Nolan McCarty Featured in the Ripon Forum on CSDP's Initiative to Reclaim the Powers of Congress

June 14, 2024

The following excerpt is from the Ripon Forum. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.

Latest Ripon Forum Examines How Congress Can Reclaim Its Rightful Role in Government

WASHINGTON, DC – At a time when nearly three-quarters of the American people are expressing concern about presidents gaining more political power, the latest edition of The Ripon Forum examines how Congress can address these concerns and reclaim its rightful role as the First Branch of government.

Leading the Forum’s coverage are Tim Penny & Nolan McCarty.  Penny is a former six-term Democratic Congressman from Minnesota; McCarty is a professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton.  Together, they serve as Co-Chairs of the Task Force on the Power of the Purse, part of the Princeton Initiative on Restoring the Constitutional Powers of Congress.  They write about this issue and their effort in the lead essay for this latest edition.

'Beginning in the 1990s,' the pair write, 'the House and then the Senate became increasingly tribal with partisan majorities abandoning any pretense of trying to find common ground. In this more partisan environment, members of Congress who belonged to the same partisan team as the President saw it as their role to be adjuncts to the Executive Branch, allowing many of the previous excesses of presidential overreach to return. President Trump’s reprogramming to fund the border wall and President Biden’s attempts to forgive student loans are just two of the more egregious examples. By giving in to Presidential prerogatives, Congress is abdicating its constitutional power over the purse.'

To reverse this trend, Penny and McCarty, and the task force they lead at Princeton, are proposing a series of recommendations geared around improving transparency and accountability and expedited congressional review of executive spending. They outline these recommendations in their essay."