Undermining the Executive Branch – NYTimes.com.
Undermining the Executive Branch
Published: December 4, 2011
The House will soon consider a bill called the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, Reins for short. […] Reins is a terrible piece of legislation that would undermine a functioning regulatory system that protects people from harm. It would also do a great disservice to Congress itself.
[…] it would upend the traditional relationship between the legislative and executive branches. Under long-standing practice, Congress enacts laws […] and then empowers the executive branch to negotiate with stakeholders and write detailed regulations.
Read the full story here: The New York Times
Congressional grades: Congress shouldn’t be graded on passing laws. – By Shankar Vedantam – Slate Magazine.
Why Congress Deserves an “A”
Don’t blame Congress for not passing laws. It’s designed that way.
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 5:16 PM ET
Stroll around Washington, D.C., this summer, and you will see hordes of tourists thronging the national Mall. Parents ask their kids, “What’s the role of Congress?” And the teenagers respond, “The purpose of Congress is to pass laws.”
Most people who hear that nowadays feel an urge to laugh. Sure, that’s the purpose of Congress, but that isn’t what Congress actually does. Congress in theory is decisive, but Congress in practice is dysfunctional. If Congress were a student and its handling of the debt-ceiling crisis were an exam, it would get an F, if not expulsion or a referral to the juvenile justice system.
But what if the civics-textbook definition of Congress is wrong? What if Congress is working precisely as designed?
Read the full story here: Slate Magazine
With Republicans majority, House loses its resolve for symbolic legislation – The Washington Post.
Something is off in the House of Representatives: It’s already July 4, and the House still has not yet registered its opinions on bald eagles, motherhood or the American flag.By last Independence Day, the House had already voted to approve Resolution 1409, which declared the bald eagle “an inspiring symbol.” It had approved Resolution 1295, saying that American mothers “have made immeasurable contributions.” Resolution 1429 affirmed that “the United States flag is universally honored.”
Bills such as these — whose only purpose is to commemorate, congratulate or celebrate — are the legislative equivalent of empty calories. And last year, the House was on a binge.
It passed more than 250, honoring everything from the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. to the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon at Penn State University.
Read the full story here: The Washington Post
In einem Artikel mit dieser Überschrift beschäftigt sich die New York Times damit, was – bei allen notwendigen Meinungsverschiedenheiten in grundsätzlichen politischen Fragen – die beiden großen Parteien hier in den USA tun können und müssen, um die politische Debatte und die Kultur der politischen Auseinandersetzung zu verbessern.
Ein Punkt in diesem Zusammenhang – über den ich unbedingt noch einmal mehr recherchieren und dann bloggen möchte – ist das “Filibuster“. die Blockierung der Gesetzgebung durch die (bloße Ankündigung) von Dauerreden.
What always strikes me as kind of undemocratic is the fact that the residents of Washington, D.C., are not allowed to send an elected reoresentative to Congress. I must admit that I really need to find out more about the reasoning behind that and its historical development. For a comment on that fact see The New York Times.