Congress Should Fix Itself before Reclaiming Its Power

(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)The Constitution requires it to take the lead, but right now it’s too dysfunctional.

Regular readers of mine (and listeners to my podcast with Luke Thompson, Constitutionally Speaking) will know that I am an “Article I” kind of guy. I like Congress, or at least I like the idea of Congress. I think “co-equal branches” is a myth. I think the true backbone of republican government is Congress, not the president and certainly not the courts.

So, it should come as no shock then that I found myself largely in agreement with Yuval Levin’s recent op-ed for the New York Times, on the need for Congress to reclaim some of its lost authority:

Our constitutional system cannot function this way. To repair it, Congress will have to reclaim its place. This certainly means taking oversight seriously, and the assorted misbehaviors of the Trump administration must surely be on the agenda. But it is crucial that the reassertion of congressional power be at its core a reassertion of legislative power, not just of oversight. Fighting the president is not what Congress is for. And the fact that Congress has forgotten what it is for is bad news for our constitutional system.


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