Criminal
Imagine a criminal law that stated simply “do not use drugs.” Such a law would be absurdly vague and impossible to enforce. What about, for example, drugs taken by accident (because an individual did not know that his or her bourbon contained Rohypnol); or drugs that were not illegal (like aspirin); or drugs that an individual thought were legal but, contrary to his or…